This is the most entertaining presidential campaign I have ever witnessed. The stakes are as serious as they have been in the past (well, maybe not so serious as during the cold war when the threat of nuclear destruction was always on the table). But, the twists and turns of events and accepted wisdom leave me an amused observer.
1. Who would have thought that the Democratic primary process would reveal the bias of the mainstream press–which acclaimed Barack Obama and knifed Hillary Clinton whenever possible. The old saying that the favor of the press is worth 10 to 15 percent in votes proved true. Even so, Clinton lost by a small margin. But, it was a bit of a Pyrrhic victory for the press because opinion polls show:
a. 69% believe that the press helps the candidate they want to win
b. 50% believe the press is helping Barack Obama
c. 42% believe that the press will hide information they think will harm the candidate they favor
d. 46% trust friends and family for presidential campaign information over only 32% who trust the press more (!!!)
Reporters, while showing journalistic incompetence and bias, have shown superb ability to damage their brand in a short a period of time.
2. The paradigm du jour that political greatness is shown by large crowds already took a hit in the viewership of the Democratic and Republican conventions where Gov. Palin almost outdrew Obama (without the Spanish language networks) and McCain did outdraw him. Now, it is in real danger of being scrapped. The One is being replaced! Palin-McCain are bringing in even larger crowds than Sen. Obama.
In Florida Palin had 20,000 to 60,000 people on a blisteringly hot day. (Question: how competent can reporters be who can’t tell the difference between 20,000 and 60,000?)
The latest worrisome news is that McCain-Palin attracted a crowd 66% larger (10,000) than Obama (6,000) in the same stadium in Greenbay, Wisconsin. McCain-Palin were there the week before Obama.
This is headline news only because the press has hyped Obama as the greatest political figure of our age. The proof was not in his positions or accomplishments but how many crowded together to hear him speak. But, a new political star is eclipsing that drawing power. So, the argument of greatness = crowd power will have to fall since McCain-Palin are proving more popular.
3. It’s the Republicans, not the Democrats, who back public funding to keep elections “clean.”
4. Bill Clinton has been labeled a racist and McCarthyite (Joe) by fellow Democrats.
5. It’s Democrats who are up against the wall for corruption (Rangel, Rezko) and sex scandal (Edwards, Spitzer)–though these do not fuel multiple, screeching news cycles as Mark Foley did two years ago.
6. It’s Republicans, rather than Democrats, who feel the plight of the poor and middle class at the pump and the rising cost of living which expensive oil pushes. Republicans want immediate action: drill. Democrats, satisfied with long term solutions, have taken a bite the bullet strategy.
All in all a most entertaining presidential campaign.