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De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Stimulating the Circulation
As I pondered John McCain's choice of running mate throughout the day, I rapidly moved through a series of opinions. It was stupid, I concluded. And then, just a little later, it seemed brilliant. Then it was stupid again, though for a different reason. Back and forth I went. What I eventually decided, though, was that this move, conjectured by some insiders but a big surprise to most of us, was first and foremost an attempt to inspire this sort of protracted scrutiny. That is, in picking Sarah Palin, McCain guaranteed that he would prod professional and amateur pundits alike to discuss his campaign with far greater fervor than if he had made a "safe" choice like Mitt Romney. The adage that there's no such thing as bad publicity certainly applies here. But it's also a little too diffuse in my estimation, because what the McCain campaign seems to have decided, taking a page from Barack Obama's Art of War, is that playing to the blogosphere and its cable-news corollary was more important than choosing someone who would make sense in terms of the strategy it had been pursuing until now. Arguing that Obama lacks the necessary experience simply won't fly now. Perhaps McCain and his advisers determined that Joe Biden was going to make that argument less effective. Whatever the reasoning, though, people like me feel compelled to do what I'm doing now, which may be a bigger boon to the Republican Party than conventional support.

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8 comments or Leave a comment
pissang From: pissang Date: August 30th, 2008 08:14 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Fortunately, I don't think your blog is distracting many undecided voters. I spent a lot of the day pondering and reading about our new potential VP also. Apparently the McCain campaign felt that the experience argument had diminishing returns. But as I watched Palin give her first stump speech, my gut told me she lacked gravitas, which is different and more ineffable than experience. Obama can overcome a "thin resume"--whatever that means--because he can silence a football stadium with his voice. Palin seems likable and she has an endearing biography, but her presence is not very commanding. I hope the rest of the country sees it my way.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 30th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
What, you don't see this blog as a player in the political process?


I agree with you that she lacks Obama's gravitas. But I imagine that the McCain people are continuing to look for new ways to equate gravitas with celebrity and elitism. They're going to use the argument against Barack that the Democrats -- unsuccessfully -- and, before them, in 1976, the Republicans -- more or less successfully -- deployed against Ronald Reagan.
chrisglass From: chrisglass Date: August 30th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I've been waffling as I think through this as well. (Thinking way too much about it I should mention).

Ultimately, I think it is defensive, cynical, and totally fitting.

I think the difference between the two main candidates is now clearer.

Right. Or middle.
Party. Or country.
Cynical. Or hopeful.
Drilling. Or new energy.
Overturn Roe/Wade. Provide healthcare to mothers and mothers-to-be.
Strong arm. Strong words.
Taxes. Taxes.

I should work on this list more.

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 30th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's a helpful start, list-wise. What I found most interesting in all the discussion of McCain's choice is the idea, expressed by a number of people with some measure of insider knowledge, that he had wanted to go with Joe Lieberman, but was overruled.
flw From: flw Date: August 30th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Talk all you want. Maybe what? 30 people read your entries? You run a commercial on a latenight infomercial in Blaine, Iowa and 30,000 people see it, night after night after night. You can do no harm. You are powerless and weak. This entry above is more than most people read in a week.

I had the same reaction by the way! First I was all doom and gloom. And then I thought that this was the choice that was finally going to force people to see past cynical identity politics. Could this choice possible be more insulting to women?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 30th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Why does everyone keep pointing out how I have no readership?


I think your latter conclusion is one that is picking up speed among middle-of-the-road "Hillary" types.
flw From: flw Date: August 30th, 2008 10:15 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
It's becoming very obvious that the "Clinton for McCain" "Movement" is an Astro-Turf false flag operation, if you ask me.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 31st, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Yes, I agree.
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