Political Unconventional Wisdom

Tom Oliphant posits that Arizona is in play, precisely because its not being bombarded with advertisements.

Here it is.

Campaign manager Ken Mehlman said flatly, “They gave up. The Kerry campaign gave up its advertising here.”

Except for the reference to TV, Mehlman’s message was the same as the national Bush message before the debates began on Sept. 30 — that the election was essentially decided.

To Democratic activists, that misses the point. They argue that without the clutter of television advertising — but with the presence of campaign organization every bit as big as the Bush campaign’s — voters here got to watch the first three debates without commercial interference, and that is why Bush’s margin shrank so fast.

Going down the stretch, they have successfully pleaded with national Kerry-Edwards officials to stay off the air and let the news and their work on the ground be the campaign. Kerry’s state director, Doug Wilson, speaks with poetic conviction when he says, “Without the spin, we can win.”

In the absence of commercials (the Republicans pulled their ads as well), the news dominates — a point driven home here the day after the debate.

NOW THERE’S a Kerry – Edwards strategy for Arizona, perhaps we can apply it to other states of the nation: get Kerry and Edwards to just BUG OFF and STAY AWAY FROM US.

(On the other hand, you could call it somewhat disingenuous “spin” from the Arizona campaign.)

The other odd piece of political punditry I’ve ran across, but can’t find right now, is that Bush appearing in New Jersey tomorrow is not a sign that he’s taking New Jersey seriously, even with a bit of “head-fakery” designed to force Kerry to consider taking a challenge seriously. It’s a play to get into Pennsylvania media markets. If Bush were taking New Jersey seriously, he’d be appearing in New York.

(At this point in time, I think it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other: New Jersey and Pennsylvania are not as blue as Bugle Boys, but are probably voting Kerry… a corrupt New Jersey Democratic Party, Suburban “Soccer Moms” made “Security Moms”, and proximity to the WTC notwithstanding for New Jersey…)

About that New Jersey appearance:

While Kerry was campaigning in two of those states on Sunday – Ohio and Florida – Bush took the day off, choosing instead to concentrate on a major speech on terrorism he is scheduled to deliver in New Jersey on Monday.

The last time that Bush promised a “major policy speech”, and convinced the major cable news networks to cover it, he delivered a stump speech before a pep rally crowd. Apparently Bush considers a bash-fest of Kerry’s flip-flopping “major policy”. We’ll… see.

Leave a Reply