Saturday, August 23, 2008

Set Phrases on Stun

Charles Blow has a great piece in today's New York Times blasting Obama for forgetting that politics, like advertising (same thing) is about slogans and gimmicks. He cites McCain's "Drill Here Drill Now" mantra as an effective example of how to jump ahead in the polls, "Because it was concise, catchy and positive."

Regardless of the fact that McCain's "Drill Here Drill Now" was invented by Newt Gingrich and then championed by Sean Hannity until it became McCain's, Blow is right. Obama is going to sink like a rock if he keeps up his professorial put-em-to-sleep stuff. Sadly, he had to go that route because the opposition was accusing him of being nothing but lofty words. Now that he's proven he can think and reason like a bright, clean and articulate guy, it's time to go back to lofty words.

Americans are stupid. We need gimmicks and junk, catchphrases and bullshit before we buy. "Drill Here Drill Now" is proof of this. I even saw a bumper sticker with the phrase this week. It's a phony policy that won't do a thing to make us "energy independent." But America believes it will. If you say it often and if you say it loud it becomes truth. Top it off with the House of Representatives stunt with all the "rogue" lawmakers demanding a Drill Here Drill Now vote and you've got a movement. While it is stupid to neglect Alaska's oil in the interest of saving some frickin' caribou - who are migratory! They'll MOVE! - most experts agree that all the oil in Alaska will make a very minor dent in our national consumption.

I thought Axelrod was a marketing genius, but he's losing his touch. It's already time for Obama to rebrand.

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