2Profile: Barack Obama Age: 49 (Aug 4, 1961) Current Occupation: President of the United StatesPrevious Occupation: Junior Senator for IllinoisYears Served as Senator: 3Party Affiliation: Democratic PartyEducation: Occidental College; Colombia University (Political Science with International Relations BA); Harvard Law School (Juris Doctor)Spouse: Michelle Obama
3Timeline August 23 2008 – Obama chooses Biden as his running mate. August 26 – Obama confirmed as Democratic Party Nominee.September 26 – October 15 – Presidential Debates.4 November – Barack Obama becomes the President-elect of the United States of America.
4How He Won - Fundraising Obama’s campaign did not use Matching Funds which would have restricted his spending. He privately financed all of his campaign.Using Matching Funds would have limited Obama to $84.1mn between the convention and polling day.He raised more in the first quarter of 2008 than any other candidate ever. A total of $133,549,000.Most of the donations to his party were small donations of up to $200. Another broken record.His campaign made use of the internet as a primary source of fundraising.Obama’s campaign also outspent the McCain campaign significantly due to Matching Funds
5How He Won – DubyaBy 2008 Bush had become one of the least popular Presidents in the history of the USA with approval ratings of about 27%.The Obama campaign linked McCain to Bush whenever and wherever possible. E.g. During the first debate Obama mentioned Bush 21 times.Obama highlighted his opposition to unpopular Bush era policies and decisions such as Iraq and the economy.The Obama campaign also referenced figures from Congressional Quarterly showing McCain voting for 90% of all Bush’s bills between 2000 and 2007.
6How He Won – Hope & Change Obama’s campaign focused on hope and change as its key themes. E.g. Iconic Obama poster with “Hope” beneath.Obama linked McCain as “more of the same” whilst positioning himself as the candidate of “change”.Obama’s rhetoric centred on bipartisanship in Congress and raising its approval ratings which garnered him more support than McCain.Argued in favour of change as opposed to experience, the McCain argument.
8How He Won - CampaignThe Obama campaign was very well organised and made much more use of new media – the internet – than McCain’s campaign.Obama’s campaign centred on bringing groups of many ethnicities, ideology and ages together through his nonpartisan approach.The Obama campaign had so much money that it could advertise anywhere, everywhere and as many times as it liked.Made reference to Biden’s experience in the Senate and Foreign Policy – Obama’s weakest policy area – whilst emphasising Palin’s inexperience in everything.
9How He Won – Palin Effect Centred media attention and campaigns on Palin’s inexperience and her “I can see Russia from my house” ideology.Hypothetical fears of McCain becoming incapacitated during his term and Palin then stepping in scared voters.Controversies surrounding Palin such as her daughter’s pregnancy seriously damaged McCain’s campaign and strengthened Obama’s.During the VP debate Biden came across as the more statesman-like and better equipped candidate for the job.
10How He Won – Two term Itch/Incumbency Only twice since the Civil War has the electorate voted in a President from the same party as the President who has just completed two terms.Last person to do the above was George H. W. Bush.McCain not helped by George W. Bush’s unpopularity.The Republican Party had left the US and the economy is dire straights. A record budget deficit and a seemingly unwinnable war did not play well for McCain.Therefore chances of McCain succeeding were low.