Friday, October 12, 2012

Biden did his job. Well.

 VP Showdown?
Like many Americans I watched the Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. I was curious as to what the Obama team would roll out to counter-balance the weak performance by Obama in the preceding Presidential debate. Romney won the style portion of the competition and apparently that was weighted at ten times substance. Romney lied. Not according to me but ALL the fact checkers left, right and independent.

So how does this administration deal? They rally the base. That was Biden's whole performance. Rally the base. After Obama's performance there was a state of dissatisfaction among the loyal. What we have learned from past elections and largely from the conservative/religious right is that on election day you need your base. If the base stays home it does not matter if you get a single "independent" vote.

This does not seem to be the first time in this election cycle that Team Obama has used this tactic. Women's issues speak to the base. Homosexuality speaks to the base. Immigration reform speaks to the Latino base who should be Republicans on many issues. The middle, for Obama, is the white men. What does he tout? Bailing out the auto industry, health care for the working class, and strength in defense.

So what did Biden have to do last night? Biden had to kick ass! Not do well. Beat the other team up a little. Vice Presidential candidates have always been the hatchet men. We need to like the President. He can't be too much of an ass hole. The VP? He can be the bulldog.

Did Biden rally the base? Yes. Did Biden beat Ryan up a little? You goddamn right!

I think this debate went exactly as Team Obama wanted. They don't need a bump now. They need to activate the voters they already have. I think Biden gave the entire left a nice ego boost. Polls are irrelevant at this point. Both sides need to get out their base. Minds are basically made up. It is about rallying the base and keeping the other guy's base home. Biden did half the job. Lets see how the rest goes.


Anyone who is truly interested in politics should pick up and read the following. They, in conjunction, provide a good perspective to analyze the polls, news reports anddebates and how they all matter and work together.

The Myth of the Independent Voter         By Bruce E. Keith, David B. Magleby, Candice J. Nelson, Elizabeth Orr, Mark C. Westlye

Before the vote: forecasting American national elections   by James E. Campbell, James C. Garand

Attack Politics: Negativity in Presidential Campaigns Second Edition   by Emmett H. Buell Jr., Lee Sigelman



1 comment:

  1. We sound similar about polls and rallying party-line voters. The following was a private message to The Young Turks a couple days ago.
    I see a refreshing perspective toward polls coming from TYT that I rarely see on any organized news company.

    One phenomenon that has always bothered me is the attenuation to a statistical toss-up as an election draw's near. Every election seems to have the polls attenuate towards a 'too close to call' situation, until the votes are counted. We don't look back at those polls after that point, but we should. We should for the next election.

    My hypothesis is the polls will tell a great deal at some point, and when they tell us something significant, we collectively consider the election as over, and an enormous amount of news content that should have been compelling rapidly becomes yawn-worthy channel changing material. Therefore, news companies generally require every election to to be an equivalent to a 47-46 Superbowl game at the 2 minute warning of the fourth quarter. Real edge of the seat stuff. I believe a news company that is savvy, will always clandestinely sabotage the leaders lead to get public opinion to think it's close. At a point when polls are irrelevant because they cannot propagate their results before voting, you will see news companies then get as tightly behind their favorite as possible to influence the victory.

    As a campaign volunteer for Obama in 2007-8 (and my first time with politics apart from voting), I discovered that the only way to get other people motivated enough to miss their favorite TV shows and help us instead was to make it sound like everything we were doing was very close, but just behind a bit, and their personal involvement could be that 'difference maker.'

    I sat this one out. I do a little by talking on my own behalf to people personally about issues to provoke deeper thought, but I'm not in the mix of a campaign. I was predicting that Obama would win re-election before he won the primaries due to his policy platform and the state of our economy at the time. Once he beat Hillary, I new I could rest.

    It's in Obama's best interest that people like me think it's a close race, and if I help it could make a difference. The cynic in me says he under preformed in order to activate dormant people like me. That's akin to the legend of how the Montreal Canadians were so good before the 1980's that they never had a playoff series end early; they knew they could dominate at will so they throw a couple to play 5 games instead of 3, reaping the money from the other games.