John McCain Breaks the Rules of Marketing
One day God and St. Peter met on the first tee of the celestial golf course, and St. Peter hit a magnificent drive straight down the fairway.
God stepped up, addressed the ball and-with a mighty swing-hooked it deep into the woods.
One minute later, a squirrel with God's golf ball in its mouth ran out of the woods and started across the fairway.
Whereupon an eagle swooped out of the sky, grabbed the squirrel in its talons and flew off. When the eagle got over the hole, it squeezed the squirrel, who dropped the ball, which landed on the green and rolled into the cup for a hole-in-one.
St. Peter turned to God. "Are you going to play golf," he asked, "or are you going to screw around?"
From where I sit, both presidential candidates are screwing around.
The nuts-and-bolts of the issues are buried under mounds of slung mud.
And in terms of marketing, John McCain is playing a most dangerous game.
Let's get this out on the table: I'm not particularly comfortable with either Barack Obama or John McCain.
I see Barack Obama as light on experience, but with a gift of gab so golden that the media, presidents, princes and prime ministers are kowtowing like the Magi to Baby Jesus. I think I know what Barack Obama is for; he is for change.
On the other hand, I don't know what John McCain is for except that he is against Barack Obama.
In the words of Sam Stein in last Saturday's Huffington Post:
There is no doubt: in the past few weeks John McCain has made a conscious decision to run a negative, personalized campaign against Barack Obama. A campaign that was once focused on pushing the biographic attributes of its own candidate has now become almost uniquely intent on tearing down the opponent. This reading is objective. In the past month, the McCain campaign has launched ten web and television advertisements. The first two spots were almost entirely devoted to McCain. The last eight contained only three brief mentions of the Arizona Republican. Indeed, of the 16 minutes and 35 seconds of space that these eight ads filled, 14 minutes and three seconds were spent focused on or discussing Barack Obama. The Illinois Democrat was criticized on everything from high gas prices and snubbing the troops, to egomania.