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Monthly Archive: November 2008

Nov 13 2008

Election analysis-6: McCain’s last ditch attempts

The next attempt was to try and portray Obama as the dangerous and unknown ‘other’, the man with the mysterious past, who consorted with ‘terrorists’, had a strange and Muslim name, unusual and partly foreign family history, who had associated with a pastor who had called upon god to damn America, and so on. The …

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Nov 12 2008

Election analysis-5: The Obama as Marxist-Socialist gambit

The next lurch in the McCain campaign message came with Joe the plumber and the ‘spreading the wealth’ issue. The progressive tax code advocated by Obama has been long standing policy in the US, but abruptly became transformed into a symbol of socialism. Suddenly Obama became a Marxist, the one who wanted take money away …

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Nov 11 2008

Election analysis-4: McCain-Palin as the agents of change?

The initial shock and euphoria that accompanied the Palin choice was followed by intense curiosity about this new star that had suddenly burst onto the political scene. But this was not all for the good. The focus abruptly shifted from Obama’a experience (or lack of it) to Palin’s lack of experience. The concerns about Palin’s …

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Nov 10 2008

Election analysis-3: The fallout from the Palin selection

Soon after the selection of Sarah Palin, it quickly became clear to almost everyone that McCain and his campaign team knew hardly anything about her and had not vetted her carefully before selecting her. This was extraordinary considering that McCain had sewn up the Republican nomination by early March, giving him about six months to …

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Nov 07 2008

Election analysis-2: The Palin mistake

I think it is true that vice presidents by themselves do not lose or win campaigns. It might be tempting for some McCain supporters to put all the blame for their loss on Palin, but that would not be fair. It is true that she did reveal herself to be out of her depth and …

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Nov 06 2008

Election analysis-1: Campaign fortunes and campaign coverage

Now that the voting is over, I want to compare the way that the two campaigns were run. Some years ago, I read an analysis that looked at media coverage of political campaigns. The analysis found that when reporters covered candidates who were leading in the polls, they would say that the operation was going …

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Nov 05 2008

A new hopeful beginning

As someone who has been a keen observer of politics all my life, it is easy to become cynical at times. After all, I have seen in this country and others government after government, politician after politician, come into power on promises that they would create a more just and equitable society, and end up …

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Nov 04 2008

The internet election

Today the seemingly interminable campaign comes to an end. My feeling is that this was the first real internet election, where this medium dominated the process. The internet has been at the forefront of organizing, fundraising, news gathering and dissemination, and analysis. It has profoundly changed the dynamics of campaigning for good and bad, but …

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Nov 03 2008

Sarah Palin’s ‘Checkers’ speech

Most people have probably heard a reference to Richard Nixon’s ‘Checkers’ speech. Just a few days after he had been selected by Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 to be the vice-presidential candidate on the Republican ticket, the New York Post ran a sensational article with the headline “Secret Rich Men’s Trust Fund Keeps Nixon in Style …

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