Stephen Farnsworth, the director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington, agrees. “The use of the term ‘Obamacare’ was part of the Republicans’ strategy to delegitimize the president,” he told ThinkProgress. It was a strategy pushed by Republican pollster Frank Luntz and others in the early days of the health care debate.
Running against Obamacare proved to be an effective strategy during the 2010 midterms as well. “‘Obamacare’ was a useful device to help elect Republicans,” said Farnsworth, who wrote the book Spinner in Chief: How Presidents Sell Their Policies and Themselves. “It served its purpose for Republicans. But it also served its purpose for Democrats.”
“Barack Obama was very wise to adapt the term ‘Obamacare’ as his own,” said Farnsworth. “It is a painful rule of politics: fight the framing with your own framing or you are going to lose the debate.”