Colin Delany May 9, 2008

Republican Social Media Site Tries to Turn “Yes We Can” Back on Obama

Cross-posted on techPresident

Interesting new GOP anti-Obama site, via the The Caucus: CanWeAsk.com mixes social media techniques and video to try to undermine Obama’s credibility. The social media approach is the most interesting part of the site, since it’s soliciting text and video questions for the now-presumed nominee (The Caucus correctly notes that the very existence of the site helps to cement the impression that Obama has crossed the finish line). Participants can upload text questions directly to the site, but the video submission process requests YouTube links instead (free product placement!). The site also has a Donate link and a list of unfavorable GOP news articles about Obama.

To me, the video is the weakest part of the presentation, since it shows Barack in still images that are surely intended to paint him in a bad light, but except for the first one (in which his furrowed brow almost suggests devil horns), to me they actually generally make him look serious and sincere (he’s on-screen throughout the whole clip). The video also uses standard negative-ad “concerned” music, and tries to turn an Obama crowd’s “Yes We Can” chant into an affirmation of our right to ask the candidate tough questions, but in the end it actually just reminds me of the guy’s own message. I have to say, this clip feels like a backfire-in-progress. See what you think:

Update: While I was editing this piece, I let the video run in the background, where I could hear it but not see it, and it felt more effective that way. Still, every time the chant of “Yes We Can” came along, it still seemed to undermine the overall feeling of negativity. Maybe it’s just me.

cpd

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