Straight Talk Veers Off Course

June 23, 2008 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My prayers have been answered! Straight talk express finally loses steam and veers disastrously off course.

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  1. This may sound shocking, but in the minds of most voters, “old” is more reassuring in a Presidential candidate than is “young”. That’s one of the reasons Obama dresses so conservatively on nearly every occasion. It makes him seem older.

    McCain and his wife will have ads that show them to be active loving parents – and he’ll probably play on how much he liked Ronald Reagan and (when speaking to retirees) Dwight Eisenhower (our previous “old” Presidents). Many twenty somethings will laugh, but nostalgia sells to many older voters. He’ll also select a vigorous running mate who will reassure voters that all will be well if anything happens to him while in office. Finally, he’ll doubtless point to his still sharp as a tack mother as evidence that he has good genes.

    His “flip-flop” on oil may be calculated – but don’t kid yourself that many voters will find that to be a bad thing. Heck, many of them have flip-flopped on that themselves. Democrats are far more likely to be critical of politicians who seem pragmatic than are Republicans and Independents. The latter vote against Dems regularly anyway, so the flip-flopper, pragmatist label gets thrown at people like John Kerry, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama in order to cause some Dems (rather than Reps and Indies) to doubt them. That’s why it did no good to point out how many flip-flops Bush did on the way to the Presidency, and it probably won’t hurt McCain either.

  2. It is like the McCain camp itself cannot decide where it wants to go with their message so they are just trying a little bit of everything. A little bit of his war service, a bit of experience, a bit of (R) orthodoxy (tax cuts and the like), a bit of attack, and just a bit of anything they think will help.

    But I ask myself why they seem so incoherent, because after all, one could just as easily say Obama is trying a bit of everything, emphasizing his judgment, a bit of change, a bit of (D) orthodoxy, a bit of attack and anything that they think will work. The difference is that they are really awesome at it (and of course Obama’s speaking ability).

    McCain is inconsistent because his campaign is incompetent and operating in an abnormally hostile environment. If they were good at their job and the (R) brand was not hurting so much he would not be inconsistent, he would be responsive or “in touch with voters.” We would hear about his plans to foster innovation (free market!) and his support of the surge when most Republicans were skeptical that it would work (maverick!). The “old” adjective is somewhat surprising because it almost suggests that those voters have written him off completely. Amusingly, this is probably the only adjective which by definition cannot get better over time.

    And that kind of addresses your point above Nick. Old is bad. I do not really mean that in a declarative way but rather if people liked the old aspect about McCain they would words like experienced or seasoned. Whatever McCain is selling, people are not buying. They cannot pull the nostalgia card because it just reminds people of McCain’s age, the Bush years, and the Clinton years; all before they can get to “good times” they have a small ideological claim to.


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