Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Countdown Begins

This didn't take very long. We haven't even had the inauguration yet and they're already starting to countdown to the end of Obama's first term. This drives home part of the reason that McCain lost. He, and his supporters, did not give the public a reason to vote in support of McCain; only reasons to vote against Obama. You can't win an election that way.

In 96 the Republicans ran Dole against Clinton and they thought that their hate for Clinton was persuasive enough to convince the general public to vote for Dole. In 04 Democrats did the same thing in the Kerry campaign against Bush. The problem was that the general public did not share the Republicans' visceral hate for Clinton or the Democrats' visceral hate for Bush. There were things the public disliked about Clinton and Bush; but they did not amount to the same level of disdain. McCain's campaign was predicated upon the same disdain for Obama; and that became the only message of his campaign. Attack, attack, attack!

I think negative campaign ads are an important part of the process. I disagree when I hear someone saying how they hate the negative ads and wish the campaigns would not use them. The problem is when the negative ads become the central part of a campaign strategy, as they did with McCain. You have to present yourself in the best light and your opponent in the worst light. If all you're doing is the latter, that negative light starts to reflect onto you. Apparently the group running the above ad on Drudge didn't learn a damn thing last night.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Obama Turn

It's a good night. And it happened on my son's birthday. He's our little good luck charm. In my paper from the Obama Effect conference I used the phrase the "Obama Turn." Obama himself and his victory symbolize a transition to a new era; for liberalism, the Democratic Party and most importantly, the nation as a whole.

As one last point, Drudge continues the religiofication of Obama. Something I have addressed in my paper and in this space in the past. I'm interested to see how this rhetoric is employed in the conservative critique over the next few years.