(WASHINGTON) — The man who made “Change we can believe in” and “Yes, we can” hallmarks of the 2008 presidential race is still searching for a catchy phrase to define his next campaign.
“We’re still working on it,” President Obama told ABC News’ Barbara Walters when asked about his slogan in an exclusive pre-Christmas interview.
“I think that’s a great question,” Obama said, grinning. “If those middle-schoolers have any suggestions, let me know.”
Walters’ question had been written by a young American student and Obama admirer.
While no official selection has been made 313 days before the election, Obama’s campaign team has been testing a mix of pithy phrases meant to reflect the president’s accomplishments and vision for the future – all while deflecting attention from the lagging economy and some of the promises from 2008 that didn’t quite get fulfilled.
In a slew of recent speeches, Obama has tried to frame his actions in office as a path for America to “win the future.” He’s trumpeted his political philosophy as the one that ensures all Americans are “getting a fair shot.” He’s exhorted supporters and opponents alike to be “greater together,” and reminded his audiences of “what change is.”
Earlier this year, Obama coined a preliminary campaign slogan — “We Can’t Wait” — to reflect his agenda in office and on the campaign trail.
The battle cry has been meant to portray Obama as a decisive and active executive in the face of a recalcitrant Republican Party. It also appears on campaign T-shirts, bumper stickers and buttons for sale on the Obama for America campaign website.
Still, most of the 116 items listed in the Obama-Biden store, from martini glasses to can coozies, cufflinks and coolers, are adorned only with “Obama 2012” — one sign the Obama catchphrase for 2012 is still a work in progress.
Obama campaign aides have confidently shrugged off the scrutiny of their slogan — or lack thereof — noting that in 2008 they rotated several phrases, each meant to capitalize on the spirit of the political moment.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Scott Stuntz , Teton Valley News
Jeremy Diamond and Stephen Collinson, CNN Newswire