Because what’s more important than a president that’s “cool”?
Barack Obama had all the 2008 cool.
Now he’s trying to get at least some of it back.
A video of Hollywood A-listers singing a Will.i.am song about him, a Shepard Fairey painting with “HOPE” beaming in bold letters beneath his face, constant buzz on social media — the Obama cultural phenomenon four years ago lit up the youth vote like no campaign before. So as the president gears up for a reelection run that’s going to struggle with independents and moderates, his team is looking to revive the cool appeal — and reignite the young voters who’ve strayed.
Last Tuesday’s pre-Fashion Week fundraiser was an early strike at recapturing the magic. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and actress Scarlett Johansson cohosted the event at Theory, a trendy clothing store in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, hawking pro-Obama T-shirts, scarves and tote bags designed by Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch and Beyoncé Knowles with a runway show for a well-dressed crowd.
Johansson and Wintour both fundraised and campaigned for Obama four years ago, and Jacobs, Burch and Knowles all designed gear sold as part of that year’s Runway to Change. This year’s Runway to Win, Johansson told reporters at the event, is geared to “reintroduce that kind of cool factor to the reelection.”
The Obama 2008 campaign logo, a trendy graphic design ‘O’ rising over a red-and-white striped field, is back again this year with updates. It’s been modernized with matte colors replacing the glossy and more varied shades of red, white and blue. On BarackObama.com, the 2008 color palette and design has become more sophisticated, with bright blue replaced by navy blue, baby blue and white.
The changes, said Obama 2008 design director of new media Scott Thomas, are meant to allude to the cool while introducing the notion that Obama is now “more distinguished and more experienced” than he was four years ago.