Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Past and future HRC spin

Maggie says:
After last night's rousing speech from HRC and her irrefutable chastisement of delegates who threaten to vote McCain, I have two thoughts regarding past and future spin.

  • Republican HRC ads. On the admission that for the most part the recent HRC-themed Republican ads (one shown here) were not aired and basically constituted "video press releases," we can see very clearly that these ads were created explicitly for the press - to influence talking points, punditry, and coverage. What a decisive way to showcase the pure strategy of that "watch the Dems unravel" message. By producing ads seemingly for the public at large but never intended for airtime beyond news channels, the Republicans succeeded in furthering a storyline that helps them look more unified and confident about their candidate than the Democrats are. We see also, of course, how well that strategy worked for them in the overwrought HRC analysis we've been fed all week... which means, of course, that the media bought it hook, line, and sinker.
  • HRC as VP storyline. The next phase of the HRC storyline - once today's roll call is over, of course - is going to feature prominent Republicans saying that Obama should've put HRC on the ticket. We saw Rudy Giuliani roll out this strategy yesterday. Keeping the "HRC should've been VP" storyline front and center works for the Rs because it continues to cast doubt on the Democratic ticket and maintains an image of a fragmented party on the airwaves. How far will the media run with this story? If their fling with the HRC delegates story is any indication, they'll buy it completely. The premise, of course, is entirely empty: we are supposed to believe that a Republican party that's made easy money over the last 16 years vilifying HRC is so full of respect for her now that they think she should've been the VP? And that's a heartfelt notion? Come on. Biden was the R's most-feared VP choice, and we all know it. The R's tried-and-true tactics against HRC (again, developed over the last 16 years) and the damage they've done with swing voters who feel incredibly negatively about her, are just two of the reasons she wasn't selected. The media should see through Republicans working from the HRC-as-VP playbook easily and treat such statements as the strategic campaign maneuvering that they are. Nothing more, nothing less. The chatter leading up to Biden's speech tonight will be teeming with this messaging, so it's up to Biden to exceed expectations with his speech. Can he do it? Tonight will tell.