Saturday, November 15, 2008

The coverage begins on the election myths....

Chris Cillizza does a nice job in tackling some of the myths that surrounded this recent Presidential election and the media hype that began before November but that some have continued to try to promote. I recommend heading over to read, 5 Myths About an Election of Mythic Proportions. Here are the basic 5 myths, he provides detailed reasoning related to each as a part of his writings:

1. The Republican Party suffered a death blow.

2. A wave of black voters and young people was the key to Obama's victory.

3. Now that they control the White House and Congress, Democrats will usher in a new progressive era.

4. A Republican candidate could have won the presidency this year.

5. McCain made a huge mistake in picking Sarah Palin.

Number 4 is the only one I'm not sure I agree with him on. If the media bias had not existed, had there either been a different Republican or had McCain found a way to "inspire" more absent the boost he got from parts of the base from Palin, it would have been possible for a Republican to win, especially against Obama. Luckily for the Democratic candidate many of the things that could have created questions in the minds of the average voter were not covered by not only the media but the Republican party.

The financial crisis helped Obama, that was something that was not predicted when we went through the whole who had a better chance of winning, Obama or Clinton, but that the Democratic party was able to much better capitalize on. It would have been hard for any Republican candidate to convince voters that his or her party deserved four more years, but it was possible.


Alex said...

Palin was a mistake.

Elections are won in the "middle," and McCain assumed that because of his background as a "maverick" - manufactured or real - he would be able to capture many of these middle-of-the-road voters. On this assumption, Palin was selected as a means to fortify the "base," while convincing some Democrats (read, women) to change teams. That was McCain's assumption and given the polling results, presuming such was a significant mistake.

However, prior to the election, common sense should have suggested that A) independent voters are not "far right" or "far left," and B) women may actually be offended by the assumption that simply because a woman is on the ticket, they will vote for it.

I believe "bases" are so calcified currently that given the alternative, they will come out and vote in similar numbers every election cycle. Therefore, the job of each candidate is to bring new voters in and pull them from the middle. Accordingly, Palin's selection could not have been worse.

Lisa Renee said...

Palin was not a mistake, had McCain not picked her the campaign would have been over. She did what she was brought into do, she energized a portion of the base.

McCain did not loose because of Palin, he lost because he did not generate enough Republicans and Independents to be willing to give him four years. The whole "fear factor" some are stating about Palin being POTUS never made sense to me. She wasn't running for President, there was no more of a guarantee that McCain would die in office than any other president and the fact that we had a Democratic candidate who won, who has no executive experience at all who is actually going to be President demonstrates what a double standard that was.

Most of those who hated Palin would not have voted for McCain no matter who he selected, I know many more who voted for McCain because of her than those who did not because of her.

Now she's a convenient scapegoat for a campaign that lost on their own merits, not on the selection of someone who actually increased interest in a campaign that prior to her being picked, was almost dead...

Barga said...

4 and 5 ties together, picking a person besides Palin (say, Lieberman) would have won it for McCain OR picking palin to keep the right and then moving to the center himself would have won it for McCain

Also, I believe that Palin saved their party, as she showed that the right is not all that matters

Lisa Renee said...

I don't think picking Lieberman would have created a McCain win. He would have never generated the response that Palin did.

To be honest, I can't think of anyone that McCain could have picked outside of someone perhaps like Condi who might have made a difference. Even she would have created the same scenario that happened with Palin, some would love it, some would not.

Barga said...

To win, all you need to do is be able to appeal to the moderates. Palin didn't, and drove most of us to Obama, Lieberman, or a more moderate (say Romney), would have

Lisa Renee said...

Which would have alienated those who supported Palin and would not have created a win either.

The McCain campaign prior to picking Palin was dead in the water.

The reality is neither Obama or McCain brought in record numbers of voters. The turnout despite the predicted hype did not materialize.

Barga said...

Remember, who really won the election for Obama? It was not the right, it was not the left, they voted as per normal. No, they won with the middle
The middle is all that mattes, see 00 and 04, either plan by McCain (new veep, or palin and move to the middle) would have won the middle. I think that he would have had enough to overcome the shitty GOP outturn

Lisa Renee said...

That's the case in every election and Obama got a free pass compared to what was done to Kerry. It was almost a reverse, which if you take that into the fact that less people voted, especially considering the huge voter registration pushes, more people than before who were able to vote? Did not vote.

Which means neither party inspired them to do so. McCain was already up against the natural political cycle, Obama gave those who voted more reasons to not return Republicans to the White House than McCain did to receive that.

If experience truly mattered as some like to state as a negative against Palin? Obama would not have won. Which is why I stated I don't agree with Chris on it not being possible for a Republican to have won. Had the number of voters who supported Bush turned out, it would have been possible for McCain to have won Ohio despite being over spent by the millions. It was reported that less Republicans voted in Ohio than in 2004 by ten points...Palin drew record breaking crowds here, McCain solo? Did not...

Barga said...

Again, my point is not that anybody could get the right to come out more in power, it is that the right was not needed. 30% right turnout, combined with the middle could have won McCain the election, he refuesed to aim for it

Robin said...

Oh my goodness... I could only imagine the frenzy if Lieberman would have been picked for McCain's VP. None of it would be good.