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I was thinking about this while running this weekend.

It's clear that Palin's selection was partly about nullifying the effect of Obama's best-speech-ever performance at the DNC. And, to a large extent, it worked. The Speech is off the news pages and video reports and Palin and McCain are featured. The old adage "any news is good news" says that PR can keep the candidate's name and face front-and-center and in the public's eye. But I'm thinking this one completely backfired.

Obama gives a killer speech, the culmination to several killer speeches, including the best of Hillary's career (My wife the communications professor: "It's clear she's been watching and taking notes of Obama's style. She's combining the best of her style and the best of his.")

All the press, including conservative press and electronic media, note that quality and content of the speech, the details it offered, the way he held the attention and focus of 80K+ people--and 38 million viewers--and the way he delivered a newer, more populist message. One day of 90% positive reviews.

Then McCain nominates some unknown runner-up-beauty-queen moose-eating governor from the Alaskan wildlands, and the press, to a person, drops Obama and focuses 24/7 on our Bright Shiny Object, Ms. Palin.

But: Obama is now fixed in the public's mind, and to a large extent in the mind of the press, as the consummate professional, the adult in the room, with details covered and an intelligent platform presented. He's the head of his united party and the image of him and his VP candidate are fixed in our collective cultural minds.

The usual eat-the-celebrity feeding fest that the media dives into the week after an event, especially a Democratic event, is, if you'll pardon the expression, stillborn.

So, McCain is seen for a week on TeeVee and the papers as a bumbling fool making a huge gamble, only in this case it's not his reputation or his campaign that's on the table, but our country. The week of his own convention, no less! This week should be the all-positive coverage of the Republican convention, with one speaker after another paraded before the American people, pitching their favorite maverick as God's own president. Instead we've got an increasingly seedy diet of corrupt small-town politics and regrettable family drama.

What a contrast. What are McCain's people thinking? Do they think this is Hollywood and they are working for Britney? Dumb stunts are cool, cause, like, she's famous?

I honestly think the McCain campaign sealed their fate. They've fixed in our mind's eye the camera's image of Obama after the speech, cool and collected; a winner--he looked like he's on the medal podium with the gold around his neck--with his team of professional and effective leaders around him.

And McCain's image is now old, unprofessional, and out of touch, but a nice enough guy hanging with the hunting crowd eating mooseburgers, sometimes eying the younger wives. Uncle Mac down at the Do Drop Inn, spending his golden years drinking beers with the guys wearing CAT hats, while their teenage children are having uprotected sex in the back of the Chevy.

Now that's some seriously stupid marketing.

Originally posted to marksb on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 03:13 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips and comments (13+ / 0-)

    Smart marketing is not in evidence from this year's GOP, sure, but this bad? Whew!

  •  Grampy's Image Is Also.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dksbook, esquimaux, goldenbird

    that of an old, repulsive letch.

    Remember that first joint appearance in Dayton, where you have the Hockey Mom (tm) making her "speech" and you see Grampy looking admiringly at her ass.

    That's a brain-bleach moment if ever there was one.

    Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we CAN. Because we MUST.

    by CajunBoyLgb on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 03:16:58 PM PDT

  •  You nailed it. (7+ / 0-)

    My confidence has grown and waned over the course of this campaign, with good reason.  But I've never felt as good about our prospects as I do right now.

    Every 5 minutes another shoe drops.  Have you seen the rec list diary about Palin's business shut down by the state?  I used to think comments like "They must not have vetted Palin" were just trying to make a point.  Clearly, they really, truly, did not vet her.

    "Fascism should rather be called corporatism, as it is the merging of government and corporate power." --Benito Mussolini

    by revelwoodie on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 03:18:22 PM PDT

    •  She has an incredibly high scandals/minute rate (7+ / 0-)

      Its crazy. There was obviously no significant vetting or she NEVER would have been picked.

      Sarah Palin: The Eagleton has landed.

      by discocarp on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 03:20:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But... people are forgetting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dksbook

        that the same would apply to any other GOP nominee.

        Is there even one GOP big name who has a solid record on ethics?

        Is there one who isn't hiding an old Indian burial ground of skeletons in their closet?

        With the GOP you can have your scandal with or without experience.

        But like spam - the scandal is something you can't avoid or work around. It's pervasive, it's pink and wobbly, and it smells bad.

        (Okay - maybe a metaphor too far. But still.)

        "Be kind" - is that a religion?

        by ThatBritGuy on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 03:25:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not a good mental image, (0+ / 0-)

          But a great metaphor!

        •  Compared to Sarah Palin ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ThatBritGuy

          yes.

          Any of the old, white men McCain faced during the primary would at least have old, uninteresting scandals.

          These are new to people and sexy besides. She went after her brother-in-law with the power of the state! (That he might have been abusive draws sympathy points, but also attention.) She preaches abstinence and is forcing her daughter into a shotgun wedding! She lied to her kids about why they were traveling to Ohio! She and her husband have ties to a group that wants to secede from the Union! Her mother-in-law might vote Obama! She giggles when people call her political opponents cancer!

      •  The price you pay (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dksbook, GN1927, ETF, sovery

        for a big SURPRISE!!!! moment.  The media will do alot of the vetting for you if you just quietly float the name first.  That way, when you hear it reported that you've potentially selected a secessionist who was nearly recalled from her job as mayor of Nowheresville you can always say "What?  No, she was never our choice; that would be crazy."

        This is just one more way Mclame's gamble fell apart.

      •  But just like bush, if you have enough scandals, (0+ / 0-)

        people can't keep up and eventually get numbed to what a failure you are.

  •  Well said (10+ / 0-)

    They've fixed in our mind's eye the camera's image of Obama after the speech, cool and collected; a winner--he looked like he's on the medal podium with the gold around his neck--with his team of professional and effective leaders around him.

    THIS is where the Republicans really screwed up.  There wasn't enough time for the GOP attack dogs and the bloviating commentators to tell us what to think after Obama's speech.  For once, the Democrats' message - and its phenomenal messenger - was the only impression the public got.

    The news for the next two weeks will be a combination of Gustav cleanup and watching the Republicans implode over their failed VP nominee and McCain's reckless judgement.

    God's Own Party?  Yeah.  Right.

    •  It's even better than this (5+ / 0-)

      It's increasingly clear Ms. Palin has to step down "for the good of the Party and to take care of family matters".

      Well OK, so we get another week of speculation on the identity of the new VP, and then, if they can find someone even remotely qualified that will take this sinking ship on, another week of infighting over who gets picked and who's mistake it was and who gets fired and hired to save the sinking ship.

      And THEN they start the campaign?

      I'm pretty sure we're about to watch a pack of hyenas eating their own.

      •  And whoever is the second pick (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Magenta, esquimaux, BirderWitch

        is the second choice. Palin was McThuselah's "first choice."

        It will be a "he" after this fiasco - not because a woman would necessarily be a better or worse choice, but because the GOP elite won't put up with any more "gambles" (in their eyes) after this one blows up so badly.

        So now Old John has a problem. If he dumps this religious nut-job, to placate the religious right, he almost must name another, don't you think. It can't be Giuliani, Romney or Ridge. Maybe Huckabee?

        I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by scrape on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 03:33:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That was poetic. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, BirderWitch
  •  Ohhhh. look at the kitty! - KO (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shadan7, BirderWitch
  •  Hilarious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BirderWitch

    Love the title :-)

    John McCain/Peggy Hill 08

    by Maori on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 03:30:47 PM PDT

  •  hmmm, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dksbook, MAORCA

    Now that's some seriously stupid marketing

    yes, it may be stupid marketing to "us", but having just gotten back on the internets (afer spending the long holiday weekend in a Blue State's Red County) I can tell you that I talked to people on Saturday and Sunday that are just THRILLED and EXCITED about Palin.  In fact these same Repub voters WERE depressed about McSame, thought Obama's Thursday night speech was moving, inspirational, the best ever etc... and now they are doing a happy, happy dance - the consensus is that Johnny boy smacked Barack off the news with this pick and they couldn't be more ecstatic.  One friend even believes that this has been in the works for months.

    It's been said before, but I'm going to repeat it ... too many low information voters out there... and Palin IS giving a segment of the population excitement and some that were considering Obama are now back in the McCain camp.

    "It's a magical world Hobbes, ol' buddy... ...Let's go exploring!" Calvin (Bill Watterson)

    by BirderWitch on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 03:32:54 PM PDT

    •  and no... (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not a concern troll... I Palin and Co. implode soon.  I'm just sharing what some "one issue voters" are crowing about these days...

      "It's a magical world Hobbes, ol' buddy... ...Let's go exploring!" Calvin (Bill Watterson)

      by BirderWitch on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 03:36:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good points, and the core 30% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BirderWitch

      Are going to vote McSame anyway.

      If Palin gets dumped, and a more 'safe' VP is nominated, will the core show up to vote? That was, as you point out, the reason she's on the ticket: to shore up the core.

      But the undecided? They're going to pass on this team, 'cause along with ineffective and stupid, this one fairly shouts the word "LOSER!"

      I could be wildly wrong. I've been notably wrong on several presidential elections recently ("Bush?! How can the voters be so stupid!" as just one example...)

      Sigh.

    •  And smart marketing is the entire campaign (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dksbook, BirderWitch

      One thing I learned (the hard way) in industry: a marketing campaign is not just the initial rollout, it's the entire program, including who you send out to tell the story, how you react to the competition's reaction to your launch, and how your marketing program must evolve to keep telling your story to the same customers.

      The idea of nominating a core Winger was decent (from their point of view) but everything else--everything--was a complete hack job. Wrong in every way.

      These people couldn't market a cute kitty, to borrow a phrase.

  •  A nice, subtle point here. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marksb

    Good job:  MSM would have tried to un-do the good of Thursday's speech, and in some minds they would have succeeded.  But they didn't:  it's import and impression is left intact.  Not talked about or dissected or attacked -- it's just there.  Because they have had to move on to Palin.  

    And we focus on the danger this pick can do to us (PLEASE don't underestimate Palin, Rove and the rest of them.  PLEASE).  We focus on its ridiculousness -- we focus on the meat, the nonsense, but ultimately it comes back to McCain.  Obama:  now the grown-up in the room.  Now the non-panderer-in-chief with his "solid", "uninspired" choice of Joe Biden which now looks like genius.  

    And the speech stands.  The praise of that night, and the ridiculousness of the likes of Peggy Noonan trying to tear holes in something that was unassailable, just remains in the national consciousness.  

    I think this is a win for us, I really do.  And I trust the chess player, Obama, who sees three moves ahead.  He did it with the convention with stunning success.  Not noisy success.  But quiet, deep success.  

    The smartest guy in the room.  

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