McCain as biker, Obama as politician

I think I have figured out what had been a most puzzling situation. The situation was this.

Barack Obama can travel half-way around the world, be greeted enthusiastically by people who never before waved an American flag that wasn’t afire, take along a macho war-hero REPUBLICAN senator for back-up, and still be treated with mild uncertainty by the three network anchors who travel with him at his expense.

John McCain can spend the week-end at a biker rally — yes, a biker rally — where he suggests he should have entered his wife in the “Miss Buffalo Chip” contest, and the press, those who even bothered to notice where he’d gone or what he’d done, treat it as another example of good ole John’s common touch.

  • Now, you’ve seen coverage of the Obama world tour. Have you seen the real coverage of the biker rally McCain took his family to, the biker rally where he played the one-of-the-guys game in his $500 shoes? Please, take a moment to follow-up on the event, courtesy of hilzoy. There’s a video of McCain’s performance, and links to performances by the “Miss Buffalo Chips” contestants. I’m not sure whether there’s a link to the “Fake Orgasm” contest.

Okay, back to my argument. The reason for the disparate coverage is simply this. Obama goes out and talks to thousands, so the media treat everything he says as if meant for global presentation and analysis. McCain goes out and talks to a couple hundred raunchy bikers, and the media treat everything he says as if it were of interest only to those couple hundred. That’s why Obama can’t giggle, sneeze, or wipe his nose without being criticized, while McCain can pimp his wife at a biker rally and no one thinks anything of it.

One other item. You’ve heard about and perhaps seen that controversial commercial, linking Obama with major-league blond bimbos. One of those bimbos has now decided that, with all the free publicity she’s been getting in the Presidential campaign, she might as well enter the race. You might have noticed her commercial on Obsidian Wings; if not you can find it at Funny or Die. Please take a look. If nothing else, it will be grist for some struggling PhD candidate’s dissertation. I think the title might be, Recursive Irony as an Instance of Satirical Politicization. Or something similar.

UPDATE: It finally dawned on me what the McCain people are doing. They are — as several observers have pointed out — desperate. They have a candidate who cannot possibly win; their only chance is to make the other guy lose. Here’s their battle plan.

  • No matter what Obama does or says, find a way not simply to dispute or contradict or fault it, but a way to way to diminish and if possible ridicule him in the process. That is what we have been seeing for the past several weeks.

  • Lure Obama into an attack on McCain. The biker rally was critique bait. If Obama said anything negative about McCain or Miss Buffalo Chip, the machine would have excoriated him: he’s not MAN enough; he’s afraid to play with the big boys; eventually Ann Coulter starts her girly-boy routine.

I can’t prove it, but that’s the basis on which I’ll be operating until someone proves me wrong, or comes up with a better explanation.

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled program.


2 thoughts on “McCain as biker, Obama as politician

  1. I think you’re probably right. Remember McCain’s ad several days ago that criticized Obama for playing hoops instead of visiting the troops? This is from Businessweek:

    “What the McCain campaign doesn’t want people to know, according to one GOP strategist I spoke with over the weekend, is that they had an ad script ready to go if Obama had visited the wounded troops saying that Obama was…wait for it…using wounded troops as campaign props. So, no matter which way Obama turned, McCain had an Obama bashing ad ready to launch.”

    Of course, the McCain camp vehemently denied this suggestion, and the reporter for Businessweek backpedaled a bit:

    “…I went back to my original source with whom I spoke last weekend to make sure I had understood what he was saying. He clarified that he’d heard about discussions of a possible ad, not literally that a script was in place.”

    So, he didn’t deny there were ad plans for either situation, just that there was an actual script. And let’s not forget the tire gauge debacle. After making fun of Obama for telling people they’d save gas by inflating their tires to proper pressure, McCain admitted he agrees:

    “Obama said a couple of days ago says we all should inflate our tires. I don’t disagree with that. The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it,” McCain said.

    It’s simple, attack your opponent no matter what he does, even if you agree with him.

  2. The McCain crowd did not invent this strategy. It is well worn and time-proven. Big tobacco used the same strategy to keep market share when there was good science for many decades demonstrating cigarettes were causing lung cancer. All you need to do is question the science, cast doubt on your opponent’s arguments — whatever they may be. “Doubt is their Product,” by David Michaels tells the story very well, and points out that the same strategy is being used by the petroleum industry to cast doubt on the human-induced nature of global warming.

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