Friday, March 28, 2008

Teflon or Krazy: Obama, Hilary & McCain

Following up on a New York Times blog article titled "Krazy Glue Moments" which discusses why some we (the electorate) have different perceptions of candidate's gaffes, mistakes, and misdeeds depending on who they are and what they say. Why for instance do I still remember that damn turkey farm of Nelson's and that McCain angers easily but have to be reminded that Obama is a smoker and that Hilary was a Republican before she was a Democrat. So let's rate each of our Presidential Candidates according to their ability to deflect or attract negative attention. The scoring will be as follows: 0 is completely immune to being attacked for mistakes (aka being Reaganesque) to 10 being unable to sneeze without being lambasted for it.

Hilary Clinton: Can this woman catch a break?! No. She can't. The general perception of Hilary is that she will do (or say) anything to get into the White House (as a President this time). Therefore, anything that she says that is untrue feeds to that perception that she is will lie, cheat or steal in order to dupe more people into supporting her. Furthermore, over the years she hasn't exactly been making friends with the media or with Republicans and Independents.. so what your reap, is what you sow. Oh, and it doesn't help that you completely fabricate a story about how heroic you were in Bosnia, see video evidence totally discrediting you, then say that sleep deprivation made you say it, amend the story, have more video evidence come up, amend the story again, then be discredited a third time by dozens of witnesses and further video evidence.
Score: 8

Barack Obama: He's new, young, looks good, and he's black. If he was an athlete this would be a sure recipe for disaster, but for a politician it means no matter what he says (attacking Pakistan), or what he does (go to a Church of rather bigoted people), or what he thinks (hmm.. too many to list) is not going to make headlines for long. If all fails his campaign can always play the "They say that about him because he's black!" card, which if used seldom but effectively can make some pretty big problems go away. The Obama crisis management goes like this after a mistake or misdeed becomes public: 1) vaguely say that it was misunderstood, 2) claim it comes from the GOP or Clinton campaigns, 3) do something "courageous" like giving a speech on racism, 4) blame it on racists.. white racists, that is, 5) let friendly media outlets take care of it. It's a damn good plan.
Score: 2

John McCain: Well, he is a target for both Hilary and Obama camps but he is a war hero so you can't exactly criticize him too much (unless he threw away his medals..) McCain definitely has had his share of verbal gaffes describing himself as a "conservative.. liberal... republican" and discussing the support Iran was giving its enemy - Al Queda. Being a target of the entire Democratic party and the far right wing of the Republican party has not helped him out in the media. Although one might expect FOX News to be completely enamoured with the GOP nominee they seen to hold some disdain that he prefers MSNBC to them and therefore isn't even guaranteed positive coverage there!
Score: 6

And just for fun, Nebraska's (relevant or semi-relevant) Senate candidates.

Mike Johanns: The only words that could derail M.J. from becoming Nebraska's next senator are "I am a gay American". If he steers clear of those words.. he is a shoe-in and no matter what the media reports the is going to be elected by at least a twenty point margin. The only thing coming between him and being totally teflon is that the Farm Bill isn't exactly structured the way eachd farmer wants it to be. Besides that no matter what Ben Nelson or anyone else says... this non-charismatic Iowa farm boy will be our next Senator.

Score: 1

Scott Kleeb & Tony Raimondo: The truth hurts for NE Dems but the only way these two will ever get any real media coverage is either going negative or having very public nervous breakdowns. So in that sense no one is really paying enough attention to have anything stick to them kind of like when Mike Gravel cursed for a complete minute while discussing 'corporations', remember that? Didn't think so. So, for that reason NE Dem candidates for Senate get a new rating... the infamous and irrelevant -1.

Score: -1

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