Similar to the 2008 concept, “Change,” this one-word slogan captures a vague sense of movement without articulating a strategy, end, or principle. The movement this terms evokes is no more than a different state than we’re currently in, and a positive trajectory. (Similar to the term “progressive?”) . . . .
The Obama campaign clearly has message-tested the attributes that Americans find positive about him, but . . . the slogan “Forward” indicates that they had trouble finding a unifying message that actually means anything. Thus, he’s left for a second time with a slogan without any meaning. Notice also the change from the 2008 font to the current one, with serif. Perhaps the serif font is an attempt to appear more solid, statesmanlike? Will people buy his marketing this time?Others have observed a connection to Mao's "Great Leap Forward" and Vladimir Lenin's publication "Vpered" (the Russian word for "forward"), among others.
Personally, however, my favorite observation comes from the Washington Post's Alexandra Petri, who asks: