Latest BuzzFeed Listicle Contributor: President Obama

Presidential candidates typically employ lists in three ways: 1. during stump speeches; 2. during debates; 3. during press interviews. Obama adds a fourth: in a political ad on BuzzFeed.

Latest BuzzFeed Listicle Contributor: President Obama

Our presidential candidates’ fondness for numbering their points during debates makes them sound like talking listicles. But the Obama campaign is the first to place one of those listicle-style presentations in its native environment: BuzzFeed.


Meet BuzzFeed’s first paid political content: “4 Ways President Obama Will Strengthen The Middle Class.”

It was only a matter of time.

The content underneath the listicle title is a commercial made for television. But the title is all BuzzFeed, and it’s similar to how candidates have actually explained their positions. Candidates talk like BuzzFeed writes.

Here’s how Obama put his position on Israel during the latest debate:

“..what I’ve done throughout my presidency and will continue to do is, number one, make sure that these countries are supporting our counterterrorism efforts.

Number two, make sure that they are standing by our interests in Israel’s security, because it is a true friend and our greatest ally in the region.

Number three, we do have to make sure that we’re protecting religious minorities and women because these countries can’t develop unless all the population, not just half of it, is developing.”


What did he promise in regards to Libya?

“Number one, that we did everything we could to secure those Americans who were still in harm’s way; number two, that we would investigate exactly what happened, and number three, most importantly, that we would go after those who killed Americans and we would bring them to justice.”

Romney on what the world needs to reject terrorism:

“One, more economic development. We should key our foreign aid, our direct foreign investment, and that of our friends, we should coordinate it to make sure that we–we push back and give them more economic development.

Number two, better education.

Number three, gender equality.


Number four, the rule of law. We have to help these nations create civil societies.”

How will he improve the economy?

“Number one, we are going to have North American energy independence. We’re going to do it by taking full advantage of oil, coal, gas, nuclear and our renewables.

Number two, we’re going to increase our trade. Trade grows about 12 percent year. It doubles about every–every five or so years. We can do better than that, particularly in Latin America.

Number three, we’re going to have to have training programs that work for our workers and schools that finally put the parents and the teachers and the kids first, and the teachers’ unions going to have to go behind…”

Placing a political ad next to the Internet’s best cute animal coverage might not be traditional. But it might be the most natural fit yet.

[Image: Flickr user Barack Obama]

About the author

Sarah Kessler is a senior writer at Fast Company, where she writes about the on-demand/gig/sharing "economies" and the future of work.