Saturday, September 27, 2008

Winning and losing an election--An uncharacteristic rant

Did you watch the presidential debate last night? Were you as disappointed as I was? McCain was well-rehearsed and well-prepared with his few soundbite talking points, hammering them home again and again. Ya gotta hand it to the republicans. They know how to use TV.

Obama, apparently winging it, and with no apparent understanding that viewers read body language and facial expressions, let show how much McCain got under his skin. Was he expecting a rational, substantive debate? The dems need serious schooling in TV 101, and I don't understand why, after all these years, they still don't get it.

And what's with all the "I think ..., uh, er," and "I believe, uh, er"? Viewers are trained to be impatient. Every word that doesn't count, every er and uh, uh, uh diverts viewer interest, especially the viewers Obama most needs to capture--so-called independents and undecideds. Worse, they make Obama appear uncertain, indecisive and weak.

The dems need some quick lessons in on-camera presentation if they're to save any chance of taking an election that was theirs to lose from the get-go. It's one thing the Clintons knew, understood and used well. Obama and Biden should be analyzing Reagan, Clinton, and yes, McCain videos and learn how to use TV to win an election.

That's the getting and keeping our attention rant. What about substance? Neither man showed a hint of leadership regarding last week's long-coming Wall Street meltdown and the astonishing bailout plan. Neither so much as mentioned the global crisis that threatens human life on the planet. If it weren't so frustrating, if the stakes weren't so high, the debate would have been a yawn.

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