July 8, 2008
McCain and Obama... who's better looking on TV and could this be the ultimate determinant for who will win the election? The answer is likely "yes" for why one candidate will prevail. I read a recent article in Advertising Age that reminded me of the Kennedy/Nixon Presidential Debates where television played a major role in how that election won by Kennedy. It was the first televised Presidential Debate and the nation was suddenly glued to a new medium as the historical journalist Theodore H. White said, "It was the picture of image that had done it" he said,
"in this year, television had won the nationa away from sound to images". Kennedy looked more cool, more calm. He spoke into the camera, where as, Nixon looked jesvous shile sweating a lot under the studio lights. The article points outs out that observers agree Kennedy, who one by a mere 112,000 votes, or a margin of 0.1%, was greatly helped by TV.
Has that really changed today? Our whole pop culture today is largely driven by cool, hip, and flashy. That is what we're drawn to. Who do you think embodies these qualities best? What does this mean in the upcoming election for Obama versus McCain?
McCain is said to have a weakness in front of a teleprompter, that is, he doesn't look great reading one. That may be turned into a great strenght for McCain as he can show he can think on his feet, but his campaign managers are worried he's having a tough time staying on point. Obama on the other hand is not very deep but has great oratory skills. He's great at one-sentence headliners, but his strength may be he is younger, more in touch with a younger generation reminiscent of Bill Clinton's campaign, plus he's taller which is always a plus - it even helped George Washington.
Of course, there is over 4 months to go before November 4th when Americans go to the polls and a lot of gossip and rumors will come out before then. However, no matter how you feel about the *real* issues, keep an EYE on these minor details which are likely not be minor at all as I believe will actually drive the majority of voters at the final moment.