A Metaphor for Obama

As Barack Obama begins his second presidential term, he needs a simple way to express his vision and policies for the US economy – a metaphor around which support for his policies might crystallize, thereby boosting his administration’s political effectiveness. So, what makes a successful metaphor work?

NEW HAVEN – As US President Barack Obama begins his second term, he needs a simple way to express his vision and policies for the economy – a metaphor around which support for his policies might crystallize, thereby boosting his administration’s political effectiveness. So, what makes a successful metaphor work?

The 2008 Obama campaign used the slogan “Change we can believe in.” But “change” is not a metaphor for a new government: it does not stand for any policies. Nor does “Hope” or “Yes we can!”

The 2012 Obama campaign used the one-word slogan “Forward!” Once again, it signifies nothing about policies or their underlying philosophy. Every politician, whether liberal or conservative, wants to move forward, not backward.

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