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Yes, we can rip off President Obama's slogan and face

White House lawyers, apparently with few other pressing issues to press, are reportedly investigating ways of protecting use of President Obama's image all over the globe.

A whole lotta luck with that, guys.

Bloomberg News' Julianna Goldman quotes a White House spokeswoman: "Our lawyers are working on developing a policy that will protect the presidential image while being careful not to squBarack Obama's campaign logoelch the overwhelming enthusiasm that the public has for the president.”

As The Ticket documented here with copious photos around Inauguration Day, millions of articles bearing his image are already sold and worn virtually everywhere on the planet.

(See some sample photos by scrolling down or clicking on the "Read more" line below.)

Southwest Airlines had a "Yes You Can" ticket sale. Ben & Jerry's has a "Yes, Pecan" ice cream. And Ikea is pushing unassembled furniture out the door with its "Embrace Change" campaign.

Pepsi-Cola has the same old drink but a new symbol that looks remarkably similar to Obama's wiggly planet. Mark Silva reports over on the Swamp that some clean coal coalition is using the Great Change Agent's smiley face in one of its ads without White House complaint.

We haven't seen any ads yet showing the green Obama endorsing his favorite Honeywell thermostat that enables him to keep the Oval Office at Hawaiian beach temperatures. But J. Crew Group is advertising its clothes as worn by First Lady Michelle Obama, who's more concerned about some dollmaker naming a new line after daughters Malia and Sasha. Which the dollmaker said was just an amazing coincidence.

Here's another coincidence the new White House lawyers might not want to pursue. The widely used Spanish slogan -- "Si Se Puede" ("Yes We Can") -- was actually previously used by the recently reviled last president, George W. Bush, when he captured much of the Hispanic vote in his Texas gubernatorial campaigns.

So, who'll sue who?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Liberians wear their Barack Obama shirts on the streets of Monrovia

Pedestrians in Liberia wear shirts bearing the U.S. president's likeness.

A Canadian Herminee Humphrey in a Barack Obama shirt dances on Dundas Street in Toronto after the new president's inauguration on Jan 20, 2009

In her Obama presidential shirt, Herminee Humphrey dances in the chilly streets of Toronto after hearing Obama's inaugural speech.

Photos, from top: Ahmed Jallanzo / European Pressphoto Agency; Nathan Denette  / The Canadian Press

 
Comments () | Archives (6)

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The office of the President doesn't belong to Obama. Obama is an employee who works there temporarily. The Presidency and all its offices belong to the citizens who paid and continue to pay for it through their taxes and voting. Therefore, citizens, go ahead and use this employee in any legitimate way you choose. You boss, you owner, he worker.

Didn't Obama rip his logo off from Pepsi? And their current slogan ""something for everyone" Sound familiar?

"Yes, We Can" was the common phrase from the kids cartoon "Bob the Builder". The cartoon debuted in 1998, 2001 in the US.

Who get's to sue whom?

250 years to build the greatest country in the world and this man will tear it down in 4.

This will probably be used to squelch or silence and criticism of him! They're not going after people who are for him!

You havegot to be kidding me. What kinda crack are these guys smokin'?


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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