My First Guesses at the Election Campaign Playbooks

Now that the American presidential campaign is past the primaries the little scuffs and bruises the candidates have been dishing out and receiving will start to be more below the belt and I imagine in a few more months the large serrated blades will start to be carried quietly, and a few months after that they'll be openly wielded.  This is my first time ever watching an American election, and I'm still learning things, but even in my political infancy I have the arrogance to make an attempt at predicting what each candidate is going to do.  To amplify this arrogance I'm going to share my ideas with you smart people and maybe we'll watch and see what happens together.

The Republicans

Now that McCain is past the primaries he has access to the GOP war chest, which is huge.  He also has the advantage of being totally and unabashedly by Fox news, which for all it's flaws is still the channel that the retirees watch.  And that's where his Demographic is.  Baby-boomers.  Baby-boomers are huge, they take an interest in politics, they all hang out in the same circles, they believe experience is good and proper, and they don't believe in rocking the boat anymore.  Many of them are also old enough not to have children dying in Iraq, those tragedies are far enough removed that they aren't causing outrage.

So McCain has the old white person demographic in the bag.  The question is, will that be enough to win him the election.  My suspicion is that if the GOP uses the same tactics it has in the past two elections, which are tried and true, then it has a very good chance.  

The best thing for the GOP to do here, is not call attention to themselves or their candidate.  That means carefully orchestrated attacks.  90% of voters base their choice in candidate on a short sentence said by an influential and supposedly knowledgeable coworker during coffee break.  Things like:  "Obama's pastor is a black radical.  He keeps his pastor very close you know."  or "McCain was a POW, and then voted for a pro-torture bill to secure his nomination."  So he needs to find Obama's next skeleton in the closet, or he needs to make it up and get it to stick until the people cast their ballots.

Next, the GOP needs to get the independent candidates more press.  Every independent vote is a vote against the Democrats.  There isn't a snowball's chance in Hell's Kitchen that an independent will ever be elected president, and Republican voters know better than to waste their time with them.  Liberal voters seem to have these weird principles that make them stupid though, so they're more willing to sabotage themselves to vote for the guy that rubs them the right way.  Independents are the GOP's friends, especially when their standpoints are radically different.

Last of all, McCain needs to find his fire.  It doesn't matter how he does it, blow jobs before speeches, the right cocktail of amphetamines, or a prayer circle thanking god, but he needs to prove that he's hard, strong and clear headed.  Right. Fucking. Now.  He needs to show the American people that he can win Iraq fast, and prove it somehow.  He needs to show that he can steer the Republicans, not be led around.  He needs to prove that he's the man that hasn't passed some arbitrary commander and chief test, but that he can pull America out of a crisis.  He's still a senator, he can bang heads and get things done, and he needs to do that and show real initiative.  That isn't a campaign strategy there, that's personal capability, and to secure the election he'll need to do that.

The Democrats

Obama has a lot of independently gathered money, but he's still under what the GOP war chest has, so he needs to run things smarter.  The primaries cleaned up a lot of dirty laundry for him, but whether or not he can keep his nose clean til election remains to be seen.  Obama's primary demographic is in the young voters.  The under-thirty crowd.  Many of these people aren't registered to vote, so he's pushing to register as many young voters as he can to effectively fill out his demographic.  He is also currently courting the "Religious Right" this is so that he can offer a change while still trumpeting the conventional American values, and getting the word out to more backwater towns in the middle of nowhere that he isn't a muslim.  

He also can't attack McCain.  McCain is a sympathetic candidate, he's everyone's grandpa, likable, quiet, friendly.  The media loves him and every attack no matter how justified will be met with catcalls and declarations of "bad form." Instead he needs to treat McCain with obvious kid gloves, like he'll break if you handle him too roughly.  

When the debates start to occur, Obama will likely speak on bipartisan issues that McCain himself supported before running for president but has since flipped on.  Each time Obama can support an issue that McCain himself once trumpeted and prove that it's good for the country casts another bit of doubt on the Republican party as a whole.  

Lastly, Obama needs to be very careful not to alienate his grass roots base.  Sure he has the nomination, but if the liberal media finds flaw in his actions they will say so unlike the conservatives.  Liberals have been the underdogs for a long time in America, and so they have much less to lose when they make a stand on principle.  Obama needs to keep his principles and stand by them, if he's going to keep enthusiasm high.

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About Helmsman

Importing a Vox Blog.
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