14 July 2008

Who Are These Swing Voters and Why Are McCain and Obama so Eager to Distance Themselves From Them?

The latest political game reminds me of 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon. "Today, Obama's priest said ..." "Yesterday, McCain's advisor said ..."

The candidates have learned not to go off script, realizing that one gaffe could define them to swing voters (defined as people who spend 7 minutes or less on politics every 4 years) and spoil their chances. Meanwhile, they are surrounded by a posse of advisors and donors about the size of the posse that follows a rap star (which is to say, a population roughly equal to Cleveland). These people - like Americans everywhere - occasionally speak their mind.

I guess the thing that I like best about it is how much attention all this gets. If a candidate is going to win this thing, they'll likely aim for at least 50.1% of the vote. This means that among their supporters will be some certifiable nut jobs. Genuine loonies. Complete whack jobs. In fact, these very people - prone to sprout nonsense like a toddler with Tourette’s - probably make up the swing vote. Which is to say, the candidates ought not to distance themselves from the members of their retinue who say stupid things; in fact, if they are serious about winning this thing, they need to embrace these people and say that such nonsense is welcome among their supporters.

Or, they could take it one step further and, like George W., they could actually be the spokesperson and representative for the gaffe-prone among us. How else to explain the fact that he was elected twice? And why wouldn't either McCain or Obama be eager for those very supporters who put George in the White House?


Big Al said...

Problem w/the certifiable nut jobs/genuine loonies is the extent of their looniness. Obama's former pastor comes to mind. It's the extreme opinions of people like the former pastor that gets way more air time than the perceived "boring" news about what plans the candidates really have. The campaigns know full well the crucial swing voters totally live off sound bites like the folks who mostly eat fast food rather than take the time to have a nourishing meal.

And as far as how else to explain the fact that Dubya was elected twice . . . well . . . the phrases "hanging chad" and "voting fraud" come immediately to mind for me.

Ron Davison said...

So, you are saying that hanging chad and swing voters are somehow related?

Big Al said...

Of course! If you're hanging (chad), chances are REALLY good you're swinging.