Top 10 Obama wannabes




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BOSTON — From a sluggish economy to a busted lip and a midterm shellacking, 2010 wasn't the best year for U.S. President Barack Obama.

But that hasn't stopped politicians around the world from trying to copy his earlier electoral success.

From the prime minister of Israel to a Filipino look-a-like, here are 10 politicians around the world who have tried to mimic Obama's style.

1. Israel — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Their policy platforms may differ, but Benjamin Netanyahu and Obama have nearly identical websites. It looks almost as if Netanyahu cut and pasted and then just changed the name. And after that, he hired two Obama consultants to help with his campaign.

2. Colombia Presidential candidate Antanas Mockus

One of Antanas Mockus' campaign posters. (Nadja Drost/GlobalPost)

Antanas Mockus of Colombia's Green Party rose rapidly in polls by employing many of the same tactics as Obama, including highlighting his atypical characteristics. One popular portrait was painted in the same style of the ubiquitous Obama portrait, but different shades of green cover Mockus’ face.

3. Brazil Pastor Ananias Rodrigues da Silva (aka Obama Brasil)

A reveller who resembles and imitates Obama in a carnival parade in Rio, Feb. 13, 2010. (Juan Barreto/Getty Images)

At least six Barack Obamas ran in Brazil’s municipal elections, but Pastor Ananias Rodrigues da Silva, aka "Obama Brasil," claimed to be a splitting image of the real Obama. Brazilian election law allows candidates to choose whichever name they would like in campaigns, and “Obama” was a top runner, along with Bin Laden, Saddam, Bill Clinton, as well as various inanimate objects like "Golden Fork."

4. Germany — Social Democrat Hubertus Heil

Hubertus Heil, general Secretary of the German Social Democrats. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

In 2008, Hubertus Heil was ridiculed for his attempt at using the famous Obama slogan: “Yes We Can.” Heil tried to get his party conference delegates to chant the slogan only to be met with absolute silence.

5. Philippines — Ilham Anas

U.S. President Obama look-a-like Ilham Anas of Indonesia. (Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/Getty Images)

Obama look-a-like Ilham Anas used to be an Indonesian magazine photographer, but now he pays the bills by posing as the U.S. president on television and in commercials. Keep an eye out for Obama selling heartburn medication.

6. United Kingdom — Prime Minister David Cameron (vs. Gordon Brown)

British Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama. (Saul Loeb/Getty Images)

Rather than copying Obama’s techniques, England’s politicians actually imported help to bring out that Obama style. Two coaches who worked in Obama’s campaign were hired to advise Cameron with his three American-style television debates, while Brown hired an Obama speech coach to loosen him up and inspire charisma in front of the cameras.

7. Ukraine – Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko

Posters of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. (Alexander Nemenov/Getty Images)

When running for president in 2010, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, with her trademark blond braids, hired an American consulting firm founded by Obama’s chief adviser, David Axelrod. Tymoshenko began an ad campaign with strong slogans like “They talk, she works,” “They promise, she works,” and “They betray, she works.” For all her Obama-inspiration, she wasn’t elected as president in 2010, and then she was ousted from her position as PM, despite her efforts to cling on.

8. Japan – Prime Minister Naoto Kan

U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. (Charles Dharapak/Getty Images)

In 2008, the Democratic Party of Japan inspired voters to believe they could be agents of political change. And even after the resignations of PM Yukio Hatoyama and Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa, Naoto Kan from the same political party was elected under his crusade for a clean government and participatory government. Kan’s hope for a transparent government is very Obama-esque; Yes He Kan?

9. Germany — Chancellor Angela Merkel (vs. challenger Frank-Walter Steinmeier)

U.S. President Barack Obama greets the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (Jim Watson/Getty Images)

In the elections in Germany, both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Frank-Walter Steinmeier tried to use Obama’s town hall-style meetings and internet savvy in campaigns. But the efforts fell flat: Steinmeier lacked the charisma to engage the audience in town hall meetings and internet sites were hacked and turned into practical jokes.

10. Philippines — President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino

Benigno Aquino III. (Ryan Lim/Handout/Getty Images)

When "Noynoy" Aquino ran for president, he campaigned on a platform similar to Obama's, promising to fix the political corruption introduced by his predecessor, Gloria Arroyo. The people of the Philippines hope that Aquino will bring back clean, honest, committed democracy. And although he may not get a Nobel Peace Prize, he smartly played down the expectations piled on him, saying that a president would have to be "Superman and Einstein combined" to fix all of the country's problems immediately.

Compiled by Jackie Leavitt.