Determinist v. Free Will

>> Thursday, October 30, 2008

As the campaign winds down there is going to be an ongoing narrative war. There will be two camps, the determinist and free will. The determinist camp will be supporting the idea that no matter what events happened in the campaign mccain was going to lose and that the macro factors such as general anger at Bush and Republicanism were most important. the free will camp will hold that McCain was in this campaign and that he, more than any other republican could have overcome the macro factors because of his unique campaign branding. these people look at the tactics and strategy employed by mccain and use those as the determining factor of the election.

I tend to come down in favor of macro factors setting up the playing field tilted in obama's direction to the point that mccain needed to run a flawless race with obama running an average or bad campaign. Just the opposite has happened. McCain has run a terrible race. Many will assert that mccain has not actually run a bad race, they will point to the numbers coming out of the convention and during the summer as an indicator. This is a flawed argument because the numbers coming out of the convention fit in line with historical trends coming out of conventions. Also, the polling during the summer has never been a particularly great indicator of where the race is going to end up and that held true here.

Instead McCain made a series of highly visible and very poor choices. He made the choice to run to the right in an attempt to salvage his "base". He ran as a pure conservative after the primary in defiance of his brand name. He made the conscious decision to embrace bush instead of creating separation. McCain figured at the time that he could win on an experience versus change argument and that by throwing bush under the bus he would be making too great a concession towards change. McCain proceeded to run a fairly traditional Republican campaign on matters of national security and taxes. The when it came down to crunch time after a fairly forgettable summer he picked sarah palin.

Palin was a terrible pick. She was a complete reversal on the one consistent message mccain had, experience. McCain needed to present a perfect image to the voters to separate himself from the macro factors that weigh down genric republicans. he not only failed to rise to this challenge but ran away from it and into the arms of his party hardliners. Then he failed in his response to the financial crisis making himself look erratic and foolish.

So McCain had a mountain to climb at the beginning of the election. It was not an impossible climb but it was a really tough climb. In the end he has put his foot wrong one too many times and it is doubtful he recovers. Be careful of anyone who attributes things solely to either the macro or micro factors because the truth is in the middle.


O-le,O-le, O-le, O-le! O-le, O-le!

  © Blogger template Sunset by 2008

Back to TOP