August 26, 2008

Any political junkies remember

Mary Sue Terry? MST, as she was known in Dem circles in Virginia, was a two-term attorney general who ran for governor in 1993. The media was in the tank for her and she was widely expected to wipe the floor with the GOP nominee. A one-term congressman from Charlottesville was re-districted out of his seat by the Dem-controlled legislature and improbably became the Republican nominee. I saw most of the campaign from my perch in North Carolina, moving back to Virginia in the summer. Much of the early coverage was of the "historic" nature of her campaign, how she was going to the first woman to be governor, how her staff wrote "Going to the Mansion" set to the tune of "Going to the Chapel", etc. By Labor Day, there was a subtle shift in the coverage--stories critical of the campaign, its lack of focus, and the like became noticeable. By election day, the media had distanced itself from MST and George Allen won in a landslide. Boys and girls, we are starting to see the same phenomenon with the presidential campaign. Watch for news of campaign shakeups, the lack of substance, the need to offer details. No media type will want to be accused of not seeing it coming.

Posted by LMC at August 26, 2008 08:32 PM | TrackBack

my local metaphor is Ned Lamont. He beat Lieberman in the dem primary with huge support of nutroots and many in media. Major hype around this anti-war, old-school far-left liberal. He then went on to capture only 30% of the votes in the general election. Got completely hammered. In a deep blue state like Connecticut.

Now, to be fair Lieberman was the incumbant and had high name recognition and all. But the bottom line for me is that elections are won by addressing those who don't identify with the politically active. 'Unaffiliated' is where victory lies. Balancing them with getting out one's base is the trick.

Great news for Republicans is that national reporter's #1 left-winger just picked the #3 left-winger as his running mate. Leave them to their nutroot base and make the bi-partisan 'let's fix this mess called Washington' pitch to the voters.

Posted by: tdp at August 27, 2008 08:36 AM