Barack Obama, Sarah Palin and Branding Health Care | Bruce Turkel

If the American population makes up the greatest marketplace in the world then the race for the office of president of the United States is the greatest consumer campaign in the world.
BMW, “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” uses four words to promote their brand. Wal-Mart, Nike and GE use three. Barack Obama used two – “Hope” and “Change” and defined a positioning that swept him into the White House.

So what happened to his health care initiative? Quite simply Obama forgot the lesson of his election and didn’t define the issue. Instead he turned into a John Kerry/Al Gore lookalike, painstakingly presenting his case to an increasingly uninterested public.

Sarah Palin, not even in office at the time, took the strategic upper hand and defined the health care issue with just five words: “Pulling the plug on grandma.” That was all it took to derail health care. And no one even cared that her comments were largely inaccurate.

Obama became the most powerful man in the world by defining the election issue with two words. And then he turned his back on the lesson of his election and lost his signature cause by not defining the health care issue, leaving a vacuum for Palin’s five words to infiltrate. And on Facebook no less!

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