Back from my holidays in Morocco and Spain (it was fun, thank you – we sorta followed the ‘Moorish Trail’), and lo and behold! Barack Obama no longer seems to be in the lead. As the electoral college polls over at the (pro-GOP) Realclearpolitics.com and (more neutral) Fivethirtyeight.com websites show, John McCain has closed the gap. Obama needs to get worried.
The reasons why Obama is losing? It ain’t rocket science:
- He has not been able to convince voters that he’s made of the right stuff.
- People doubt him.
- He’s black. (Well, sorta.) Which doesn’t help, not in the USA anyway.
- They’re Americans; they can’t handle the truth!
In short, the four reasons that have been toiling in the back of my head ever since Obama became the Democratic candidate-in-waiting.
It also proves another thing: The Media have blown Obama’s candidacy way out of proportion. While the M Crowd was busy salivating over a black presidential candidate, they completely seemed to miss out on the fact that, according to the polls, many voters didn’t share their blinding enthusiasm.
There were some political junkies in the national press corps who were largely able to keep their Obamania-levels low. Kudos to Ben Smith and Glenn Rush, both of Politico.com, Mark Halperin of Time’s The Page, and Jake Tapper, the main man of ABC’s Political Punch.
Okay, so what’s next? It’s going to be Obama week, all week. First, he announces his pick for the veep slot. Sure, he might have offered it to Hillary, like even Ralph Nader predicted – but what, Bubba, if she turned it down, with an eye on 2012….?
Questions, questions. Anyway, Obama will be announcing his pick, which is sure to lead to at least 48 hours of Obamanews. Watch for nasty attacks from right-wing quarters, in an effort to divert Obama’s limelight.
Then, after the veep announcement, the Democrats will hold their convention. Yet another 72 hours (or so) of across the board Obamanews. Watch for nasty… Oh well, you get the drill.
Will it result in a bounce for Obama? Nope. Yes, he’ll give a grandiose speech and The Media will remind you for several days how incredibly special it is to have the First Black Candidate for the presidency, and that it’s history being made, etcetera, and so on.
But because of reasons 1, 2, 3 and 4, the bounce – if there is one at all – will be minimal. If Obama doesn’t close the deal before the end of September, the Clinton Wolfpacks will smell blood. Obama’s shining light will fade, especially if McCain does manage a small bounce.
Because then The Media’s big story will be “John McCain, The Comeback Grandpa”. And that would constitute Reason 5.
Communicatiestrateeg en schrijver van het boek ‘Megafoonpolitiek: hoe politieke partijen ons beïnvloeden’. Op Twitter te vinden als @kajleers.nl. Politiek bewust, muziekmaker, professionele kletskous, schrijver. Geeft ook social media-trainingen, denkt graag met je mee over communicatiestrategie. En ja, content is en blijft King.