Culture

Across the Tumblrverse: On Obama for America, Every GIF Counts

Culture

Across the Tumblrverse: On Obama for America, Every GIF Counts

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The other night I had a dream that Obama lost to Romney and I was forced to move back to Canada. My unconscious hasn’t wailed so hard since late 2008, when I lost my then live-in boyfriend, and first love and lover, in a nuclear war. It was late 2008 and Obama had just been elected. What else did I have to worry about?

It’s July 2012 now, and Barack Obama’s reelection campaign is well under way. It’s not the symbolic campaign of four years ago. Change is hard, especially in a country as politically fractured as this. Both his overly optimistic early supporters and conservative opponents have been hard on Barack, damning the man for not enough change, and too much. This campaign around, it’s less about the man and more about the issues: health care, women’s rights, education, American manufacturing, and the economy.

One thing that hasn’t changed from elect to re-elect is the Obama team’s excellent use of social media. After winning in 2008, Obama was dubbed the first Social Media President, for his pioneering use of digital technologies to reach young voters. Obama’s on Facebook. He’s on Twitter. He has his own Youtube channel, Webstagram page, and Spotify feed (“Michelle’s Workout Mix” features Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae, Michael Jackson, and Beyonce, fyi). Team Barack also just launched Dashboard, a new organizing app for local campaign initiatives.

Barack Obama’s social media campaigning, especially his e-mail service, is so persistent, it prompted Jon Stewart to make a gentle call out for the President to “stop,” or at least stop using the language standards of the media’s other users; his e-mail subject lines are often as simple as “hey.”  The first message I received from “Barack Obama” told me: Fiona, “I’ve got you” (yes, please) and was signed, “Thanks, for everything. Barack.”

Barack Obama’s Tumblr, effectively employing the media at hand, as usual, is a regular feed of original, reblogged, and reader contributed content; photographs, quotes, infographics and links. There’s a good deal of retumbling of Think Progress (Fight Back Against the Far Right). These days, you’ll see photos from Obama’s campaign bus tour. Down the feed, there’s a cluster of personal stories on why “Obama Care matters to me.” Pride week saw a couple rainbow Obama portraits and several LGBT for Obama posts. True to form, Obama’s Tumblr even manages to connect to Internet trends like nail art and cats. My favorite post, from Father’s Day, shows Obama years ago, holding one of his daughters, and wearing man sandals.

My dreams are often premonitory. The cat may be on the blog but this election is not in the bag. Obama for America is this week’s pick for Across the Tumblrverse because, well, it’s the least I can do. How does it go… Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box, They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe… Nothing’s gonna change my world. Follow the links on Barack Obama’s tumblr and register to vote today.