Today’s Campaign Update, PART II
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
So, the plan to boost Fauxcahontas continues today, with both the New York Times and Washington Post dutifully claiming that she “won” the first debate Wednesday night. Well, there’s no surprise there, right? Right.
Think about it: How could she have possibly not have been at least one of the “winners” on that stage? The DNC/NBC had ensured she would be the only candidate on-stage polling above 3% support. They had also rigged the process to ensure that she would be placed dead-center among the field of 10 contenders, a position that inevitably provides a subliminal message of authority. Finally, she was standing between the goofiest man in politics, Irish Bob O’Rourke, and the second-goofiest man in politics, Cory Booker.
She’d have had to start shaking uncontrollably like Angela Merkel or go into a Pantsuit Princess-esque uncontrolled coughing fit in order to look anything but great in that situation.
So, sure, she was a “winner” last night, based on optics alone. As I pointed out this morning, the only mistake she made was wearing a muted purple jacket, which made her look smaller even than she is, and ensured human eyes would naturally migrate over to Tulsi Gabbard and her bright red jacket.
The big mistake most people make in judging “winners” and “losers” in these debates is to try to judge them on the substance of what the candidates have to say. That is a totally, completely, 180 degree wrong way to do this.
The actual “winners” in these debates are inevitably the candidates who make the most favorable impression visually. What they say doesn’t really matter much.
Donald Trump “won” every GOP debate in 2015, not due to anything he said or positions he took, but because he was visually the most genuine, non-politician person on the stage. That’s what GOP voters were looking for in the 2016 election cycle, not another talking-points parrot. Trump not only did not do talking points, you got the impression he’d never be able to memorize them properly even if he wanted to. GOP primary voters loved that about him, and still do.
Who stood out visually last night? More than anyone else, Tulsi Gabbard. No question. She’s younger than most in the field, attractive, tall, and that red jacket just added to the effect. She’d have been a “winner” with the voters last night had she stood there reciting poetry by Maya Angelou. Actually, that might have gained her votes, given Democrat voters’ love for identity politics.
Lieawatha also stood out visually, simply due to her positioning on the stage. The human eye is always drawn to the center of the screen, and to anything out of place. Thus, whenever NBC showed a wide shot of the stage, the human eye was immediately drawn to the short lady standing in between two 6’3″ guys in the center of the screen. That’s the kind of favorable visual impression these candidate would kill for. Had Little Big Moneywaster worn a bright yellow, orange or red jacket, many viewers would have been unable to take their eyes off of her. Thus, a bit of a missed opportunity there.
Both Booker and Irish Bob would have made favorable visual impressions were they not both so damn goofy. But Booker looks like he’s always about to burst into fits of school-shooter rage whenever he speaks, an obvious turnoff. And Irish Bob’s constantly-waving arms and bobbing head ultimately just end up irritating everyone, especially since President Trump hilariously called the weirdness of all of that out.
Julian Castro is another guy who most likely made a favorable visual impression. Again, he is young, good-looking, and speaks in a quiet, highly-literate tone, all of which conveys authority. But like Gabbard, doing well visually in a debate only does so much good when you are polling at less than 1% and your campaign is chronically under-funded.
But unlike Gabbard, Castro is a reliable, down-the-line leftist nutjob, so we will see him getting lots more free media from CNN and MSNBC going forward. It’s like clockwork.
Bottom line: Fauxcahontas was a “winner” in the first debate because it was set up for her that way.
Tonight’s second debate was set up to be a night for Pete Buttigieg to shine, but his lost weekend back home has put a major snag in that plan. I have a feeling that Kirsten Gillibrand might find a way to stand out from the rest of the crowd tonight. Just a guess – but it seems like this stage is a real opportunity for her to recover from her cheerleading-in-the-gay-bar fiasco of a couple of weeks ago.
That is all.
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