PDT Staff Writer
OTWAY — Brian Heath, Obama for America Neighborhood Team Leader, joined Michael McCandlish, Rural and Appalachian Vote Director for Obama for America, to paint an Otway barn in support of President Barack Obama Saturday. This is one of the many barns across the state that will be painted as part of the Barns for Obama initiative.
“The barn-painting project is quite an undertaking. Its something that we started in 2008. A lot of volunteers, and a lot of grass roots folks out there in rural areas have been contacting the campaign wanting us to paint their barn in 2012,” McCandlish said.
Painting the Obama logo takes at least four hours, a task that both McCandlish and Heath said is worth the time and effort.
“Historically, in the 18oo’s, barns were used to do a lot of advertising, the same concept of how billboards are used today,” Heath said. The barns also used to show how President Obama identifies with the rural environment. The circle in the logo represents sunrise, and growth, it is a positive image, which is what the Obama campaign is about,” Heath said.
People who had their barns painted in 2008, have been requesting to have their barns re-painted to symbolize their renewed support for President Obama.
McClandlish attributed this to the people’s belief in the President, because he said it allows them to show their support of what President Obama stands for in their own way.
“A lot of new people voted in 2008. And these new paintings will remind them of the choice in their election, and to get that conversation going again,” McCandlish said.
The signs also create visibility in rural areas where bumper stickers, or yard signs are not prevalent.
Heath said that he has painted the Obama logo on eight other barns this year, and hopes to complete at least six more.
We wanted to do just as many as we did in 2008. So many people contact us, but since we cannot get to all of them, we encourage them to contact a painter, and carry out the work,” McCandlish said.
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