Barack Obama: Our 1st Meme President

Another way he's made history: becoming the first in the White House to routinely go viral.

Shepard Fairey

Can images go viral in hard copy? If so, this one did it. Created by Shepard Fairey, the red, white and blue artwork instantly came to symbolize Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. One observer declared that it “acquired the kind of instant recognition of Jim Fitzpatrick’s Che Guevara poster, and is surely set to grace T-shirts, coffee mugs and the walls of student bedrooms in the years to come.”


Ask Me Anything

White House

President Obama made no secret about his motivation for taking to Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet,” for one of its signature “Ask Me Anything” Q&A sessions. “I’m checking in because polls will start closing in this election in just a few hours, and I need you to vote,” he said. In 30 minutes the POTUS answered hundreds of questions, and the surge in traffic temporarily locked out users. As a result, the online campaign stop got some unexpected publicity when an image of the president in front of the computer as he conducted the chat got the meme treatment. The text: “My AMA brought down Reddit. Deal with it!”


Slow Jamming the News


The president finished this number with an enthusiastic, “Oh yeah,” which is probably also what he said about the chance to pitch his plan for Stafford Loan interest rates to a late-night audience when he appeared in Jimmy Fallon’s signature segment. Supporters couldn’t wait to share it. Maybe all his speeches should be backed up by the Roots?