Suspending Disbelief

Obama and the Role of Emotions in Political Communication
  • Oliver Escobar


By January 2009, Barack Obama had become the most popular leader in the world, restoring the USA's global image and crystallising a wave of European fascination that remains unchanged (Pew Research Center 2009; Harris 2009a 2009b; Transatlantic Trends 2008; 2009). Two years earlier, he was virtually unknown in his own country, let alone Europe. How did the Obama phenomenon flourish in an era of political cynicism? How can we interpret Obama's success in terms of communication and emotional appeal? In order to suggest some answers, I have studied audiovisual materials up to January 2009 – many of which can be accessed by following the links provided – and drawn on crossdisciplinary literature to flesh out my interpretation of the findings from a smallscale qualitative research project.1


Research Participant Political Communication Facial Display Emotional Appeal Grassroots Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2011

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  • Oliver Escobar

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