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Ahmadinejad Borrows Obama's "Yes We Can" For Iranian Election

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Seemingly impressed by President Obama's success last November, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is adopting the iconic "Yes We Can" slogan for a new campaign video in anticipation of Iran's June 12 presidential election, the Guardian reports. The video's cover depicts Ahmadinejad in his trademark white jacket and a chalk board in the background that is said to read "We can" in Farsi. According to the Guardian:

The film is aimed at students and capitalises on his former status as a university lecturer. Its release coincides with that of another campaign video apparently attempting to trump Obama by recounting Ahmadinejad's visit to Turkey.

Obama won international acclaim during a visit to Turkey this month for declaring that the US was "not at war" with Islam and stressing that there were Muslims in his family. Ahmadinejad's visit last August was arguably less successful.

Below are freeze-frame images from Fardanews:




Ahmadinejad is by no means the first politician to capitalize on Obama's techniques -- the Israeli elections in February saw rampant Obama campaign recycling. According to France 24:

Sani Sanilovich, Internet coordinator for the right-wing Likud party, told the Israeli daily Haaretz in November that party leader Benjamin Netanyahu had asked him for an "Obama-style" election.

The socialist Meretz party hired David Fenton and Tom Mazzei, two important advisers on the Obama campaign, to spin the party as big a lead as possible.

Also from France 24 is this comparison screenshot of President Obama and now-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign websites:

Barack Obama:


Benjamin Netanyahu:


And going back even further before the 2008 US elections, it was actually Obama who was once accused of ripping off lines from Ahmadinejad, in June 2008 on The Laura Ingraham Show. Reported by Media Matters, Ingraham's guest Monica Crowley waxed scurrilously that Obama had stolen most of his tricks, and that he had stolen the slogan, in particular, from Ahmadinejad's first presidential run in 2005 -- a claim that Media Matters diligently debunks by pointing out that Obama used the "Yes We Can" slogan during his 2004 Senate run. Here is Crowley's rant from the show's transcript:

"Obama lifted his campaign line "Yes, we can" from the recent presidential campaign of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The shrimp in the windbreaker? The shrimp in the windbreaker actually ran several years ago on the slogan -- on the very slogan "We can." "We can." "We can stick our fingers in the -- in the eyes of the United States. We can go nuclear. We can export terror. We can wreak havoc in Iraq. We can do all of those things." That was the campaign slogan of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. So, no wonder Senator Obama is so eager to race to go over there and talk to him. He wants to thank him for a winning slogan. 'Si, se puede.' 'Yes, we can.'"


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Ben Smith's Blog: 'Yes We Can,' Farsi edition -