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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Theres this new slogan in town but will it be a winner?

President Barack Obama speaks in Washington, in this photo taken Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. There's a new slogan in town, and it's a winner. At least that's what President Barack Obama has in mind. The president unveiled his "Winning the Future" mantra in his State of the Union address, and now the upbeat phrase is part of every speech, policy and pronouncement coming out of the administration. It's also emerged as a fat target for his Republican critics. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

There’s a new slogan in town, and it’s a winner.

At least that’s what President Barack Obama has in mind.

The president unveiled his “Winning the Future” mantra in his State of the Union address, and now the upbeat but amorphous phrase is part of every speech, policy and pronouncement coming out of the administration. It’s also emerged as a fat target for his Republican critics.

What’s next on health care? Where to go on energy and education policy? How to improve the jobs picture? It’s all about winning the future through innovation and determination, Obama and his aides have argued over the past few days.

There’s no room for losers is the implicit flip side of the message.

“We’ve got to up our game,” Obama told a crowd in Wisconsin.

The nation must ensure “America is still on top” in a decade, the president said on YouTube.

The country can’t just lead, adds Vice President Joe Biden; it needs to “dominate.”

It’s a juiced-up way for Obama to frame his initiatives after two years in which even some of the president’s supporters acknowledge that can-do verve sometimes was lacking from the conversation. What it means, though, is still TBD — to be determined.

After the long slog to stabilize the economy over the past two years, “clearly they’ve got polling that Americans are looking for someone that has more lofty goals and aspirations for America,” says GOP strategist Rich Galen.

It seems that just in time for the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth, Morning in America has arrived once again.

Just in time for the 2012 presidential race, as well.

“People need some optimism, they need to feel hopeful,” says Democratic strategist Karen Finney.

The “winning the future” construct, she says, couples a much-needed boost of optimism with the reality of the global competition that is afoot.

“It won’t resonate with everyone,” says Professor Wayne Fields, a Washington University expert on presidential rhetoric, “but it has pretty powerful implications in political life. Something has to be done is the view of most people. What this suggests is that he’s at least going to act.”

Republicans found much to mock in the president’s theme, styling it as nothing more than new rhetorical packaging for the same wrong-headed approach to governing.

Newt Gingrich, who wrote a book titled “Winning the Future” back in 2005, found Obama’s interpretation of the same phrase “depressing.”

“Sadly, there is no Obama plan for winning the future,” Gingrich wrote in response to the president’s address. “There is an Obama plan for protecting big government, for pouring more money into broken bureaucracies, for borrowing several trillion more from the Chinese dictatorship. President Obama is on a path to lose the future while pretending to change things.”

Sarah Palin, in a post on Facebook and public comments, seized on the acronym “WTF” to suggest another meaning altogether, and said the White House “still just doesn’t get it.”

Obama’s vision, Palin said, is of a centralized government that declares “we shall be great and innovative and competitive, not by individual initiative, but by government decree.”

All sides agree that the power of Obama’s message will be determined by how he fleshes out what it means.

A big test will be Obama’s release in mid-February of his proposed budget for the accounting year that begins Oct. 1.

“He’s set a pretty high bar and now he’s got to have something to back it up with,” said the GOP’s Galen. “I don’t think he’s got very much time to turn the rhetoric into action Finney, the Democratic strategist, said that after the economic turmoil of the past two years, Obama has the opportunity to return the focus to the things he campaigned on.

“We’re finally at the point where we can step back” and take a broader view of where the country is going, she said.

Underlying the back-over-forth over Obama’s latest turn of phrase is a larger and longer-running debate over America’s place in the world.

Palin said Obama‘s new pitch “seems to be the Obama administration’s version of American exceptionalism — an `exceptionally big government.'” Other Republicans eyeing the 2012 presidential race, too, have accused Obama of lacking a strong vision of America’s rightful place in the world.

Obama, in turn, is offering optimistic talk about the potential of the American people in hopes of overcoming a sense of fatigue that set in over the past two years.

“In the popular mind, he lost them,” says Fields.

Now, with the economy picking up, Fields adds, Obama has an opportunity to revive the public vision of a can-do American public that uses its freedom “to innovate, educate and move forward.”

“To make this work,” says Fields, “he’ll have to bring us along with him not with a single speech but with a regular line of communication.”

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

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18 thoughts on “Theres this new slogan in town but will it be a winner?”

  1. All this brings to my mind a few quotes from the Irish, who are world experts at being disappointed by disappointing “leaders.”…….

    “If you’re not confused, you don’t understand the situation:


    “In Ireland we have no present, and no future. Just the past happening over and over again.

    • Myself being as Irish as one could be, I offer a Guinness to you my friend in thought and a toast to our fellow site members and hopefully so too of the same measure…

      “May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm on your face, may the rains fall soft upon your fields, and, until we meet again …may God hold you softly in the palm of His hand.” …- Old Irish Blessing

      Carl Nemo **==

      • Thank you sir, and a fair pint raised to you as well. Youth allows one to come staggering out of a pub with the usual variations on the blessings..” May the road rise up to meet your face” etc. Stout I never cottoned to, but at the time they brewed Carling Black Label in Cork, and it was a fine beer. Most folks weren’t all that keen on lager, preferring stout or ale.

        Now that I think of it, President Pinocchio might draw upon Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” for an appropriate slogan! As Huey Long said in a speech during the Depression, like Evangeline you wait for your jobs, your roads, your schools…and you wait in vain.

        • Retiring in the Pacific Northwest, USA, the home of zillions of micro-breweries in a region for growing fine hops, I’ve become a bitter beer fanatic regardless of the brewing style. Hops and I are one. 😀 I guess in my twilight years I’ve become a hophead attributing why I loathe sweets as well as mild U.S. “wimp” beers. Bitter is better…no? Maybe not.

          Interestingly a Chinese precept of holisitc medicine is the “bitter principle”. Eating foods that are bitter to the taste or concoctions thereof seem to enhance the immune system giving folks a legup during flu season.

          Carl Nemo **==

  2. Hmmm…”Winning the Future” juxtaposed against another euphemism “Change we can believe in”…?

    How in the hell can you ‘win the future’. The future is not ours to be had even if we try our best at creating it. No one knows the future, not even from a few minutes ahead to hours, days, weeks and years.

    All we do know is that trends have intertia; ie., as bodies in motion as well as ideas either good or bad will continue on their path or stay in place unless acted upon an outside force.

    Future constructs can be created from our present actions. Everything coming out of this administration to date has been bad for the Republic, the Constitution and our way of life thus creating our present hellish paradigm. So this President along with his advisers have created a construct with a strong trend and for any change to occur they would have to back off on everything they’ve put in place to date and simply state “we were wrong in doing so”. Of course this wouldn’t include any damage control or remediation as a function of what has already been done. To hear him say…’We’ve screwed up bigtime and now see the light’, but he won’t. Instead he’ll spout “Winning the Future” all the while screwing us over 24/7/365 has he and his coterie of advisers, Czars and other hangers on have done to date creating an even more dismal future much less ‘winning it’…?!

    I guess we need to say thankyou Sir. Your brilliant “silver-tongued” oratory makes the pain less so. / : |


    “The best-laid plans of mice and men…Often go awry” …extract from a Scots poem, Robert Burns 1785


    Carl Nemo **==

    • “Whatever deceives men seems to produce a magical enchantment.” – Plato

      “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” – HL Mencken

      “If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.” – HL Mencken

      How about putting all of His slogans into one almighty and all-encompassing phrase…I hope we can win in the future by making you believe we represent change.

  3. Hey I have an even better one…Back to the Future.

    That is to say, back to our roots, what built this country. Free markets, self-determination, personal liberty, humble foreign policy, sound money.

    • These confirmed globalist shills wouldn’t have a clue as to what you are suggesting Griff. You talk of quaint ideas; days gone by for the Republic, the stuff you read about in history books and founders essays and letters.

      These traitors are full of themselves and drunk on power not only now, but that which is to come if they pull off their “New World Order” scam. They’re also living large on our dime and seemingly short time for our failing Republic. In time, I smell in our face dictatorship as the order of they day while ‘dear leaders’ such as this one lull us into evermore deep complacency with their empty oratory.

      Carl Nemo **==

  4. I’ve been hanging back so long that pronouncements is a tired family of stink weed and thistle meant for crawling indigenous peoples.
    While we cruise in in a Mercury ?

    Is that with the top down on your sunny day ?
    Mr. President, oh rid of Rahm, Justice, the Lady with the boobs is calling.

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