Chattering classes have come close to consensus: Barack Obama better get used to hearing the Marine Band play “Hail to the Chief” as he goes about his day (how cool?). The man is as good as inaugurated. Polls have him ahead in ways that make us all go. Every historical analysis gives him the edge. Does anyone even remember the guy he’s running against?
Now comes the truth.
Things change, things change, things change. Polls change, moods change, inertia will likely change, and next thing you know the story — and chattering classes reporting or analyzing — will be amended beyond belief. Headlines You Can Expect: “Holy Lazarus! McCain Rises Again!”, “McCain: Pol with Nine Lives”, “Obama’d Out”, or “Obama? Oh Brother!” Which will no doubt be followed by a round of stories saying the exact opposite soon after, I promise.
If the Dem primaries taught us one thing, it’s that elections are cyclical. You remember, you were there… we all were. Oy were we. And statistics and polls prove that many of us were flip-flopping (a term sadly referring to one of John Kerry’s biggest downfalls in the 2004 election) our way through the Dem-on-Dem crime. We were Hill-raisers, we were Barockin’ the vote, and don’t forget we were flighty.
Media angles and strategic PR fuel our indecision. In 2004 Team Bush slammed John Kerry for chucking his medals of honor from his army days. Bush went AWOL, Kerry misplaced a few pieces of silver. In end Bush PR squad won the battle. They put the story first and spun it so meticulously it made enough people question Kerry’s patriotism (whatever).
It’s starting all over! Are you ready, troops? The media already came down on Obama over his refusal to don an American pride pin. Obama explained that the pin “became a substitute for true patriotism” and that he is “going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism.” Media translation: Obama hates America.
Oh, and John McCain, the poor geezer, is the easiest target… heart attack factor runs through his veins. Everyone’s zinging away with the old man-senior citizen punch line. Come on you know it’s hurtful! There are sites out there dedicated to predicting his heart attack. Can you say “Eeek”?
These are non-issue distractions that work, though. (I work in PR and I love distractions.) Examples are endless and the consequences disastrous. Let’s not forget Al Gore passionately tipping Tipper for a smooch to prove he’s not square. I’m still uncomfortable when I see her.
In the months to come, Desperate Housewives will not supply the same level of drama as CNN. Remember, this is our process… You asked for it. You earned it. You will live through it. Look the other way or sit back and enjoy.
Don’t forget to vote, man! [rockthevote.org]