Will Obama Follow in Clinton’s Footsteps to Gain a Second Term?

New Book, Yes We Can: Obama and Clinton Walk the Talk (How Communication and Performance Win Elections) Examines the Possibilities

Bethesda, Maryland – Trinidad-born husband and wife authors, Elliot Bastien and Sandra Bernard-Bastien, teamed up with son, H. Michael Bastien, to produce the book Yes We Can: Obama and Clinton Walk the Talk (How Communication and Performance Win Elections).

“We felt that an analysis of the similarities in their backgrounds and their communication approaches would inform what the future may hold for President Obama in the upcoming elections”, says Sandra Bernard-Bastien, one of the co-authors.

The soon-to-be released book, published by Arrow Publications, will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBookstore.

Yes We Can: Obama and Clinton Walk the Talk gives brief biographies of the two presidents, with a remarkable section on their uncanny similarities – left-handed; born in the same month; given the same names as their fathers at birth; brought up by their maternal grandparents, with little or no contact with their fathers, who both died in car accidents; taught law at university. The list goes on and on.

The early section of the book analyzes the speeches of Presidents Obama and Clinton using some of the techniques of rhetorical theory, but expressed in non-academic language. Here again there is some similarity in technique with both orators displaying their “debt to the soaring oratory of Dr. Martin Luther King.”

The reader will discover how extremely well-crafted these speeches are. They illustrate the power of repetition and utilize techniques dating back to the ancient Greeks – pathos in appealing to the emotions of the audience, logos in presenting a logical appeal to the intellect of the audience, and ethos in demonstrating the credibility and authority of the speaker.

Communication specialist, author Sandra Bernard-Bastien admits that, “When I wrote my master’s thesis on the subject of rhetorical theory I never imagined that it would be the start of a journey that would eventually lead to this book.”

US First Lady Michelle Obama with author, Sandra Bernard-Bastien at an October, 2011, event in Ft. Lauderdale.

This section also discusses, from the perspective of psychology, the power of repetition in communication, and President Obama’s use of the internet and the new social media. This early section also discusses, from the perspective of psychology, the power of repetition in communication, and President Obama’s use of the internet and the new social media.

As a psychologist and information systems expert, H. Michael Bastien, has strong feelings about the reasons for the outcome of the 2008 election: “Despite President Obama’s immense rhetorical skills, which have a basis in the psychology of communication, it was his skillful use of the internet and the new social media that won him the election.”

The later section of the book features a discussion of the accomplishments of the presidents while in office, with more space devoted to President Obama for obvious reasons of topicality. Obama’s achievements include the passage of universal healthcare, the rescue of the US auto industry, the financial regulation reform, the repair of America’s image abroad, the capture of Osama bin Laden and the end of the war in Iraq. These achievements notwithstanding, the Democrats have a serious communication challenge, as one of the authors, Elliot Bastien, notes: “After researching President Obama’s accomplishments I realized just how much he has actually done in three years. Do most Americans know this? No. But Europeans do, and as a result, the American president’s approval rating is much higher in Europe than in his own country. This is because European news reporting is less biased than the American media. If you watch Fox News, for example, you will be convinced that President Obama’s every decision so far has been wrong.”

The three authors of the book, who have between them nine other published books, bring distinct disciplines that are ideally suited to the subject of the book. Sandra Bernard-Bastien with an English first degree went on to earn a Masters in Communication. Husband, Elliot, a management scientist, was a former corporate economist. And his son, H. Michael Bastien, a psychologist, has a Masters in Information Systems. They all have had connections with the subjects of their book, Sandra and Elliot as fund raisers for President Obama, and H. Michael, in participating as a supporter and volunteer in Obama’s first campaign. H. Michael Bastien also attended Sidwell Friends, the same school in Washington D.C as the daughters of Presidents Obama and Clinton.

H.Michael Bastien with President Clinton at a Congressional Black Caucus event in Washington, D.C in November 1998.

The authors are at present completing the manuscript for a book that celebrates a half century of independence of their native country entitled, World-Class Trinidad & Tobago: Commemorating 50 Years of Independence.

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