This from Harper's:
"For at least two decades, our political landscape has been dominated by consultants; but there is no presidential campaign this year whose success or failure so will depend on media managers, marketing strategists, and political gurus as that of Mitt Romney. Unlike his chief competitors for the Republican nomination, he started out with a fairly low national profile and hence has needed to be introduced and marketed to a national audience. And the task of reformulating and repackaging the Romney brand - from the moderate Republican governor of the most liberal state in the Union to a red-meat social conservative and heir to Reagan - has been entrusted to an army of consultants far larger than that of any of his challengers. Campaign disclosure records are convoluted and poorly categorized, so it's difficult to make a precise inventory. But based on filings with the Federal Election Commission, as of this summer, Romney's campaign has employed more than a hundred different consultants, making combined payments to them of at least $11 million - roughly three times the amount spent by John McCain or Rudy Giuliani. Much of that money paid for the creation and placement of TV ads through Romney's media consultant and chief strategist Alex Castellanos, but the campaign also spent heavily on polling, political strategy, and voter mobilization." (p. 34 Harper's magazine, November 2007 "Making Mitt Romney: How to Fabricate a Conservative" Ken Silverstein)
First, do any of us really believe that "there is no presidential campaign this year whose success or failure" will depend on media/marketing/political gurus as Mitt Romney? This suggestion strikes me as incredibly naive. Politics is media/marketing/political gurus. That's all there is. It's called "spin." Spin wins. The best spin wins the prize of power. Is there really any one of us that believes that any one candidate depends on spin more than any other? In American politics perception is reality; truth is what you can get away with. The politician creates their own world: It's called image. And image is everthing, as we all have known since the Canon Andre Agassi commercials in the 1980s.
The interesting thing about Mitt and other contemporary politicians is that they risk losing a clear identity in the mass of images. Image is everything, but too many images that go too many different directions will direct the collective minds of the American people in too many different directions. As such, the people will think that the politician is "not genuine." Of course, smart people on this blog know that there is no such thing as a genuine politician; there is only the politician who can imagine himself as genuine.
A LOVE SUPREME
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Monday, November 19, 2007
This from Harper's: