Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Road to the Presidency Runs Through The Remote

Every election since 1960 has gone to the candidate that was the superior on-camera performer.

1960: Kennedy over Nixon.
1964: Johnson over Goldwater
1968: Nixon over Humphrey
1972: Nixon over McGovern
1976: Carter over Ford
1980: Reagan over Carter
1984: Reagan over Mondale
1988: Bush over Dukakis
1992: Clinton over Bush
1996: Clinton over Dole
2000: Bush over Gore
2004: Bush over Kerry

Barack Obama is clearly the best television performer in the race; will Palin's charisma be enough to offset it? History suggests that the answer is no.

2 comments:

MJ said...

Nice list. Thanks. 1960 was the first year of mass market TV in the business of politics.

Is 2008 the first year of niche conversation web enabled communication? Watching Obama's business model says to me that it's finally getting ready for prime time.

My take is that Rove got it right. Elections are won by the ground game. He put Bush in office twice by a relentless focus on the ground game. Given low turnouts, around 26% of the electorate gave us the "decider." 26% is a niche market.

Branding is important in a different way. The real action is the transaction.

Obama's website asks me for $25 every time I get really pissed about something. It's the right ask at the right time. So far I've voted for them about 3 times, $25 at a time. It's like a frequent user, the more I interact, the more I'm committed.

Chris said...

Obama's campaign is the best run I've ever seen. And yes, I believe that Palin will cause both Democrats and Republicans to open their pockets. She energizes *both* bases.