Dont' get me wrong Finn, the Palin announcement was perfectly timed. Strategically, it was a flawless move in terms of press. What I'm talking about was that the republicans were unable to really address the messages the dems put forth on a daily basis. They get the attention they wanted until the convention was over. Everyone knew going in that McCain would announce his pick on his birthday right after the DNC, no surprise there.
Palin is such an interesting pick. I think it does a number of things.
1) Being from Alaska, she can speak out about drilling and how she'd never let anything happen to the state she loves. She's and outdoorsman... outdoorswoman...person... This allows McCain to focus more on offshore drilling in his campaign.
2) In a political climate which has let the social moral issue take a back seat to economics and foreign policy, she can coral social conservatives and evangelicals on the abortion issue. Being a woman also gives her a edge in the discussion revolving around this.
3) Of course there is the very obvious vie for disaffected Hillary supporters. She speech specifically tried to sap the spirit of Hillary's from only two days earlier.
4) It excited the entire process again. Now no matter the outcome, history is made. The American public be it left or right is a part of something big. That special feeling means that we will most likely pay more (than normal) attention to new developments. This can add potency to his ad campaign.
5) She has a son going to Iraq (so does McCain and Biden). This can appeal to moderates that question how republicans would use our military.
6) Union ties. Obviously a demographic that was most shocking. This may act as a laxative for those union members to vote based on other topics like abortion.
7) Dealing with harsh medical realities. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe one of her children suffers from some sort of condition that isn't treatable. This will both leverage sympathy and sell her as being medical industry conscious.
Like I said. She will help McCain. Here's the kicker though, McCain has not been telling the US to vote for him. He has been telling us to NOT vote for Obama. His major leverage in this stance was experience, and debate it all you like, that argument lost it's ground. Even if it didn't, McCain isn't going to want the national dialogue shifting attention on to her for this reason. I'll predict that he'll move away from this idea.
McCain will still have to tell us what his plan is. In all the attacks he's put forth, many Americans aren't aware of his ideas. Promoting fear of Obama's readiness olny goes so far when Obama is making a clear effort to outline specific details about his plans. The public will begin to just assume (fairly or unfairly) that McCain's policies are in fact just the same as the ones of GWB.
The DNC went very well and the dems did a great job preempting the GOP. The RNC will kick off, and all the dems will have to do is sit back, find a media source, and end every day with "we told you so."
That is a hard thing for the republicans to deal with considering the current administration. The GOP can not win by being the 3rd bush term. They'll need to separate themselves somehow. I think McCain's VP pick was the first attempt to do that, at the sacrifice of their best weapon against Obama. It will position them as being a little more progressive. A risky choice. I'm not sure how it will play out. She has charisma, but let's wait and see how she handles the national stage and the pressure to defend her stances. If she is unprepared, McCain may have the problem that he has no made Obama the safe ticket, a piece of ground that could ultimately decide the race.
I've heard the notion that McCain may have been desperate or reactionary to the DNC with his pick, but looking retroactively at some of the things he did and said before, I'm betting this pick was made before the DNC started.
- Deal with it. The republicans campaign very successfully using short soundbyte attacks. It's a great way for press. If Obama gives a thoughtful 3 minute comment on a given topic, it may mean more, but McCain's 10 second comment can be played more in a given day on TV/Radio. It says what they want it to say and has less to fire back on. It builds the desired brand they desire, and the less McCain speaks, the less chance he can say something stupid.
I never said that this is unique to the GOP. The biggest meme from the left is obviously the "Bush 3rd term" meme.
Memes aren't bad, but McCain needs to use more than just memes. He needs to be careful which ones he chooses to use too. It's labeling him as petty and simple. McCain promised a clean campaign so it's going to be thrown back in his face in terms of the credibility of what he says to the public; his trustworthiness.
McCain needs to figure out his own campaign and lay out what he's about, and what he wants. McCain has been sitting on the sideline while Obama has been able to control the national narrative. McCain won't be able to knock Obama out of that role, but he'd better learn to get some stage time.
- Don't make me laugh. You have no perspective on what I thought before, anticipated, or wanted from the convention. Bite your tongue. I did expect the dems to cheer the dems but my analysis stems more from the reaction I got from my coworkers and many people outside of mile-high stadium.
I had low expectations. I was unsure about Michelle Obama's ability to deliver likableness. I was skeptical about Hillary and Bill's desire to help Obama. I expected John Kerry 04, and didn't anticipate anything with energy or character. I was unsure about Biden's ability to jump in smoothly. More than anything else, I was unsure if Obama would be able to start speaking more firmly and quantify his ideas.
I was very nervous and met with great surprise. Glass houses Finn, Glass houses.
As for what line of Obama's speech will be remembered. I think you fail to grasp what happened in that speech. Obama showed he could deliver something different. He's proven his grounds on the speaking-from-philosophy to the masses. He's great at communicating vision in a way that a Americans can relate. What he illustrated on Thursday is that he could talk shop and still captivate the audience. I expect more like this. It wasn't about delivering a new "yes, we can" New Hampshire speech. He has forged his message, he has forged his brands: Hope and Change. For this event he needed something different. I hope you recognize how this benefits him. People leave feeling like he can deliver.
Ponder this for a second Finn. After months of McCain and his supoprters not only attacking Obama, but additionally attacking his supporters (see meme "Obamaniacs") how is it that McCain thinks he can steal them away?
In total honesty here is my two week prediction.
In state by state polling, light red states will get darker. Blue states will remain mostly the same. In purple states, margins will more clearly develop.
In popularity polling, McCain will close the Gap after the RNC and perhaps even catch a healthy bump and poll ahead by 2 to 3 points.
From this point the RNC will have concluded, and the democrats as I have mentioned before will have an obvious job to illustrate exactly how the GOP has an outdated mindset, and the RNC speeches will give them all the ammunition they need. Over the second week, be ready to see the first really noticeable offensive from the dems headed by Biden and I'd wager Kerry too.
Add to this nature. Literally speaking, nature. Hurricane Gustov (Gustoff?) may reach New Orleans. The RNC will have something to talk about potentially, but what should scare them is thoughts about the USA's confidence in FEMA. This one could go either way, I'm not going to try and predict the weather.
At the end of two weeks, I predict things to be pretty even with republicans having to navigate a significantly more critical trail. Democrats will be able to talk more openly about the things that the GOP has to move more delicately through.
oh and one other thing...