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Obama campaign unveils “Forward” slogan

Obama campaign unveils “Forward” slogan

Today the Obama campaign unveiled “Forward,” a seven-minute video highlighting his campaign strategy for the election:

Similar to the 2008 concept, “Change,” this one-word slogan captures a vague sense of movement without articulating a strategy, end, or principle. The movement this terms evokes is no more than a different state than we’re currently in, and a positive trajectory. (Similar to the term “progressive?”)

The content of the Forward video previews the talking points for his campaign. It begins by blaming events prior to his taking office for the uphill battle he’s facing, then blames the Republicans for blocking progress.

The video recycles the “Republicans are the party of no” theme and goes on to tout the captures of Osama bin Laden and ending of the War in Iraq as major victories.

Three-quarters of the way through, the video singles out the middle class as his target audience, directly addressing their concerns and articulating his support for them. He follows-up by a series of accomplishments, a sort of laundry list of opinion-tested items from “Auto Industry Saved” to “Equal Pay for Women Protected.”

Oddly, the end of the video points to the URL, the website of “Attack Watch” fame that has as its motto: “every time a baseless attack comes to light, we’ll arm you with the truth so you can spread the word.” Just as the Attack Watch concept became the “laughing stock of the internet,” conservatives have picked up the #Forward hashtag on twitter to ridicule its message:

The Obama campaign clearly has message-tested the attributes that Americans find positive about him, but this video and the slogan “Forward” indicates that they had trouble finding a unifying message that actually means anything. Thus, he’s left for a second time with a slogan without any meaning. Notice also the change from the 2008 font to the current one, with serif. Perhaps the serif font is an attempt to appear more solid, statesmanlike? Will people buy his marketing this time?


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Having lived in Germany, “Forward” instantly reminded me of the old German-language Communist newspaper (Marx, et al were editors).!

I’m glad to see that they’re at least bringing back an old name with a real tradition to it. Honesty is always refreshing.

    LukeHandCool in reply to radiofreeca. | April 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Nice catch, radiofreeca!

    The RNC (or Rove and his group) should seize on that immediately and fire up some mocking videos. I’d also add some referneces to China’s “Great Leap Forward.”

    votermom in reply to radiofreeca. | April 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    LOL. I stole that and tweeted it.!/votermom/status/197021207214833666

    My first thought was “Forward the Light Brigade.”

    JoAnne in reply to radiofreeca. | April 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    So, they are either stupid about history or they assume we’re stupid about history, take your pick – I think it’s them!

      Gus Bailey in reply to JoAnne. | April 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      From my experience, it’s a matter of projection; they know very little of history, philosophy, science, etc., and they assume we know just as little.

    LukeHandCool in reply to radiofreeca. | April 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I would add to the coming radiofreeca/RNC video response the proverb,

    “The more things move forward, the more they remain inane.”

    “Forward” campaign theme, Anita Dunn, former communication director, ” I love Mao”, Ron Bloom, former manufactouring czar says he loves Mao too, communist Van Jones,green energy czar…..

    They are telling us who they are.

    Browndog in reply to radiofreeca. | April 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    This is getting wierd-

    It starts with a search, and I get this:

    Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
    One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

    I see this:

    “Plekhanov and I are in the minority. Martov and Axelrod propose an opportunist formulation and find themselves in the arms of the opportunists.”
    So, I wonder if David Axlerod and Pavel Axlerod are related, so I search and find this:

    An opponent of the First World War, Axelrod worked with Julius Martov,
    Vladimir Antonov and Leon Trotsky, to produce the internationalist
    newspaper, Our World.
    Which land me in the comments on neo-neocon, finding this:

    does he have ANY relationship to Pavel Borisovich Axelrod?

    you cant tell since WIKI has scrubbed his lineage. that is, unlike OTHER wiki people there is NO names for david axelrods parents…

    here is all they say
    His mother worked as a journalist at PM, a left-wing 1940s newspaper. Axelrod’s parents separated when he was eight years old.

    Then I come here, and see your post-

    I have all the links in my trip down the rabbit hole, if anyone needs them.

    DINORightMarie in reply to radiofreeca. | April 30, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    If you go to the wikipedia link, you see a link to this page: – a Yiddish Socialist Democrat publication – published in New York since 1897, related to the one referenced, Vorwarts from Germany.

    Unfortunately, this link just might explain why so many Jewish people still support and vote for Obama: many Jewish Americans are Socialists/Marxist sympathizers, as shown by this NYC publication. Quite alarming; I’d not seen that before.

    Am I reading this wrong? Or is there a large portion of the American Jewish population that is Communist/Socialist that may just want Obama’s “Hope & Change” to move “Forward”?

    I hope I’m wrong. 🙁

      Browndog in reply to DINORightMarie. | April 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      It appears you may be on to something-

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to DINORightMarie. | May 1, 2012 at 12:48 am

      I think it might be fair to say that America received the early Jewish victims of the Czar led Pogroms plus the Menshevik wave after the 1920s. They would be fellow travelers.

      Other emigre destinations received a different mix -perhaps because the Mensheviks/socialists thought the colonies too British or boring.

LukeHandCool | April 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I don’t feel like watching it right now (I just ate breakfast) but let me guess that the sole motor of government, supplanting constitutional arrangements, driving us “Forward,” is the same one that “leads from behind.”

LukeHandCool (who imagines this kind of “forward” is the same kind of “forward” the hapless driver who, waiting at the red light and forgetting he momentarily put the gear shift in reverse to back out of the crosswalk, feels when the light turns green and he hits the gas … and hits the car behind him).

FORWARD…over the cliff…!!!

Yeh, that’ll work…

Forward to the gas chambers! There are too many of you , keep moving Forward!

Hmm… isn’t MSNBC’s new slogan “Lean Forward?” Coincidence? I’m so cynical… Anyways, I think a more appropriate campaign slogan should be “Geronimo!!!” This way, like Warren, he can pander to the diversity vote and evoke a proactive image for himself.

    At least they didn’t hijack Admiral Farragut’s famous quote: “Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead.” Maybe they didn’t because it is famous. There would have to be too much “scrubbing”.

Stealing the MSNBC slogan? Oh, that’s right, MSNBC is an arm of the White House. Never mind.

Do you think it was a typo?
Maybe they meant “Fore-ward”.
After all, Obama spends 90% of his time on the golf course.

Obama’s secret service likes it as well.

Forward Ho!

Change It Back

“Forward” was a common them in Soviet propaganda. It appeared on posters and billboards everywhere throughout the country, usually in the phrase “Forward to communism!” In this poster the slogan under Brezhnev’s image says “Thus, let us go bravely forward on the path leading to communism!”

Forward!!! I think I can see bottom!

“Will people buy his marketing this time?”

Some will.

How about Forehead? As in face palm?

I have a better slogan: DOH!

Midwest Rhino | April 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm

“Four wood” Obama yells at his caddy …
for when the two wood is too much club.

or an image of Obama golfing, with the red and white part of his logo being the fairway … maybe.

President Four Wood … might be a strong enough mental link, people won’t say “forward” without thinking “four wood” lol

    Tamminator in reply to Midwest Rhino. | April 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I like it! Call the Republican ad agency, because they need a lot of help.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Midwest Rhino. | April 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    ad starts with a serious guy addressing Obama’s failures
    then “what do you think sir?”
    camera goes to Obama impersonator .. “Four wood”

    pan out … serious guy is caddy … Obama is focused on golf

    “give me the four wood”

    then the conservative message
    “Hasn’t President Obama driven us far enough off course?”
    insert more points here …

    ad ends with Obama yelling “Fore” … and his logo with silhouette of his golf swing … and the word “Four Wood” 🙂

“Failward” would be more appropriate, if not an actual word.

the first thing that popped into my mind was a herd of lemmings charging over a cliff, followed by the traditional communist “forward to our glorious future” schtick…

By “do nothing” Congress would Obamao be referring to the lack of a budget?
Whose auto industry did Obamao save? Chrysler was a cheap way for Fiat to reenter the US market and GM is going broke buying red ink.

Joan Of Argghh | April 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I think, when one finds oneself in a ditch, #forward is ill-advised.

I hope the GOP will counter with #Upward.

How about “Forward (right off the cliff)”. That is “Hope and Change” I can admire.

Midwest Rhino | April 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm

“Forward” Obama yells from his chariot (with hope and change logo) … while whipping the dead horses in the ditch (dead horses being the economy, taxpayers, whatever)

Rock bottom seems more appropriate.

According to

Main Entry: forward
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: brash, impertinent
Synonyms: aggressive, assuming, audacious, bantam, bare-faced, bold, brazen, cheeky*, coming on strong, confident, familiar, fresh, impudent, nervy, overassertive, overweening, pert, presuming, presumptuous, pushing, pushy*, rude, sassy*, saucy*, self-assertive, smart, smart-alecky, uppity, wise

Yep – that is about right – except for the “smart” and “wise” part.

quiksilverz24 | April 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Forward is such a relative term. Anyone ever flown “backwards” on a Southwest plane? Even though you’re going forward, aren’t you actually going backwards?

I see Obama in Limo One, facing the rear window in the backseat with the Secret Service gunning the beheamoth in reverse. See.. Forward!!

And what was that about a ditch, Obama….

Forward will work as well/the same way for Obama as “Courage” did for Dan Rather.

D shifty forward

The Great Leap Forward was begun in 1957 by Chairman Mao Zedong to bring the nation quickly into the forefront of economic development. Mao wanted China to become a leading industrial power, and to accomplish his goals he and his colleagues pushed for the construction of steel plants across the country.

No one is sure exactly how many people perished as a result of the spreading hunger. By comparing the number of deaths that could be expected under normal conditions with the number that occurred during the period of the Great Leap famine, scholars have estimated that somewhere between 16.5 million and 40 million people died before the experiment came to an end in 1961, making the Great Leap famine the largest in world history.

So, somewhere between 16 and 40 million people killed in about four years. Change.

    Browndog in reply to OCBill. | April 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    History repeats-


    UKRAINE, “the breadbasket of Europe” is a land famous for its fertile black earth and its golden wheat. Yet, only forty years ago seven million Ukrainians starved to death although no natural catastrophe had visited the land. Forty years ago the people starved while the Soviet Union exported butter and grain.

    Anyone that is not aware of what Stalin did to the Ukrainians, simply because they defied “collectivism”, I implore you to read this–or, better yet, do your own research.

some great opportunities for photo-shopping the posters at this link:

“Forward”/”Moving Forward” was the slogan of Australia’s Julia Gillard – a former Socialist and a Fabian – in 2010.

She repeated it so often it became a running joke even on our popular radio stations.

Here’s a short clip one station did up to mock her: ‘Moving Forward’ Remix –


    By the way, this morning’s polls show that Julia Gillard’s “Forward” campaign has taken Labor to a primary preferred rating of just 27%. So let’s hope it works just as effectively for Obama.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to s_dog. | May 1, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Look on the bright side – you are guaranteed a federal budget every May.

    For all the drama in Canberra the country is humming along better than almost anywhere else.

    Plus the great centre is alive with birds & water & promise. Broken Hill is so lush that Mad Max 3 filming was moved to South Africa.

    As a hiker I have re visited areas that are unrecognisable from the past. It is glorious to be here now. I would not be dead for quids.

    Oh I used to live a few ks from Parliament House. I am getting great rent from my Canberra house – i I think every thing is going great!

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to s_dog. | May 1, 2012 at 2:43 am

    BTW Don’t give these people the impression that the opposition are anyway’ conservative.

    The National Party is pure Agrarian socialist. The Liberal Party would be left of the Democrats. Did I hear National health Insurance , Public money for private schools / baby bonus of $5000 / Taxpayer funded 100% maternity leave (full normal income ?

    And Slipper is very gay, very christian ,very married & very conservative. Ha.

[…] And if the “Curse of the Eco-Tryant” news wasn’t enough, comes data from a recent study that shows that Large Windfarms Cause Global Warming. Even though the application of global-warming prevention policies are toxic, both Professor Jacobson and I find the irony highly entertaining. Based on a scientific analysis of the data, I predict that Obama’s “Green Energy Campaign” is going to be as successful as his new “Forward” marketing strategy. […]

Meanwhile, Gas prices continue to move forward due to the failed energy policies (or the lack there of) of Barack H. Obama.
Please vote him out if you prefer fuel costs to go backwards.

Onward, Christian soilders! Let us help Barack and Michelle look forward to a permanent vacation from his government job.

Forward …. Into The Past!…

Curiously, to build on such a catchy slogan, Obama’s campaign kickoff video features a look back, at that Evil Bush Dude. (Cue scary music)…

Obama should take a cue from his former Crucifixion Chief!!! and fall on his sword (metaphorically speaking) It would save us all time, energy and pain.

[…] Conservative blogs and websites have acknowledged just how eerily similar Obama’s campaign slogan […]

Forward! has been a socialist slogan for nearly 150 years, including the publications cited above from the 19th Century and featuring such contributors as Marx, Engels, and Trotsky.

The slogan was central to the concepts of Marxism, which held that the capitalists and the bourgeoisie or middle class were for the status quo, which they considered oppression of the working classes. Marxism was about the movement of social change, which they believed a natural progression of history. This is why it was so common.

So common, in fact, that it is unthinkable that no one in the campaign knew this, up to and including Obama himself, who we know would have had a veto over the final slogan. They knew it, they just didn’t think it matters.

    Estragon in reply to Estragon. | May 1, 2012 at 1:55 am

    I should also have mentioned the propaganda value: “forward” is what is known in Rhetoric to be a “god term,” or a term that is so favorably received by listeners as to accord good will to the speaker. For instance, you cannot be seen as opposing “progress,” “justice,” or “equality,” although these words imprecise – each listener puts his own meaning to them, so he likes them.

I hope Romney and his advisors read this blog.

[…] at Legal Insurrection they picked up on the Obama campaign slogan for 2012…FORWARD. Some critics mocked the echoes of early 20th […]