Say there’s a website called “Attack Watch” – what comes to mind immediately? Do you think it’s:
(A) The latest in a Tom Clancy-sponsored series of video games;
(B) A news-oriented website that follows terrorism developments;
(C) The latest in wrist-adorned self-defense gear; or
(D) A political candidate’s website that rebuts opponents’ claims?
Before you answer, we’ll give you a quick clue… if you visit the website in question, you can sign up for “Attack Wire” to receive its latest updates.
Now you’re probably thinking, “hmmm, with names like this, the site sounds intense… but what’s it for?” Well, you’re forgiven if you have no idea what Attack Watch is all about.
The correct answer is D, the site belongs to President Obama’s re-election campaign. And boy did they go overboard on this one.
In political PR, rebutting campaign critics and false accusations is a constant 24/7 task, leading all the way from the official campaign launch to election day. And certainly, the Obama campaign had its hands full in 2008, having to withstand attacks on his citizenship, racist charges, and absurd distortion of his own statements. That’s why they wisely set up “Fight the Smears” as a fact-checking operation to ensure such claims were addressed on the Obama campaign’s own terms.
But fast-forward to the 2012 campaign, and gone is the friendly theme of the 2008 campaign, replaced with stark black and red screaming at you. Instead of alluding to Obama’s 2008 theme of hope, this new site leans more toward paranoia and obsession. Not exactly the kind of inspiring vision you want, particularly for the presidency.