Branding Obamessiah

Overview

"Mark Edward Taylor gets to the heart of Obama's appeal." -- Cal Thomas

In 2004 a cadre of Democratic advisers and communications experts hatched a plan to elect a largely unknown, biracial American to the highest office in the land in only four years. Knowing that its chosen one would have to rise above Hillary Clinton and then the Republican candidate, "Team Obama" created a new style of American political leader defined by "Sacred Six" characteristics: a creation story, ...

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Overview

"Mark Edward Taylor gets to the heart of Obama's appeal." -- Cal Thomas

In 2004 a cadre of Democratic advisers and communications experts hatched a plan to elect a largely unknown, biracial American to the highest office in the land in only four years. Knowing that its chosen one would have to rise above Hillary Clinton and then the Republican candidate, "Team Obama" created a new style of American political leader defined by "Sacred Six" characteristics: a creation story, sacred words, sacred images, sacred rituals, true believers, and a messianic leader. The Sacred Six became Barack Obama's "Devotional Code," eliciting enthused voter chants of Hope, Change, and Belief ("Yes we can!") and consummating a special relationship between faithful voters and the saintly candidate whom Oprah Winfrey baptized as "The One."

Branding Obamessiah tells this amazing story by looking at everything from Team Obama's evangelistic rallies and iconic images to its sacred words and supra-racial rhetoric. Author Mark Edward Taylor examines Obama-themed comic books, magazines, logos, music, "holy" relics, social-media epistles, and children's books. He reveals the messianic rhetoric in Obama's carefully crafted autobiographical writings and public speeches. Taylor shows how such messianic imagery reinforced true believers' own hope-filled websites, blogs, publications, and videos.

Branding Obamessiah includes nearly 1,000 endnotes with links to online audio, video, and text sources so readers can follow the fascinating tale of a multimedia campaign that generated more online news coverage and inspired more pro and con bloggers and YouTube videos than all previous presidential campaigns combined. Hardly anything Obama said or did escaped cameras, microphones, and online scrutiny.

Branding Obamessiah is an engaging and illuminating trip through the most quasi-religious campaign of any modern US presidential candidate. The book also serves as a warning about the increasingly potent combination of entertainment, celebrity, social media, and religion in American politics.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword by Cal Thomas

Introduction

Prologue

1 Getting in the Game

PART ONE: Changing the Political Game

2 Selling an American Product

3 Marketing Subconscious Spirituality

4 Branding Obamessiah

5 Revealing the Sacred Six

PART TWO: Composing a Creation Story

6 Filling In Obama's Missing Years

7 Targeting His Anger

8 Remembering Fiction

PART THREE: Chanting Sacred Words

9 Keeping It Simple

10 Feeling In the Blanks

11 Seizing American Exceptionalism

12 Changing the Truth

PART FOUR: Venerating Sacred Images

13 Seeing as Believing

14 Photographing Deity

15 Flipping through Obamagazines

16 Sheparding the Sheeple

17 Landing Logobama

18 Viewing Negatives

PART FIVE: Observing Sacred Rituals

19 Traveling with Brother Love's Salvation Show

20 Multitasking for the Messiah

21 Collecting Campaign Relics

22 Pilgrimaging to Holy Places

PART SIX: Bringing in Believers

23 Crowding around the One

24 Programming Intimacy

25 Tuning In to Barockstar

PART SEVEN: Coloring the Messiah

26 Absolving the National Guilt

27 Changing the Election's Complexion

28 Building a Millenarian Movement

Epilogue

Notes

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937532925
  • Publisher: Edenridge Press LLC
  • Publication date: 10/21/2011
  • Pages: 386
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Edward Taylor (PhD, Northwestern University Graduate School; ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) is a native Chicagoan who has long followed Windy City politics, culture, and religion. While teaching college courses on communication and culture, he discovered that Barack Obama’s US presidential campaign was becoming a dramatic story of quasi-religious persuasion and belief. Mark immersed himself in the unfolding political drama. Using his skills in theology and rhetorical criticism, Mark dedicated five years to capturing the story behind Obama’s ascension from backroom Chicago politics to the heavenly realm of a presidential American idol—Obamessiah.
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