International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The “Celebrity Obama” Strategy: The 2008 Presidential Campaign’s Attack Ads.
Marco Morini

In July 2008, Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, travelled overseas and delivered public speeches that were heard by hundreds of thousands of people and aroused considerable enthusiasm. All the media said that Europe had been “seduced” by the rising star of progressive America. However, back in the United States, Obama had to defend himself against the Republican campaign commercials that mocked his European tour and called him a “celebrity”, just like Britney Spears or Paris Hilton. From the electoral spots to the media coverage of the conservative networks to the Internet buzz, “Celebrity Obama” is also an image that matches the traditional conservative anti-intellectualism. Depicting Obama as a cultured, narcissist politician who appreciated Europe means to turn him to the rural disgust for the cultural elites of the cities on the coasts. This study investigates the communication strategies adopted by the Republican Party and the conservative independent groups during the electoral campaign. It verifies how public opinion was affected by such messages, comparing and analyzing the opinion polls conducted at the time.

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