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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Model candidate

This view of Scott Brown is even more revealing than his infamous Cosmo spread. The senator who won on his looks, barn coat and pickup is all style and no substance.

The Globe takes a little deeper dive into the folksy candidate who admits a love for the glad-handing and back-slapping of retail politics and offers a view the candidate and the campaign have clearly tried to conceal:
Both political parties employ so-called trackers to stalk the Senate candidates with video cameras, hoping to catch misstatements or awkward moments that can be weaponized into attack ads. Brown tends to stiffen up around the Democratic tracker, and his campaign goes to great lengths to frustrate the enemy, often holding events on the property of Brown supporters, who are free to ban trackers from their land. In the final weeks of the campaign, event staff have begun asking reporters to show media identification at Brown appearances, to keep out trackers or moles who could infiltrate the press corps and ask partisan questions at press conferences.
It's also clear that Brown makes the most of his smile and charm in person (while leaving the trash-flinging to his commercials):
First-time voter Matt Corwin, 19, visiting the fair from Hingham, has already made up his mind in the race, voting absentee for Brown because he will be out-of-state, at the University of Alabama, on Election Day.

Why Brown? Corwin cities no specific Senate vote or policy, just simply: “I can relate to him.”

How so?

It takes him a few tries to organize his thoughts, but he gets there: “He can afford anything he wants but his truck has a dent in it,” says Corwin. “I can relate to that. Washington hasn’t changed him.”
It's not that personality, likability, charisma or connecting to voters is meaningless. Elizabeth Warren is portrayed doing the same effort at retail politics in a companion piece.

Maybe it's just a difference in writing style, or my own admitting leanings, but to this eye Warren seems to be more sincere -- and not necessarily as successful at Brown in making those one-to-one connections.

Cafe owner Joshua Van Dyke listened intently to Warren during an event at his shop, where she touted her support of small business folks. Then:
He has yet to decide whether to vote for her or the Republican she is trying to unseat, US Senator Scott Brown. Both have ideas that appeal to him, but he likes Brown. Plus, he knows him a lot better.
"He knows him a lot better." How?

The saddest truth about our broken electoral system is that voters believe they know the candidates they are selecting based on 15-or-30-second snippets of rhetoric that often have only the remotest link to reality.

Records are obscured or ignored and reputations besmirched in the one-act mini-dramas that pass for voter information. The most blatant Etch a Sketch artist of our political lifetime is proof that facts are fungible in our truthiness society, where we continue to insist that race does not matter.

That will be an ever harder problem to fix that preventing a tumble over the fiscal cliff.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did race matter when Barack won the first time? or have we become more racist since?

October 30, 2012 9:08 AM  

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