>> Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The conventions are done. This means that the media needs a new event to hype. The press requires something to help build up the horse race and boost viwership. It is simply the way they operate. Wait for this, wait for that. They are going to work on keeping the polls tight in any way they can. Unfortunately for them, this is going to be a period without any defining moments where the candidates are pitted against one another. Yes, you have polls but absent any events the polls will end up settling about a median. We are now, in the waiting game.
The waiting game should be familiar to any person who has been following politics. We are always waiting for something else. Take the primaries for example, We had to wait for Iowa. Then New Hampshire, etc. Each one was billed as the defining moment of the election -- until the next one. We had to wait for super tuesday then Texas and Ohio and then the big wait before Pennsylvania. The grass was always greener just around the bend.
We have had to wait every six months to hear that it takes six more months before we can judge the progress in Iraq of the Economy. We even have a term for that, The Friedman Unit. Everything is built around hype and expectations so that the payoff is never as exciting as the lead in. Political junkies are kind of like drug addicts in that the fix they get is never enough and they always crave a new one.
Maybe instead of the waiting game it should be the Procrastination game. We put off things we know are important, like looking at McCain's record. It will get done once he wins the nomination, they said. Then it was, once the Dems have a nominee. Then it was wait until the convention because thats when campaigns really start. So we waited on the scrutiny of McCain's record. Still waiting.
We are also waiting to see the high powered Obama offense on sustained attack. We see flashes of brilliancy. Brief pulses of urgency. Obama will give us a taste of his ability to hit McCain hard and take the initiative but then he seems to back off. At first we thought he was waiting till he had the nomination. Then we thought, he is waiting for the convention. Now we think he is waiting for the debates.
Surely at the debates Obama is going to just rip into McCain. Put him back on his heels. Surely the debates will showcase Biden's readiness and Palin's incompetence. Ask your self though, has the waiting worked out to well on that other stuff? One of the things i thought Obama was going to do was take it to McCain and conservatism in general. I have been waiting for him to do it in a unequivocal and strong way. It was the hallmark of the Kerry campaign that they waited too long to deal with the scurrilous lies spread about them. Kerry waited 4 years to long before giving a speech that really tore into McCain and conservative ideas.
Waiting on the debates is a terrible idea. It just builds up the expectations game. The media is already telling people to wait for the debates. If you start telling people to wait for the debates, and Obama tells people to wait for the debates, the hype and expectations will get out of control. Palin and McCain will just have to avoid drooling on camera to win.
What can you do to end this terrible waiting game? Volunteer. The only people not waiting are the volunteers. It is the volunteers who hit the streets and the phones for the campaign. Those are the proactive people, tired of playing the waiting game. If your tired of listening to the media tell you to wait, if your tired of waiting for Obama, if your tired of waiting for something to happen, take the initiative. Volunteer. Otherwise, your just going to have to wait.