Friday, September 12, 2008

Detailed Analysis on the U.S. Election So Far

John Romano is a music producer in Los Angeles. He's also a frequent contributor to George Webley's show on BBC London Radio. He was on this evening, sharing his thoughts on 9/11 and providing his analysis of the U.S. presidential campaign. I wrote him afterwards. Here's part of that e-mail.

There are a few things that I keep on trying to get across to George's audience but I don't think they grasp or accept what I'm saying:

  1. Sarah Palin is the new superstar on the American political scene. I don't believe her popularity is going away anytime soon; certainly not before November 4th.

  2. Barack Obama may be the leader of the world in the minds of many around the world, but his halo is quickly fading in America. He has made a few gaffs of late and it's now clear that he's somewhat of a stutterer when there's no prepared speech on a teleprompter; not a good handicap for a politician.

  3. I believe that Palin's appeal to the average middle-of-the-road American has several components:
    1. She appears to be a real person, not a phoney politician.
    2. She is reminiscent of the sturdy frontier women of the 19th Century, an image that has been ingrained in people's minds through many Western films.
    3. She is bright and confident and definitely a self-made person, not a blue-blood elitist.
    4. She hunts and fishes up in Alaska, activities that many in Europe simply cannot understand.
    5. She represents a fresh change in Washington, DC, something that cannot be said of McCain or Biden and increasingly perhaps not even of Obama.

  4. These 5 traits above would have made her popular, but do not explain the superstar status she has achieved so quickly. For that to happen, here are the factors that I believe are responsible:
    1. The left-wing blogosphere went way beyond the pale during the Labor Day Weekend, viciously attacking Sarah Palin and her children. Many of the rumors started circulating out into the mainstream news. Like a great battle of old, the conservative blogosphere researched and disproved these rumors, one by one. This hurt the credibility of those who created the rumors. Once proved false, no reasonable person could remain unoffended by the smears, especially those against her children.

    2. That same weekend and continuing steady for at least another week, much of the mainstream media seemed to throw the Rules of Journalism book out the window and spread the rumors without first double-checking them. Polls were taken last week, asking if people thought the media was deliberately out to hurt Palin. The results were an unequivocal and loud "Yes!", even in very liberal states like Washington.

    3. Very "catty", often vicious attacks against Sarah Palin started coming from a legion of supposedly "feminist" female columnists and politicians. To the average person, this made no sense, for though one might very well not agree with Sarah Palin's views, clearly there was no disputing that she was a real feminist herself. Apparently not the right kind of feminist to her attackers though. In less than 2 weeks the hypocrisy of so-called feminists was exposed like never before in history. One feminist who stayed true to actual feminist convictions was Camille Paglia. She wrote the best analysis yet of Sarah Palin's entrance onto the national political stage. Finally on this point, one thing I can't prove but have long suspected is that a majority of American women and the vast majority of American men have not been at all comfortable with the radical left's version of feminism. They've tolerated it, not wanting to be labeled as sexists, but were never really comfortable with it.

  5. So the more Sarah Palin was attacked, the greater her popularity became. When attacked on her experience, it mostly exposed Obama's lack of the same, which is a bit surreal since he is running for the top job and her only for the VP position. Your quip about "running to be president" not being realistic experience to actually be president was spot on.

  6. Foreign bloggers, journalists, politicians, and comedians insisted upon getting in on the action, criticizing Palin & McCain and/or praising Obama. This only helped the former and hurt the latter. Obama endorsements by Fidel Castro and the leadership of Iran has to be icing on the cake for Republican strategists. You can already envision the TV ads.

  7. There's now talk/hope amongst some on the left that Joe Biden will suddenly step down for health reasons or the like, Hillary Clinton will replace him, and the Democrats will cruise on to a certain victory. I'm not so sure that such an obviously contrived move would guarantee anything but great weakness within Obama. But more significant than that, such a suggestion dismisses Hillary's ambitions and intelligence. It's very much in HER best interest for Obama to lose this election, so she can come back in 2012 as the candidate that the Democrats are almost certain to nominate. By that time mistakes will have been made in the McCain-Palin presidency and Palin will amost certainly not be as popular as she is right now.
Anyway, that's my analysis of what has occurred so far. Only time will tell how right (or wrong!) I am.

The Charlie Gibson interview on ABC will now occupy the news cycle until at least mid-week next. I've seen the short version that ran this evening. A one hour version will be tomorrow night at 10pm. The usual suspects on the left will say she blew it, the ones on the right that she did great.

Technical Side-Note: On the conservative blogosphere there is frequent mention of strange editing cuts. Undoubtedly the RNC handlers will have filmed the entire interview too. If it is revealed that ABC made even one edit that makes Palin look bad, expect a renewed backlash against the media for being in the bag for Obama.

Finally, it's becoming clear just how powerful the New Media now is. If this is correct then it means that even prominent mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post are having their news articles scrutinized like never before. I actually think that's a great thing because there absolutely should be a separation between "news" and editorial comment.


Gekkobear said...

One edit to make Palin look bad?

Several actually, from just the first day.

Pelalusa said...

Thank you for this! I'm posting something new about it.