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In politics, perception is king
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, August 03, 2008

The pundits can rail against tactics, warn that particular methods of attack are risky, and even lecture candidates about the "low road". But it is the voter who gets the final say about campaign tactics, strategy and messages.

As much as they hate to admit it, Democrats should understand that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's campaign against John Kerry didn't succeed because it was mean, nasty and untrue. It succeeded because more people believed them than John Kerry.

That's why it is interesting to consider the latest Rasmussen poll:
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the nation’s voters say they’ve seen news coverage of the McCain campaign commercial that includes images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and suggests that Barack Obama is a celebrity just like them. Of those, just 22% say the ad was racist while 63% say it was not.
Reminds you of the Harold Ford incident, when, in fact, voters rejected the attempt to make an ad run by his opponent into a racist attack. It appears, given the poll numbers, that the same rejection of racism is taking place among voters who've seen the McCain campaign's "celebrity" ad.

On the other hand:
However, Obama’s comment that his Republican opponent will try to scare people because Obama does not look like all the other presidents on dollar bills was seen as racist by 53%. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree.
You'd think, by now, the Obama campaign would have briefed their candidate that the "I look different" meme is not working to their advantage. It is being seen, rightfully in my estimation, as a attempt to differentiate the candidates by race, something the McCain campaign hasn't done. The Obama campain then uses the difference in race to decry "scare" tactics by the other side which supposedly portray Obama as "scary" because he's different.

It isn't selling at all, as indicated by the poll.

So, what are the messages here? For the McCain campaign, damn the pundits, full speed ahead. And for the Obama campaign, drop the "I'm different and they're trying to scare you because of that" routine. It's not working.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Obama is going to lose this race, because all he has offered is "I am different, and if the other guys (wink wink) bring it up, it is because they are racists."

The Rev. Wright? If you discuss it, you are a racist.

The Rev. Pfleger? If you discuss it, you are a racist.

William Ayers? If you discuss it, you are a racist.

Obama’s ties to Louis Farrakhan? If you discuss it, you are a racist.

Obama’s ties to Tony Rezko? If you discuss it, you are a racist.

Obama’s ties to a Palestinian professor at Columbia University who advocates for the destruction of Israel? If you discuss it, you are a racist.

The fist bump? If you discuss it, you are a racist.

Obama’s lack of experience everywhere? If you discuss it, you are a racist.

Obama’s lack of a cohesive policy? If you discuss it, you are a racist.

Obama’s ridiculous refusal to visit troops at Landstuhl? If you discuss it, you are a racist.

In short, if you mention any of Obama’s negatives - and boy are they there - you are just a racist.

What is incredible is that McCain and his campaign told Obama that he can take that argument and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. And Obama fell backward from that reaction, because he was able to cow the Clintons with it. And that is why they lost.

But it is why McCain will win - because Obama has nothing more than "if you criticize my lack of experience or lack of planning to be President, you are a racist." And now even the American people are seeing Obama’s message of win-by-racism as that, and will reject it in November.
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
Obama was responding — maybe if the question was preceded with Facts - the Rasmussen poll would be valid —

McCain put out an ad with Barack’s face on the $100 bill BEFORE Barack said anything in response — he is not injecting race into this -

The only thing Sen Obama is guilty of is injecting CLASS into a despicable political process - he need sone attack dogs -
Why doesn’t the media do their job?

Here’s the link to the ad- right there on John McCain’s You Tube site (and the embed - not sure which works on this site)

Ran June 27th for the first time
object width="425" height="344">

Written By: alison weil
URL: http://
Some people sure are in a hurry to write a comment defending Obama. So much in a hurry they have a hard time with complete thoughts (or even complete sentences) or embedded links. I’m still not clear on what point was being expressed.

"Unclear expression is a sign of unclear thought" - Robert Heinlein
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
he is not injecting race into this -
See title of post.
Written By: McQ
I understand that Obama’s surrogates will just take this line up for him, but Sen. Lightworker harmed himself by untruthfully claiming McCain was making/will make racist attacks.

Here’s the real truth....this election will be decided by white voters.

And crying "racism" at the drop of a hat isn’t going to gain/hold their support.
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"The only thing Sen Obama is guilty of is injecting CLASS into a despicable political process..."

If that is "injecting class," I would hate to see what doing harm looks like.

BTW, Obama tried this crappola on the Clintons, and the fools that they are bought it and were cowed into not criticizing that empty suit of a candidate called Barack Obama.

I have to say that I was not thrilled voting for McCain in November; more of my vote was anti-Obama than pro-McCain. But seeing that McCain will not stand for any more of this racist lambasting from Obama, and that he will face it head on and call it for what it is - classless racism designed to appeal to the far Left - I have increased my respect for McCain. My vote is now about 60% for McCain, 40% anti-Obama. It was the flipside two weeks ago.
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
Perhaps my ears are deceiving me, but each time I hear Obama broach the subject of pseudo-racism directed against him and his campaign, the purported practioner of this "racism" is never identified (what "they’re" tactic is) and is generally depicted as anticipated as opposed to actual (what the’re "going to try to do").

He is, in fact, decrying a practice that simply does not yet exist, if it will ever exist at all.

Written By: Bingo
URL: http://
oops...make that "what ’their’ tactic is"...
Written By: Bingo
URL: http://

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