Monday, February 11, 2008

Staged Presence

With the policy differences between Obama and Clinton negligible at best (i.e., affordable almost-universal health care versus Hillarycare Part II), it's no surprise that voters and the press are focusing on the stylistic and strategic variances that separate the two candidates. Obama's inspiring, young, grassroots; Clinton's pragmatic, prepared, establishment. This dichotomy is interesting and, at times, telling, but it's not the whole story. The campaigns each strive to show their candidates in a certain light, 'tis true...but the mechanics through which they achieve the spin are worth a look. Voters respond to perceptions, not to reality, and the level to which the Clinton campaign must engineer perceptions is astonishing. Frank Rich's column in the New York Times this weekend tells it like it is. The Obama folks twist results, too, but at least they're spinning based off genuine responses to their candidate.

On the subject of genuine versus staged situations, can someone please tell me why Ann Coulter, who is clearly the fakest of all fakes (hair, nails, outrage), has any following? Does anyone actually believe she has a shred of credibility? Also, why are there no progressive versions of the Ann Coulter type?

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