Monday, September 01, 2008

The Political Winds Are Changing: Something Wicked this Way Comes?

What normally would have been a Republican National Convention and bonafide national endorsement for Centrum Silver, Viagra and Geritol has now become a storm of rightful national sensitivity to Americans affected by hurricane Gustav. However, today Christian Ferry, McCain for President Deputy Campaign Manager spoke at the Mississippi Delegation breakfast humbly downplayed the impact that hurricane Gustav may have on the 2008 Republican National Convention or the Republican Presidential campaign as he remarked, “Obviously the convention has taken a bit of a change.” Ferry continued to stay on message as he regurgitated the prepared metaphorical sound-bites intended to highlight the Republican sensitivity to the residents being exiled by hurricane Gustav that is now trumping the media attention to the Republican National Convention as Ferry stated, “we take off our Republican hats and put on our American Hats.” President Bush continued in this sensitivity to the affects of hurricane Gustav as he spoke before the press at the Alamo Regional Command Center stating, “Nobody is happy about these storms.”

Is it really that difficult to switch roles while representing the American people in all manners of political or weather related activities to simply remove an inanimate object? Are the Republicans really that detached from their emotions that they need a PSA or a National Weather Alert reminder to rhetorically remove their Orange Beanies during a moment of silence, during a prayer or when attempting to conduct the business of the 2008 Republican National Convention? This is not an incoherent reminder to do what is right by being sensitive; it is an attempt to keep the media attention focused on the Republicans from now until election-day on November 4th. Stay tuned to my text as I attempt to explain the inclement weather now on the horizon.

When Barack Obama concluded his acceptance speech at Invesco Field this past Thursday night to accept the nomination to run as President of the United States, the media was in a fury of activity attempting to analyze the affects of this one historical event. As 38 million viewers watched Obama take McCain to task on numerous political disagreements, even Republican speech writer Pat Buchanan couldn’t help but get emotionally choked up over the eloquence of the poetry in Obama’s oration. Equally the state’s Democratic Parties were in the consensus that if Obama keeps this level of media attention and momentum from that night up through November 4th, Obama will win the White House.

These national conventions are all about partisan media visibility and how weather forecasts can significantly affect voter turnout and mobilization in battleground states. Now you might think that talking about how the current weather could possibly affect the turnout on election-day may be nothing short of a frivolous and somewhat close to pseudoscience exercise. But hold on to your remotes, stay tuned to the weather channel as I attempt to explain that “something wicked this way comes.”

Like the Karl Rovian Texas two-step we are so vehemently familiar with, the American public is now witnessing the calculated turn of events re-written by some of the smartest media strategists retained by the Republican National Committee. Take a look at the Republican calendars issued on September 1st versus August 28th of this year contrasted below:

CALENDAR ISSUED September 1st, 2008


*CANCELLED President Bush addresses the GOP convention. Minneapolis,MN [, 07/23/08]

*CANCELLED 11:55 AM: Cindy McCain and Laura Bush will participate in the National Park Service First Bloom Service Event at CivicFest at the Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Avenue South Minneapolis,MN [McCain Press Release, 08/29/08]
Today, McCain travels to Philadelphia, PA. Cindy McCain's appearance with Laura Bush has been CANCELLED.

McCain and Palin are expected to stop in Toledo. McCain campaign officials were trying to find veterans or troop support events for what was described as "a brief stop-and shake some hands." Toledo,OH [, 08/28/08]

CALENDAR ISSUED August 28th, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
Surrogate Events

President Bush addresses the GOP convention. Minneapolis, MN [, 07/23/08]
Republican National Convention. The festivities will kick off at 3:30 pm and go until 11 pm ET (with a 30-min break at 7:30 pm). The overall convention theme: "Putting Country First." The theme of the first day: Service. Minneapolis, MN [The Note,, 11/21/06; Marc Ambinder, 8/8/08]

Sen Lieberman gives a speech at the GOP convention. St Paul, MN [Politico, 08/20/08]
Hadassah Lieberman will appear as a special guest at a breast cancer fundraiser being staged by Neiman Marcus and the Republican Jewish Coalition National Women's Committee. St. Paul, MN [Politico Jonathan Martin, 8/12/08]

In a mere matter of days calendars can rightly change for a variety of circumstances. Now there is much truth to be found in the fact that President Bush needs to attend to the people’s business instead of court the Republican base for McCain by speaking at the 2008 Republican National Convention. However there is quite a bit more truth that lies in the fact that it is a smarter media strategy to keep President Bush looking Presidential, and stashed as far away from McCain as possible when the general public makes a connection between the slow and yet failed Bush response-time to the past devastation of hurricane Katrina. If history really repeats itself what can Republicans do to avoid the past Katrina debacle and excel by appropriately handling hurricane Gustav? Moments ago the RNC video shown before the Republican National Convention attendees with the background of a few national guard members and a C6 airplane loaded with supplies bound for the hurricane devastated area quoting Texas Governor Rick Perry, “You are seeing Republican Governor’s take care of business here in Louisiana.”
On Sunday August 31st, Republican pollster Frank Luntz conducted a focus group with undecided Minnesota voters, to take the temperature of the American public and their reaction to the Democratic Convention, Sen. Obama's acceptance speech and the McCain-Palin ticket. The event was sponsored by AARP. See CSPAN:

As a Political Geek I have to admire what Republican money can buy in these elections. If you are not readily familiar with the name Frank Luntz I remind you of his many claims to fame that derive from drafting the right words integrated in to the local and national media discussion. Luntz swapped the terms Estate Tax with Death Tax, Tax Cuts with Tax Relief, Global Warming with Climate Change, and as well Luntz is strongly attributed for his work on the infamous Contract for America. Luntz dispels the rhetoric in his work as he claims that his efforts are really a “Clarification versus Obfuscation.” Luntz has a long history of working for Republicans. Watch the two videos below and learn well how Luntz will play a central role in keeping media coverage on the Republicans and their National Convention. Source:

Luntz: Romney the Winner: Luntz Must Be Working for Romney! PBS The Frontline See Chapter Five “Give Us What We Want:” Testing Language That Persuades

Republicans even broke the age old statistic of past presidential elections during this year’s Democratic National Convention week. For decades in the past both parties have given each other the Jeffersonian gentleman’s respect allowing a partisan convention week of undisturbed media intrusion. On August the 26th Mitt Romney, Rudy Guiliani on the 27th, and Gov. Pawlenty on the 28th all held rallies less than a mile away from the Pepsi Center in Denver Colorado to distract the media away from the proceedings of the Democratic National Convention.

So why would Republican Frank Luntz be working so hard on polling Minnesota voters on the affects of the Democratic Convention, Sen. Obama's acceptance speech and the McCain-Palin ticket? What better way would any political party be able to truly understand what media message and political strategy ought to be implemented for the next 60 days leading up to the General Election, but by testing the Midwestern voters. As pollsters understand how Midwest voters have been recently influenced, so goes the way of the voter turn-out on Election Day. If Obama’s speech has had more media pull and received more American attention than the McCain-Palin announcement, subsequently Luntz must find the Rosetta stone to decode the exact words to convey that Republicans really are compassionate conservatives. Additionally Luntz must show that Republicans are deeply concerned with Americans now being affected by hurricane Gustav that inadvertently has now trumped the expected unfettered media coverage of the Republican National Convention.

It is a little unclear what the central theme of the Republican National convention use to be. The American viewership is now buried in the press coverage hearing the resonating Liberty Bell response from the McCain campaign and his surrogates that redundantly intend to strongly convey that they are, “Putting Our Country First.” This new born again media response is ardently interesting to note given the fact that historically Republicans are mostly Darwinistic and haven’t been the party to put social programs first.

Presidential historians will look back at this current election cycle to either proclaim that hurricane Gustav did or did not have any significant impact on the close margins of the win in the 2008 Presidential elections. The best example of weather potentially affecting an election was the extremely close presidential vote of 1948, when Democrat Harry S. Truman won the presidency over Republican Thomas Dewey. Weather was a factor in two especially close states that were won by Truman, in Illinois and California. A slight shift in vote in these states would have awarded the election to Dewey.

I commend the Republicans for curtailing their convention proceedings in all due respect to sway the national viewership of the redundant fact that we Americans are all attempting to do what is right by praying for the residents affected by hurricane Gustav. These events are not ethically intended to be a time for partisan manipulation. I additionally ask everyone reading this text to contribute to the American Red Cross that stands in need ready to assist our fellow Americans in this dire circumstance of weather related events. But time will tell how much the Republicans attempt to distance themselves from the past missteps of the Bush administration during hurricane Katrina or to assume rightly accountability. As well only time will tell how much Republicans manipulate media coverage to use this pending catastrophic event to sway the American public that it is now self evident, or that this is the time to elect John McCain to the White House in 2008. Batten down the hatches and take note the political winds are changing in America.

Take a look at the GOP Convention Schedule for today:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Presidential historians will look back at this current election cycle to either proclaim that hurricane Gustav did or did not have any significant impact on the close margins of the win in the 2008 Presidential elections."

They might also proclaim Obama did or did not win.

Or, McCain did or did not win.

Or, the sun did or did not rise.

What are you all talking about? Sometimes I really think you're not all there...