Obama's New Slogan: Is 'Forward' the Best We Can Do?

It might be hard for the Obama re-election team to beat "Hope and Change"

The Republican National Convention may be selling bumper stickers that take a jab at Barack Obama’s 2008 bid for the oval office -- Obama: Hype and Blame -- but it didn’t take long for this election season’s opposition to begin mocking the president’s newest campaign slogan. Introduced in a video under the same name earlier this month, the Democratic rally call, “Forward,” is hardly the “Hope and Change” he had to work with four years ago.

Within the week Michele Bachmann was echoing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s “forward over the cliff” remarks -- those he’d made to campaign donors just after the new slogan hit the airwaves -- and American Crossroads, the organization behind the ad that questioned Obama’s celebrity status last month, had released a rebuttal video titled, “Backwards.”

After citing increases in the number of families on food stamps and those struggling with joblessness, the narrator of that ad says, "The only thing moving forward under Barack Obama -- our national debt, up $5 trillion.”

The slogan unveiling does come as a surprise. At a time when the president is struggling to engage the country’s youngest voters -- those who often vote with liberals, but require a little excitement to get to the polls -- the lackluster tagline could pose as one more hurdle leading into November’s general election.

Young voters helped President Obama win the White House in 2008, but when their enthusiasm waned during midterm elections, Republicans were able to make up lost ground in the legislature. Unless the president is able to kick up the excitement a notch in the next few months they may fail to turn out again -- something that could spell victory for Mitt Romney.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on whose side you’re on), a slogan that conjures images of mindless “sheeple” trudging onward, one that smacks of “Stay the Course,” even when the course isn’t working, certainly isn’t revving any political engines.

Diana Prichard is a red-leaning freelance writer who lives and works in a blue state. She authors Cultivating the Art of Sustenance and contributes regular commentary to BlogHer and The Broad Side. Follow her on Twitter: @diana_prichard.

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