Tonight’s 30 minute long Barack Obama “infomercial” scares the willies out of me. Although ahead in most polls, there are still enough undecided voters who could make or break either of the campaigns. Many political strategists predict that only half of those undecided voters are actually undecided and the other half are individuals who would not vote for an African-American but do not want to be labeled as a “racist” by the pollsters. Those supporting democrats are historically more fickle and are more likely to stay home then take the time to visit their local voting booth. If these strategists are correct the election is even closer then polls are indicating. With so much at stake in the final 6 days of the 2008 Presidential race I do understand the need for such a bold move on the part of the democratic campaign. Will this move will break, not make, Senator Obama’s bid for the White House?
Money Shot in the Foot: Barack’s campaign raised an unprecedented amount of money. Historically the Republican’s commanded the position of largest war chest which makes the Democrats fundraising juggernaut even more amazing. This monster fundraising effort is why the Obama campaign can spend nearly $5 million for a 30 minute infomercial on 7 television stations. Even though the campaign could spend that type of cash on television time should they spend that much money with the crumbling economy being at the forefront of the mind of every voter? Will voters be turned off by the five million dollar extravaganza?
Rally Cry: Tina Brown of The Daily Beast was quoted as saying; “One of the striking ironies is that a man who draws tens of thousands of people to his rallies, whose charisma is likened to that of John F. Kennedy, can be sort of a bore.” Will tonight’s infomercial showcase Barack’s trademark charisma or expose his reported boring side? When you have a face for radio you stick to radio, not television. When you have a personality made for rallies you should stick to rallies.
Over-exposed: Hillary Clinton announced her bid for the presidency on January 20, 2007. Barack Obama threw his name in the ring on February 10, 2007. John McCain officially became a contender on February 28, 2007. By the time Election Day rolls around the American electorate has been inundated by political ads, messages, news, mail, and phone calls. If you live in a swing state like we do in Minnesota, these messages are almost constant. Will a 30 minute political infomercial be the last straw for people who already feel bombarded with campaign messages and are sick of a 20 plus month election cycle?
The Great Pumpkin Effect: There is always the chance of saying something stupid that could potentially sway even committed voters away from a candidate. Barack Obama can learn a great lesson from the Peanuts special that aired immediately following “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” on television last night. Linus Van Pelt, the sweet, blanket loving friend of Charlie Brown, runs for student body president in “You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown” Holding a commanding lead until his final speech, Linus tells everyone about the Great Pumpkin, quickly becoming the laughing stock of his school. He ends up winning by one vote only because his competitor, Russell Anderson, voted for the best candidate; Linus.
Somehow I don’t think John McCain would cast his vote for Barack, so if Mr. Obama wants to win the election he better avoid pissing off his supporters and any mention of The Great Pumpkin to protect his small lead.