Thursday, June 14, 2012

One-trick pony

Here's First Read this morning:
In the five years since Barack Obama has become a fixture on the national stage, he has followed this script when the going gets tough: He gives a speech. .... In THIS speech, per the campaign, the president will mention (as he’s said before at some recent fundraisers) the stark contrast on the economy between the two presidential candidates, and he’ll say that this election has the chance to “break the stalemate” between the two parties on how to fix the economy and pay down the debt. Here’s the thing about Obama’s speeches, though: This appears to be his team’s only play sometimes. They’ve worked in the past, of course. But the question becomes: If you continually give a speech when your back is against the wall, does it inevitably have less of an impact?
Judging by the reaction by the media, I would say this one is a bust.  Put aside the predictive models of election results based on disposable income or consumer confidence.  There's also what I call the "living room" threshold where Americans ask themselves: "do I want this guy in my living room (on the TV) for four years?"  Obama has had consistently high personal approval ratings but in this election season he's quickly become a hectoring bore.  Gone are the "hope and change" of 2008, now it's all whining, blame-shifting, and fantasy rhetoric.

Don't worry: the Democrats are slaves to the notion that Americans are dull drones and improved "messaging" will carry the day.  So there will be blood more speeches.

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