On the eve of one of the more auspicious nights of the year, I thought it fitting to remind everyone that if you refused to participate in a certain civic obligation I will not stand for even the slightest grumble from you. In short, vote.
With any luck someone should emerge victorious without consequence and find themselves at the helm of this great country.
You’ve gotta hand it to the man, he knows how to present a speech.
With this race coming to close, each candidate is throwing (or not throwing) their final punches, hoping to come out on top. As the nation looks forward to a week from now, I’d like to take a moment to look back, and see when Barack Obama first appeared nationally, when the senator from Illinois captured the attention of many, and first began the path that has led to today – a day when we wait to see if we are going to elect the first black President, not because he’s black, but because he has given the people hope for change and faith in our own power.
I remember Obama’s speech at the 2004 DNC, and his message hasn’t changed in the four years since.
What is this insanity? Is this really something that BBC should be reporting on in their Election 2008 section?
No matter what people say about this not being a battle about the issues, but it really is, and the evidence sways us to vote one way or another. Which team you cheer for – or don’t cheer for, or just show some support for – doesn’t matter, truly.
I hate to say it, but this race isn’t about issues anymore. It’s all image and the debate last night should be more than enough to prove that point. McCain had Obama on the ropes most of the night hitting Obama hard on his economic policy. McCain did so well in fact that many of the pundits said McCain won this debate before the snap polls were released half an hour after the debate had finished.
But turn off the sound during the debate and you get a totally different image.
Yet again (for the third time), McCain failed to control his image, rolling his eyes Obama and even gawking while Obama remained composed and collected. The polls show this (even Fox news said they liked Obama’s delivery much better than McCain’s) giving Obama the win almost 2 to 1.
McCain’s problem from the start is either he or his team don’t understand that this political cycle is different from four years ago. He’s been running his campaign like Hillary Clinton did against Obama pushing old strategies into a new arena. Undecided voters that McCain and Obama are fighting for can be split into two different categories: informed and uninformed. To both of these groups image is extremely important, but for two entirely different reasons.
In a media saturated, American Idol America, it’s more about how you do than what you do. Television has taught the uninformed masses that image is important because its the only thing you can use to differentiate between competitors. There is no doubt that anyone who gets on American Idol has talent, so what do people vote on? Image. Image is the only difference the contestants share. And even when a contestant has more talent than another it’s the contestants with the better image that end up with the big record deals and endorsements.
Uninformed voters don’t have the time to filter through all the information being thrown at them. For the most part these voters are going to look at Obama and McCain as two contestants vying for presidency. Both of their policies sound like they’ll work (and both probably would in the long run). Both say they plan on changing government, so how do you decide? Who looks more presidential. The YouTube Wars don’t matter to these people, in fact; I can bet the only time they’ll actually see the candidates is on the news and during presidential debates. In both the news and the debates McCain looks very un-presidential when contrasted with Obama and the undecided, uniformed voters are reacting accordingly.
Those that have the time to sift through all the information being crammed down their throats, the informed voters, have a different reason for relying on image. In this new media arena anything you say can immediately be rebuked. As soon as a candidate says, “I am this. My opponent is that” or “I did this. My Opponent did that” someone is going to be checking the validity of that statement and I guarantee you every time someone is going to find an instance where the statement is false.
If informed voters are judging the candidate on how truthful their statements this puts candidates in a difficult position. These statements are how a candidate normally separates themselves from their opponents and forms a connection with the voter. When these statements are constantly brought into question the message breaks down and the only difference between candidates is how they deliver their message.
McCain has been playing the “I am this. My opponent is that” or “I did this. My Opponent did that” a lot during his campaign and every time the message has been thrown back in his face by someone who checks the facts. Obama on the other hand has had a fair amount of backfires, but his primary message of “Hope” focuses on the future and what Obama will do instead of what McCain did or what McCain is. In this era of new media Obama’s message is harder turn against him because of Obama’s young record and the “I will do this” as opposed to McCain’s “I’ve done this” message.
So, in order for McCain to have more than a snowball’s chance on Tatooine, he was going to have to pull out the Ultimate Trump Card. Seems like it really doesn’t exist (not surprised, personally). Can’t say that I wasn’t thinking that it was possible that McCain had been sitting on something this whole time, but it seems, if Nate Silver is to be believed, it will take some kind of miracle for the vote to swing back his way.
Now, I’m often one for betting on high risk, high payoff situations, but while the odds are against McCain, and, if I were to bet on him, the payout could be good, I don’t think this is an overall “high payoff” situation. While I’m all one for deregulation of certain things – you know, perhaps gambling or bans and such things – that isn’t what we need right now. Even out here in the Outer Rim, we’ve felt the financial troubles that are affecting everyone.
Regulation is what we need, and it looks like I’m going to have to stick with the pirate title.
When Sarah “Hockey Mom” Palin went to Philadelphia for the Flyer’s Hockey Game, it seemed no one there was a Republican supporter….Some hockey “mom” she is if she can’t even rally the support of hockey fans and hockey players….
And sure, some might say there was cheers among the boos, but if you listen closely, I’m sure it’s only the music covering up some of the boos…
And really, if you’re a Hockey Mom, the puck isn’t something disgusting, though it is a bit dirty….Doesn’t mean you have to hold and drop it like it’s infected with some kind of plague…
And really, don’t push the boos….Palin, you know they were all directed at you, so don’t go saying that the fans were booing your daughter…..