This Issue | Editorial | Feature | E-mail
President Obama and the Rebranding of America

By Paul N. Tennassee

Guyana Journal, April 2009

The rebranding of the USA begun when Barack Obama won the nomination of the Democratic Party. His inauguration as President ensured that the leadership of the Democratic Party could advance the strategy to redefine America at home and abroad. President Obama's policies, both internally and externally, clearly show that he is leading the US government in that direction.

His Presidency has opened a debate and controversy within and outside the African American community as to whether his presence in the White House has situated race relations in a post racial America. Beyond the race issue is the class issue. The speech he gave at John Kerry's convention advanced the thesis of one America beyond class, race, gender, nationalities and parties. During the campaign, he advocated for universal health care, a new energy policy and education. In spite of the bailouts he supported, during the campaign and since he has been in the White House, he continues to insist that he will advance that agenda. Internationally, he has taken a number of initiatives. He closed Guantanamo; indicated that troops will return from Iraq within the timeframe he outlined during the campaign; and will focus on Afghanistan and Al Qaeda. He returned to tradition and visited Canada first. He is now in Europe and had successful meetings at the G20 and Europe as a whole. He will be at the Summit of the Americas in late April where there are great expectations for the redefinition of the US Foreign Policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean.

The USA is reaping big dividends in the international community with Obama's intelligence, ethnicity, policies, speeches, communication skills, charisma, youth and popularity. There is no doubt that President Obama is successfully rebranding the USA at home and abroad.

The decisive factor that will determine continuous success in the rebranding process will depend on whether President Obama's stimulus package will reach working families in Main Street or remain only within the reach of the captains of the financial sector on Wall Street. Bank of America has arbitrarily informed credit card holders that their interest rates have been raised. Tax payers money was used to bail out banks and now they are raising interest rates on consumers. Under these kind of circumstances consumer demand will continue to diminish and the economy will continue to contract. When will oversight of the banks become effective? In March 2009, unemployment reached 8.5 %. The hemorrhaging of jobs has to stop or physical and /or electronic barricades will go up. The work force will be replaced by the street force. The President is optimistic.

Paul N. Tennassee
Washington DC
April 9, 2009