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Catch This Guy On The Right Day And He’s Che Frickin’ Guevara

[ 11 ] October 4, 2012 |

Given the report by the Center for American Progress about Romney’s 27 myths in 38 minutes, this is timely.

I use this clip in a lecture on charting campaigning practices from the classic mobilize your base however necessary through to the (post) modern era as an example of viral campaigning (I also use the 1964 LBJ Daisy Commercial as an introduction to “modern” campaigning, and that still spooks the students). It’s from the 2008 Michigan Primary, which if you recall was not sanctioned by the DNC because it was held too early.  Obama wasn’t even on the ballot (nor were several others, including Biden and Edwards), so there was little for a Democrat to do (could have voted for Kucinich I suppose).

The Republicans, however, were in the midst of indecision: Huckabee won Iowa, McCain won New Hampshire, and Michigan was the third state to vote.  Michigan allowed for crossover voting in primaries.  There was a movement amongst Democrats in Michigan to screw with the Republicans by helping Romney win Michigan, which was the third state to vote.

It’s still hilarious, and resonates.  And this year, unlike the last three, my British students will get it.

Comments (11)

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  1. Cody says:

    Dave,
    Are you using American politics to prove to your students that Britain has competition for “worst politics in the free world”?

    I don’t appreciate this!

  2. RoboRomney says:

    That’s why we developed RoboRomney – you can really make him say anything you want! It’s beautiful to have a fully configurable presidential candidate.

  3. Ronan says:

    Do the speeches ever make a difference on the outcome of a presidential election? (Or negative campaigning?) I seem to remember The Monkey Cage saying no, but knock me over with a feather if I can remember.
    I guess it matters more at the picking a candidate stage? (Sorry, I’ve gone blank on what that stage is called when the Reps and Dems decide on a candidate)

    • Ronan says:

      Debates, not speeches – long day/not 100% sober – though not drunk

    • NonyNony says:

      Is there evidence that anything that the candidates do in a campaign actually makes a difference?

      I mean, I bet if one of them just completely sat it out you’d see differences, but given the fact that both candidates campaign and take is seriously, is there any evidence that speeches, debates, advertising – any of it – actually moves the needle? Rather than big factors outside of the candidates’ control like the economy?

      (I’m not asking as snark either – I really am wondering if anyone has studied this and has come up with an answer one way or another.)

      • Cody says:

        It seems for about 90% of people, as soon as the primaries are down their vote is locked in.

        I certainly say it’s plausible that nothing they do makes much of a difference. Also depends on how you frame “them doing” something. Are all these ads them, or just the campaign apparatus?

      • Ronan says:

        I’m glad you asked aswell, as I just skimmed through the rest of the posts and realised there’s been a lot written about it here the last few days – so maybe the q’s been answered.
        I was under the impression that the electorates perception of the economy is all that matters (more or less)which can be measured by Andrew Gelman (or John Sides?) and Andrew Gelman (or John Sides?)alone. (ie have a look around Andrew Gelmans site – possibly John Sides. I’ll try find a link to something relevant)

  4. Ronan says:

    This was it

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/create-your-own-election/2012/04/24/gIQAuaOIeT_blog.html

    Seem’s kind of reductionist though, there must be more nuance to it?

  5. rjcoy06 says:

    This year there was a big push by our union for us to vote for Santorum in the primary to screw Romney. As much as I support my union and can’t stand Romney, I just couldn’t go in there and cast a vote for someone as crazy as Santorum. I just voted a Democratic ballot for Obama even though he was the only name on the ballot.

    • witless chum says:

      I ended up voting for Gary Johnson in the Republican primary, because why not? He’s got all the advantages of a Ron Paul protest with less goldbuggery and fewer racist newsletters.

      I was considering voting for the former Crisis Pregnancy Center director against my Republican congressman to try to monkeywrench and get a more beatable opponent. And he’d vote the same as Fred Upton 97 percent of the time. But then two Democrats decided to run for township supervisor.

  6. cpinva says:

    the “Daisy” commercial haunts me to this day. i was 8 when it ran, once. this was not long after the cuban missile crisis, when the use of nuclear weapons had been a very real possibility. when that commercial came on, with the mushroom cloud, my parents, older brother and i just froze. that may well rank as the single most effective political ad of all time, goldwater was toast from that point on.

    i would venture to suggest campaign practices, especially ads, do make a difference, depending on the candidates and the period. had the “Daisy” ad run in 68, i don’t think it would have been nearly as effective. timing in politics, like cash-flow, is determinitive.

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