December 3, 2009

What on Earth is Obama Doing?

As a marketing professional, I stress Expectations Management as one of the most vital tools in a company's communications arsenal. And strictly from this standpoint, Barack Obama is committing suicide. He ran on a peace platform, and promised to quickly end the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. So, that is exactly what we all expected him to do upon reaching office. So, when he gives a speech like he did the other night about increasing the troop count in Afghanistan by 30,000 and prolonging this war, we're simply left scratching our heads saying, "Really???" For those who voted for Obama primarily on his anti-war rhetoric, they feel cheated. For those who voted against Obama because they want to "win" both these wars, they're just confused. They're not cheering his turn toward their cause. They just think he's a whack-job for flip-flopping. From a pragmatic, objectivist standpoint, we should be glad that this man took the time he did to thoughtfully think through both the short- and long-term consequences of our actions, regardless of his final decision. From a marketing standpoint, he's hanging himself. (Tomorrow, we will continue this discussion with a guest post by Jarrett Harris. If you would like to contribute a post to this forum on any subject in order to spur debate, please e-mail it to me.)