Greensboro News & Record: Brand Democrat, Me, And Obama

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Columnist Ed Cone explains in the Greensboro News & Record how I saved the Democratic party and created Barack Obama. Well, not exactly, but he has a good column on the GOP's "brand" woes and features me heavily.

In 2004, blogger Oliver Willis launched a viral marketing campaign called "Brand Democrat." The idea was to frame the values of the Democratic Party with a series of online banners -- simple messages in black text on a white background above a red, white and blue silhouette of a donkey. One ad contained a list of accomplishments, including Social Security and Medicare, and closed with the line, "We're just getting warmed up." Others were devoted to single issues: "Call us crazy, but we think sick kids should have health care." "What happens in your bedroom, stays in your bedroom. It's just none of our business." "Torture? We've always been against it. We still are."

It turns out that Willis was ahead of the game. Flash forward to 2008, and the brand value of political parties is a hot topic. What's more, Brand Democrat is looking pretty strong. It has a dynamic new spokesman in Barack Obama, and for the first time in a generation the Democratic Party can claim to be the party of ideas.