- Barack Obama has moved on from his 2008 ‘hope and change’ campaign with the message that there is still more work to do going forward
- Motto has strong similarities to MSNBC’s slogan: ‘Lean Forward’
- Critics also point to Chinese Communist leader Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward
- The announcement comes before the president’s re-election rallies in Ohio and Virginia this weekend
PUBLISHED: 09:42 EST, 30 April 2012 | UPDATED: 13:28 EST, 30 April 2012
He is no stranger to accusations of being a Communist.
And Barack Obama did himself no favours today unveiling a new campaign slogan that critics say has unfortunate similarities to ones used by Chairman Mao and other Communists.
The President released his new slogan ‘Forward’ in a triumphant seven-minute campaign video.
But long-time critics of the President such as Breitbart have pointed out the similarities to Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward campaign of forced collectivisation and industrialisation – which resulted in the deaths of millions.
‘Spring Forward’ was also a slogan used by Vladimir Lenin in Communist Russia.
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Forward: Critics point out the unfortunate similarities between Barack Obama’s new slogan and Chinese Leader Chairman Mao’s, right, Great Leap Forward campaign of forced industrialisation
A FORWARD THINKING MOTTO?
Commentators have been quick to point out that Obama’s new motto seems to be borrowed from MSNBC’s ‘Lean Forward’ slogan.
But a fair few have thought of using ‘Forward’ in their marketing campaigns before, including Chairman Mao Zedong, pictured above.
The leader of the Chinese Revolution launched his ‘Great Leap Forward’ campaign in 1958.
In it, he aimed to create a communist society through collectivization and industrialization.
The disastrous campaign resulted in the deaths of millions of civilians and is known to be one of the most deadly of mass killing in history. The campaign also witnessed economic regression.
Other companies that have chosen ‘Forward’ include: Metro, who opted for ‘Forward: a better ride for you’, The Jewish Daily ‘Forward’ newspaper, and Focus Forward – a short film company.
Festival organizers in Washington DC chose the name Forward for their five-day music, art and media event.
Obama’s re-election team today unveiled the new motto in the video that compares the President’s record on jobs to the preceding years of the financial crisis and trumpets his record.
The film cites landmarks of Mr Obama’s Presidency such as the auto industry bail-out, Osama Bin Laden’s death and the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in the military.
But observers have pointed out that the new slogan bears strong similarities to MSNBC’s ‘Lean Forward’ as Obama ditches his successful 2008 motto – ‘Hope and Change’.
The video that unveiled the slogan tries to make the case for Obama’s re-election in 2012 by saying there is still more work to do going forward.
The video begins in black and white with sombre music and depicts the year 2008.
It shows queues of people searching for jobs and uses graphs to highlight declining employment rates that Obama faced when he entered the White House.
News reporters detailing the bleak economic outlook are heard saying snippets such as, ‘worse financial collapse since the Great Depression’ and ‘economic disaster.’
The video suddenly changes to colour when it shows Obama addressing his supporters in 2009 before rattling through his achievements since taking office.
With images of everyday Americans going about their working lives, the video recalls the auto industry rescue, credit card and Wall Street reforms, healthcare reform, student loan reform, green energy investments, lower taxes for the middle class, equal pay for women and a repeal of the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ law that banned gays from serving openly in the military make up.
In a move sure to anger the president’s critics and opponents the video then focuses on ‘the victory no one saw coming’ – the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2 last year.
The campaign also uses the video to target congressional Republicans, saying Obama had to overcome GOP obstruction on Capitol Hill in order to pass legislation.
‘Instead of working together to lift America up, Republicans were waging a campaign to tear the president down,’ the narrator says over changing images of congressional Republicans.
However, Republicans have turned the ‘Forward’ motto on its head with the Republican National Committee creating the trending Twitter hashtag #Foward.
They have used the hashtag to tweet: ‘Under Obama’s budget, Americans can look #FORWARD to $1.9 trillion in higher taxes.’
The campaign says the video will be played for supporters attending the president’s first re-election rallies Saturday in Ohio and Virginia.
Watch video here