The Money Factor and its Outputs

September 17, 2008

One might conclude that political ads and PR is one of a contending campaign’s biggest assets to the public — and the obvious fuel to this fire is money. 

And as we continue to notice the numerous left or right attack ads in what seems like every commercial break we run across, the press can’t help but link this back to their big story, Obama’s 66 million dollars in August. And this is perfectly on the spot — you essentially can’t go anywhere to the left or right (online or on your feet) without being swarmed with donation and fundraising opportunities and events. Recently attending an Obama fundraiser, I was amazed with the amount of excess opportunities to buy and donate to the Obama/Biden camp, especially considering the amount of money it cost to get in the actual venue. 

But when looking at the outcome of all this money steadily flowing into the Democrat’s hands, it begs a comment which has been screaming in my head for the last few days: “Is this what all this money is part of? Negative campaigning?” 

As a PR-focused political commenter, I understand that attack ads are merely defense from the latest opposing attacks, but as Karl Rove pointed out, the ads are really going to far. And although Rove may not be the brightest of politicians, his point is made clear. 

But in my view, the most essential thing here is the fact that the ads are virtually an input-output machine, with the input money, and the output a decline in the polls. 

I always look at a campaign in three stages, the first a reception, the second dinner, and the third a drunken bar fight. In more clarity — the candidates spend the beginning of their campaign introducing themselves, the second sitting down and watching the effects throughout the primaries, and the third picking fights and running negative attack ads. And although this has proven to work in the past, a change in politics is in my view essential to winning the campaign. 

So why, then, it is that as Obama keeps listing the lies of McCain’s attacks, the left slips in the polls? America doesn’t like disputes, they like answers. And so this back and fourth attack — defense media battle thus acts as an eclipse to regular politics, and further lets the conservatives ride on Sarah Palin’s media wave, perhaps right into the White House.

This is also comparable to a basketball game where one team is winning by 5 points. The other team may score, but the leading squad (in this case the McCain camp) will always return with another two points. And although the first team keeps scoring, they will always be down by five points, and in the end, losing the game. 

My point? Although Obama may speak the truth in his attacks, he must sacrifice a good reputation if he wants the White House next Spring. 



8 Responses to “The Money Factor and its Outputs”

  1. Hans Says:

    So why, then, it is that as Obama keeps listing the lies of McCain’s attacks, the left slips in the polls?

    this is what is driving me crazy beyond all belief!

    I like your sports analogy, however Politics & apparently people’s political beliefs are the furthest thing from sports imaginable.

    Sports are based on stats, without stats there would be no sports and there is no die-hard sports fan who does not “live & die” by the stats. Stats are nothing but facts, so how is it a country arguably dominated by sports fans, can be so blind believing everything they hear regardless if it is factual or not? There is a huge disconnect here and I cannot phantom why this is the case! It drives me crazy and it took me 4 vodka & cranberries last night to mellow out on this fact and that we all just gave $283 to bailout AIG.

    Breathe Hans, Breathe!

  2. pacer521 Says:

    Wow, never so much thought (and apparently alcohol) has gone into a topic of one of my posts, but nevertheless, your last paragraph is spot on and genius. This post just came to me when at last night’s 11 million dollar Hollywood Obama fundraiser — where are those 11 million going to be spent on.

    Breathing steadily now,

  3. Terrant Says:

    Yeah, we’re at the part of the cycle that I hate the most. They are like a couple of monkeys flinging poo at each other try to get it to stick. Couple that with 527s, it is downright disgusting.

  4. Imago Dei Says:

    An interesting point you make. But moot, seeing as how the Obama campaign has re-taken the lead they’ve had for the majority of your metaphorical basketball game. Regardless, I think the dichotomy between disputes and answers that you’ve laid out is oversimplified. Due to the very fresh and painful Gore/Kerry memories, the Obama campaign has been careful to call McCain and his camp on any lies/smears that could potentially take hold in the public consciousness. Now that they have forcefully responded to the recent spate of boldfaced lies the Republicans have been telling surrounding Governor Palin, the Obama camp has been able to go back to laying out the answers the American public needs. Hence Obama’s recent contrast drawing between himself and McCain on the economy.

  5. pacer521 Says:

    Imago Dei,

    Great points. I have noticed that the Obama campaign has been careful to point out the lies in the public presence. I do agree that my post is a little to simple, but I have really laid out my different points in different posts, if you want to check them out.

    Thanks for the comment — the last sentence was the bingo for me.


  6. hey man,
    thanks a lot for your comment there in my blog! Your blog is a nice one! see ya!

  7. Unfortunately, truth is not a major factor in politics. How people perceive and how they feel about it seem to be two of the more dominant factors.

    Excellent post.

  8. pacer521 Says:

    Maichael LaBossiere,

    I couldn’t agree more. There is a mindset of politicians, left and right that is always evident — run to win.

    thanks for the compliment and comment!

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