The fame game

July 31, 2008

He has a point:

John Weaver,  for years one of John McCain’s closest friends and confidants, has been in exile since his resignation from McCain’s presidential campaign last year.    With the exception of an occasional interview, he has, by his own account, bit his tongue as McCain’s campaign has adopted a strategy that Weaver believes “diminishes John McCain.”

With the release today of a McCain television ad blasting Obama for celebrity preening while gas prices rise, and a memo that accuses Obama of putting his own aggrandizement before the country, Weaver said he’s had “enough.”

The ad’s premise, he said, is “childish.”

As Weaver says, a lot of people have been celebrities these days, including John McCain, so one’s fame, in and of itself, is meaningless. What matters is whether there is anything substantive to go along with the celebrity status. Comparing a presidential candidate to the likes of Paris Hilton, who is just famous for being famous, and Britney Spears, more famous for her bad behavior than any talent she might have left, is just silly.

And while there’s nothing wrong with negative ads (those dealing an opponent’s positions are by their nature negative), ones that seem to go out of the way to be mean-spirited will likely be counterproductive. Given the mood of the electorate these days, McCain should be smarter than making Obama sound right when he complains about “politics as usual.”

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One Response to “The fame game”

  1. Harl Delos Says:

    And while there’s nothing wrong with negative ads (those dealing an opponent’s positions are by their nature negative), ones that seem to go out of the way to be mean-spirited will likely be counterproductive.

    These days, neither party has enough votes to win the election by itself. It’s the independents that decide the election.

    If it was the John McCain of 2000 that was running, he’d have a fair shot at winning. He established a reputation over 25 years as being a “maverick” and was called “the Democrats’ favorite Republican”.

    He was still likely to win the votes of Republicans who think, “well, he’s not what we really *want*, but he’s a good man, and at least he’s not a Democrat”, and the rest of the Republicans wouldn’t be likely to vote for the other candidate. Add those votes to independents, and disaffected Democrats, and you could win.

    Weaver’s right. Politicians seem to have forgotten, “Yuh dance with the one whut brung ya”.


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