Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Winning Strategy for the 2016 Presidential Election

Be unscripted.  That's the way to win the Presidential election in 2016.  The American people are looking for an authentic, sincere, unscripted candidate they can, for the most part, agree with.  Someone who speaks from the heart, and empathizes and sympathizes with them.  Someone they can sit down and have a beer with.  Not that they need to agree with everything the candidate advocates.  You can disagree with your friends and still like them.  But you can't be friends with a phony.

Unfortunately, scripting is what modern politics is all about.  Data-driven, Internet-interfaced, bet-hedged down to the last precinct, today's politics is a game of angles, maneuver and percentages.  There is a lot of well-deserved publicity about money in politics. But the money has to be spent wisely.  As Mitt Romney demonstrated in 2012, simply having a lot of money doesn't win the election.  It's important to appear genuine.  Mitt couldn't pull that off when it came to hunting or being a right wing maniac (a prerequsite for bringing the far right to the polls).  He is basically a moderate who tried to pose as a conservative and came across as implausible.  That cost him the election.

The political cognoscenti understand the importance of appearances.  Armies of political scriptwriters are furiously working on scripts for how to appear unscripted.  Candidates are making appearances in very small towns in Iowa with real people, as in folks who might drive nine-year old cars because they can't afford anything better.  Candidates appear in shirtsleeves and eat ethnic food, preferably the kind that's not healthy so that you don't appear preachy about diet. 

But the electorate isn't fooled.  Hillary Clinton seems to have used her financial war chest to scare off serious primary challengers.  But she's so heavily scripted she's having trouble generating enthusiasm outside her longtime coterie of loyalists. Jeb Bush was against the invasion of Iraq, then he was for it, then, last we heard, he was against it.  At this rate, he won't have a chance even with the ardent support of the Republican establishment.  There are genuine, sincere wackos on the far left and far right.  But the general election won't be won by a mouth-foamer.  It will be won by a charismatic, empathetic, reasonable candidate who captures the public's imagination.  And that candidate will . . .  uh . . . perhaps . . . um . . . arrive with Godot.

No comments: