FIELD TRIP #5
I'd like to propose a new hypothesis of American political sentiment: As American Idol goes, so goes electoral politics.
Last spring I became completely addicted to American Idol. I'd never watched it before, but quickly found myself consumed with season 7. Heading into the final episode I was convinced that David Cook was the best candidate, but I was sure that David Archuleta was going to win. Despite David C's brilliant performances, I thought that America would be blinded by David A's unbearable cuteness. I was happily surprised when David Cook prevailed. For the first time in awhile I felt that maybe I wasn't living in a bubble, separated from mainstream America. I know, I know - maybe American Idol isn't the best place to look for solidarity. But I've been carrying a genuine feeling of estrangement ever since the American people voted GW into office for his 2nd term.
Now with a week to go in the 2008 presidential election, and still running high on David Cook's surprise victory, I'm hoping against hope that I don't have to shave my head again!
While I thoroughly enjoyed season 7, when the show concluded I was pretty sure that I wouldn't be watching again. But if Obama wins next week you can be sure that I'll be tuning in for season 11!!!
After of a number of weeks of "going negative" and constant sparring, it feels like the Obama campaign is getting back on track with its core message.
They also seem to be ramping up their media buys. Today they released a new 2 minute long commercial focused on the next four years. Moving beyond the last eight years, this spot is forward looking and compelling.
And on October 29th, Obama will purchase 30 minutes of prime airtime in the 8pm slot on multiple networks (they appear to be NBC, CBS and FOX, thought this is still unconfirmed). I'm no political export or historian, but this approach of buying extended blocks of airtime feels both ground breaking and wonderfully aggressive. Rather than coasting in, this campaign is pressing all the way to the finish.
I'm so jealous that I didn't think of doing this. This is exactly what was going through my head as I watched the madness last night.
It was embarrassing how often Palin looked down to read her notes last night. I felt cheated. How can this possibly read well with people? We have so few chances to get to know this women. Not only can't she speak on her feet about important issues that matter, but McCain's campaign doesn't even trust her to speak on these issues without coaching her to constantly refer to her cheat sheet.
CAVE WOMEN FOR SARAH PALIN
::: THE VIDEO :::
NEXT PUBLIC APPEARANCE
10/2 - VP Debate Night, NYC
Cave Women Needed!
WHO THEY ARE
Using satire and humor we dress as cave women and gather in public places to expose the anti-feminist Ice Age politics of the McCain-Palin ticket, and to support Obama-Biden. Cave men & cave kids welcome. NYC.
This is kind of old news - but I've been away for much of the summer and its been bugging me.
Back in early July, Jon Corzine, governor of New Jersey quit email. He announced that it was easier and safer to go offline. This decision came after state Republicans tried to force him to hand over his email correspondence with a powerful union president - who happened to be a former romantic interest.
Now for many email addicts I might view this kind of cold turkey quitting with respect and admiration. As with any addiction it takes great courage to quit and even more to discuss ones affliction publicly.
However, it turns out that Governor Corzine is no internet addict - he's just a technophobe and a wimp who gives the impression of trying to cover something up.
"We'll go back to the 1920s, and have direct conversations with people," Mr. Corzine said.
That's quaint and kind of romantic - but as a leader and role model of the 21st century this is the statement of a man with his head in the sand.
Email is not easy. People make mistakes, big grave mistakes, on it every day. These mistakes cause misunderstandings, embarrassment, legal problems, etc. etc. We are all still figuring out the rules.
But Email is also wonderful, fun and funny. It squashes time and distance allowing unprecedented quantities and novel forms of communication.
Its also profoundly democratic. Email breaks down walls of who can talk to who. And particularly for those we elect into office, there is an electronic record to keep people honest.
Email (along with text messaging and instant messaging) is the predominant form of communication of both our global economy and the youth in our society. To "quit email" is simply to be out of touch.
This seems like a missed opportunity. Instead of giving up, Governor Corzine might have set out to educate himself on best practices for online communication. A savvy and forward-looking leader might go even farther and consider how digital communication might be incorporated to public school curricula in the same way that handwriting, typing, etc were once introduced.
Email isn't right for every situation, but its not going away.
In a similar move, at the beginning of his presidency GWB also swore off email for fear of compromising his own privacy - he's smarter than he looks ...