Barack Obama’s promises – all an illusion?

28 Jun

How is Barack Obama presented by the media in Germany and America? What do they think of him and his policy? These are the questions I want to find an answer to today.

Overall, my first impression was that German and American online newspapers report on Obama very positively, but still critically. The website of the Sueddeutsche, a German newspaper, has published a very critical and sceptical article about Obama’s policy. They call him “inapproachable” concerning his behaviour towards other countries, especially Europe, and develop the opinion that Obama doesn’t try to improve relationships to other nations. Furthermore, they think he is cold and calculating when it comes to communication with other states. A soujourner is Barack Obama, they say – someone who is never really coming home, but always a guest for a while.

On the other hand, German media also caught the euphoria during and before the elections. Additionally, the voices of Obama’s opponent’s where also captured. The German media was adopting the words “Yes, we can” of Obama’s election campaigning and transported a positive feeling towards Obama. They showed that also the Germans had high hopes and expectations they lied in this new president. His idea of change and his references to the American Dream made the German media dream of a new beginning after the era of Bush. The American newspapers also said, a “racial barrier” fell when Obama was elected president.

How is Obama presented by the media?

Of course, also negative voices were captured. The opponents of Obama were demonstrating against him. These demonstrations were not ignored by the media. All in all, the atmosphere during the election campaigns was perfectly conveyed to the German population. A part of the American media was also reporting on Obama’s weaknesses. The conservative Fox News are obviously corrupting Obama’s ideas and his policy. For example, he is called frustrated. The reader doesn’t often have to read between the lines to recognize what opinion the Fox News reporters have.

As a first conclusion, I would say, that Obama was presented as a bringer of change and hope during the elections. But after time has passed and he has been in the office for a while, more critical voices are heard. The people who had an image of a perfect president and a new, fresh and changing policy have been disillusioned. In my opinion, it would have been helpful to realize that Obama is also human and that he also has weaknesses. Moreover, it is not possible to regulate a policy that is enjoyed and supported by everyone. A topic always has to be considered from all aspects. Consequently, Obama and his policy might not have fulfilled all hopes, but I think he is at least trying to.

To have something to laugh at the end: I found a very funny video on youtube that compares Obama and Bush. Just watch it and think about it:


Success often leads to imitation

27 Jun

In this blog post, we want to summarize what we found out about Obama and Merkel and how they present themselves in the internet. In our next blog posts, we want to answer the question whether they really drop pants for popularity. Furthermore, we want to consider if Angela Merkel followed Barack Obama’s example and used the internet for her election campaign. So the question is: Did Angie learn from Obama?

We think that conservative parties in both countries reveal less inforamtion about their private lives, but focus on political issues. This can be asrcibed to the character of their parties which only focus on the topics and not on the presentation of their ideas – they are less interested in that kind of modern methods. Their ideas should persuade people without using these means.

Liberal parties are more open-minded and make use of the internet to spread their ideas and party programs. They keep in mind what the voters expect and reorient to the zeitgeist of the newest generation.

In general, it can be stated that American politicians sometimes act like celebrties and are treated like popstars.

Angela Merkel and John McCain seem to imitate Obama’s success in the internet, but they do not have the same charme and character as Obama has. After all, he seems to be the leading person in “merchandizing” his purposes and convincing people by using that strategy.

Charming dancers in America!

24 Jun

Nice to know that there are as many websites where Angela Merkel presents herself. Me too, I didn’t know that she is even running a profile in a social network. Well then, let’s see what we are going to find out about Barack Obama’s presence in the internet. Before I start, I am sure about one thing:  there will be much stuff to get through!

First of all, I found out that Barack Obama has written an autobiography which firstly was published in 1995, but was re-publicated in August 2004. It is called “Dreams from my father – A story of race and inheritance” and principally is about his intricate life without a father and relates different racial experiences he has made. Receptions say it is a very “intimate” and “evocative” book. Here you can read a nice summary and reception of it.

Of course, I was interested if Angela Merkel has also written an autobiography – she has not. There are some books about her, but all of them are written by different authors.

In a blog about Online Marketing I have read a very interesting article by Pablo Palatnik with the very appropriate title: “Obama Web 2.0 Strategy Brought Politics 2.0 to Life. An Online Marketing Presidential Strategy.” Palatnik says:

“Obama not only created a campaign online, what he created, essentially, was movement of the masses.

How true if we sight how many people are in contact with Obama on his accounts in MySpace, twitter, youtube and facebook.

On facebook, there are 9.079.346 persons that are linked to Barack Obamas account and the number grows from day to day. To compare, on Angela Mekel’s facebook account there are sparse 36.578 linked persons.

Another interesting aspect is, that even Michelle Obama exhibits a big presence in the internet. On her facebook account there are actually 1.312.198 persons who follow her website! Here you see a picture from may 2010 that Michelle Obama has in her Photo album on facebook. To my mind the Obama’s seem to be  very personal and touchable which is very impressive.

Maybe I should tell them about that and send a comment to the Obama’s by making use of  The White House blog. There it says that one can send

“questions, comments, concerns, or well-wishes to the President or his staff”. Very nice!

John McCain, Obamas opponent in the election of 2008 and the actual senator of Arizona, followed suit: he is also running the same profiles as Obama and  administrates an own blog. There you can read, of course among other things, his biography and watch his latest youtube vidoes. Most of them have a political content, but one video striked me – Jay Leno, a famous American stand-up comedian and television host, asked McCain ten funny questions. You can see it here. I have to confess that John McCain seems personable (even when his answers are not as spontaneous as he pretends) but nevertheless to my mind he is not comparable to Obama!

To end with a cherry on the cake – here I found a funny and charming video on youtube about Michelle and Barrack Obama!

So, to ask a bit ambiguous: what do YOU think who is ultimately the best performer?

Smiling faces in Germany?

22 Jun

Today, I was really surprised when I started the research for our first blog entry. I want to answer the question: How does Angela Merkel present herself in the media – especially focussing on the internet?

Before I looked for information in the internet, I thought Angela Merkel would not be that present because I have never heard of her having a website. But when I tiped in her name at google I found quiet astonishing results! She has actually a website, is on facebook, youtube, a German social network and she is present on a special blog of her party, the CDU. This blog was originally intenting to support Angela Merkel and her party during the elections of 2009 – look here. But the people behind the website want to keep on supporting Angela Merkel after the elections. And in addition to that, the government also provides a website where everyone can read information about her.

On her facebook-profile, the users are leveling criticism at Angela Merkel:

Sie sind ein versager in der Politik

It seems that she is not that popular and that her profile is not only visited by fans.

For the elections on 27th september 2009, Angela Merkel wanted to convince voters to vote for her party. In order to achieve that, a video was linked on her youtube-channel.

She appears to be very serious, calm and especially anxious to say the right words – I think, she learnt her speech by hard or read it from a paper while the video was being shooted. I don’t believe that this video actually motivates young people to go voting because she presents herself as a stiff and humorless person. I am not saying she has to smile all the time and pretend she is funny and up to date, but I would appreciate German politicians to be a little bit more loose and to present their political aims more enthusiastically. She just does not appeal to a lot of younger voters, I think.

On her own website, there is a column that is called “Angela Merkel privat”. She talks about her hobbies – to promenade, to cook and to do gardening. She likes classic music, likes to hike in the Alps and wants to drive from Moscow to Vladivostok with the trans-siberian railway. With these facts, she tries to open up to the voters who want to get to know her, but it still seems to be forced on her. The website of the government reveals more information about her – you can find out what name her husband has 😉

Her opponent Frank-Walter Steinmeier during elections 2009, goes a bit further. He talks about his wife, his daughter and how he watches movies with his daughter in the cinema.

On Angela Merkel’s website, interested users can fill in a form to get in contact with her, and on Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s website, it is even possible to email him.

Now, I am interested what Ina finds out about American politicians, especially Barack Obama!

Stay tuned to our blog 🙂

Hello blogosphere!

16 Jun

Welcome to our blog – the first project we develop together! This semester we attend a course called “Did Angie learn from Obama? Comparative Analysis of German and American Elections” which inspired us to create this blog.

We want to talk about German and American politicians in the media. In our blog posts, we are going to compare German and American politicians and  contrast how they present themselves and how they are presented by the media.

Our first impression of American media was that they tend to reveal private information about American politicians – which does not mean that they hide their private lifes. It seems that dropping pants – to open up to the public – guarentees popularity. This is why we called our blog “Drop pants for popularity?”.

So now it’s up to you: We want to test your knowledge about the American president and the German chancellor. A little hint, it’s a question about their private lifes.