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December 4, 2008

Hopejackers, Unite!

Are you a public figure or prominent organization whose prospects look dim? Do you feel the need for a little hope, and maybe, just maybe, more than a little change? Then it's high time you consider hitching your wagon to the star of the champion of change, the harbinger of hope, President-elect Barack Obama! Obama's coattails are, apparently, as long as his rhetoric is grandiose.

Indeed, the folks at Foreign Policy magazine have coined a phrase—hopejacking—to describe how organizations as disparate as Hamas and Sarkozy supporters are trying to capitalize on Obamania. This had Gelf thinking about other possible jackers of hope.

General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner: Obama's been supportive of an auto industry bailout (albeit with caveats), so maybe the head of the troubled auto giant will want to appear on stage with the President-elect in, say, a football stadium filled GM employees chanting "yes we can!"

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The Detroit Lions: As if Detroit didn't already have enough problems, the Lions have yet to win a game. Perhaps the team could introduce new O-logo Helmets after the Obama-Wagoner rally.

Robert Mugabe: The ruthless Zimbabwean dictator would make for a particularly cynical use of the "hope and change" imprimatur, but perhaps he could try to capitalize on Obama's African ancestry. "Inflation we can believe in!"

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari: Pakistan was in big trouble even before Pakistani nationals were connected to the Mumbai terrorist attacks (indeed, Pakistan's problems could well be the world's). Zardari could undoubtedly use some hope, and probably some international stature, too.

Republicans: The GOP could follow Stephen Colbert's advice and endorse Obama for re-election in 2012. That seems unlikely, though, so how about this—they should tell everyone that the nomination of Sarah Palin was really a ploy to get Obama elected. By taking credit for last month's parting of the seas, the Republicans can position themselves well for the 2010 midterms.

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit: Like everything else that uses money, the world's largest bank is in trouble. Maybe they could try repackaging all those CDOs as "Change-Delivering Obamas." Derivatives for America!

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