Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Is John McCain flip-flopping or confused?

On regulation of the financial markets and institutions, he was anti-regulatory until, I believe, yesterday. ABC News calls him out on it. At the same time, today, he seemed to confuse Spain with some Latin American country with which we maybe don't have perfect relations. In the Spanish language papers, he's coming across short of an international incident, just rather...loco.

Good news for John, however -- he did, indeed, gain a Hillary Clinton supporter, and one who says she's for him because, ""I don't like him. I feel like he is an elitist."

Damn, she must have credibility then, right?

If only she weren't, and I kid you not, Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, wife of Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild of the prominent Rothschild banking family of England, with whom she splits their time between New York City and a British country estate:

Ah, just the kind of crossover support Sir John McCain doesn't need. Might even make him nostalgic for Carly Fiorina.

This week has been the turning point in the Presidential campaign, and McCain has been completely blindsided. Why bother asking what's McCain's plan for the economy -- he doesn't even have a plan to win the election, which the Obama campaign is laying theirs out in public, via email today to supporters, David Plouffe being transparent and, I think, convincing:

I mean, $39 million to seriously contest Florida. If that isn't a gauntlet thrown down before the McCain campaign, what is?

Back to the turning point -- it's in the polls, including a new poll showing Obama ahead in traditionally red Indiana. But the big trend polls are the lead flipping on Gallup Daily, Obama 47% vs. McCain 45%, and in the CBS News poll. In that one, last week it was McCain 46% Obama 44%, tonight it's Obama 48% McCain 43%.

Here's my prediction: barring Obama having an Edwards-level scandal, I don't think it's going to matter what slime they try to throw at him, these numbers will never be this tight again. If anything, the Obama campaign, steeped in Internet enterprise culture, knows that it's a winner-take-all world now, and mindshare is everything.

Without Palin I'd have given McCain a 38% floor, absolute rock bottom. With Palin I think it could be 42%, still giving Obama room enough for a landslide.

The semiotics of the campaigns are interesting now. Obama comes across cool, even-handed but firm and willing to duke. His produced ads are efficient and clear, his email blasts focused and just frequent enough. I expect them to accelerate as we close in on election day, but he's showing excellent taste throughout both new and traditional media. The only other big video element of his campaign is the raw, man-with-a-camera clips from his stump speeches daily, sometimes a zinger like this:

McCain's semiotics are, however, all over the place. He's for this one day, he's against it the next in a different, jarring setting. His banking crisis ad is a mishmash of fear evoking imagery, unfortunately for McCain having him in a black-box netherspace, as if giving us his word on the economy from an undisclosed sci-fi bunker:

And he falls back onto biography at the end, the biggest mistake any Presidential candidate can make. It's vision we vote for, even ersatz if the other side has zero. Kerry lost on biography. McCain also acts like he's somehow "Best Manager," a big traditional loser for Dems (Mondale/Dukakis/Gore) which is rather ridiculous when today's claim is that he was Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee. On one hand, he once again misstates, this time its jurisdiction. But the other reason this is a loser for him is so much more obvious.

It's like raising your hand when the teacher asks who set off the fire alarm, and there's the identifying ink from the security system all over it.

Are you trying to get nailed?


Anonymous said...

I think Plouffe's giving a head fake on FLA. If so, it's a brilliant move.

Burr Deming said...

The endorsement by Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild will be among McCain's most valued. Here's why.