It’s been a whole year since President Obama was sworn in, and whether or not you agree with his policies, there’s no doubt that the man has been busy. He’s trying to reform health care, manage two wars and boost jobs. But somehow, with all of that going on, he’s still had time to pitch a few products.
The truth is that, as president, everything he does can be viewed as an endorsement of something, intentionally or not. Yet, in many cases, his endorsements have had very tangible effects on sales and publicity for the companies involved. One could even argue that Obama has had more luck endorsing products than endorsing candidates.
Here are seven of the most notable product endorsements Obama has made since becoming president.
One nice thing about having a reader-in-chief is that he has been able to occasionally boost book sales in an otherwise dying industry. Even before he officially took office, the New York Times published a piece asking if Obama would be the new Oprah for books. Sure enough, he’s helped the sales of books like Netherland by Joseph O’Neill and FDR by Jean Edward Smith. And then of course, there were his summer reads. With Oprah going off the air next year, Obama may have an extra responsibility on his hands.
In May, Obama and some of his staff made an impromptu visit to Five Guys Burgers in Virginia. Videos of the visit circulated around the Web and were aired on television. Five Guys is a decent-sized chain, but it pales in comparison to giants like McDonald’s. Yet, Obama’s visit gave the restaurant a ton of free publicity and national exposure. “I get tears in my eyes thinking about it, that they made such a big deal about Five Guys," the owner of Five Guys told USA Today.