A few weeks ago I was considering living in a cave until the morning of November 4, when I would emerge to vote and then re-enter society, thereby avoiding what seemed destined to be a painfully lackluster campaign season.
Then McCain nominated Palin in a move that would fit under my definition of strategically outrageous. There’s still plenty of time for it to backfire, but even if it does, it was a sound strategic move, much like Chamberlain’s ammunition-less charge at Gettysburg.
I’ve written here often about the shifting culture and the emergence of a new more civic generation to supplant the idealistic cycle that ended in 2003. One of the bywords of the civic generation is “authentic”. Being authentic, not just appearing to be authentic, is a key to winning hearts and votes in this rapidly morphing culture.
Back in primary season, I thought Obama had the authenticity to overcome the old school tactics of Hillary. But suddenly and stunningly, I believe the key perception regarding authenticity has tipped to McCain’s favor. And here’s why.
Obama is a great orator and an excellent performer on stage. Those are generally wonderful qualities for a candidate. They were enough to dislodge a powerful Clinton. But perhaps Barack came across with a little too much spit and polish? His speech at the DNC was a brilliant performance. Was it too brilliant?
Then there’s his selection of Joe Biden. For me this is a real yawner. If there’s a bastion of old school politics, and someone who comes across as a plastic and even pompous communicator, it’s Joe.
McCain on the other hand was a rather mediocre performer in oration. But, his lack of polish and the imperfections along with his conversational style in talking about his country, his service, and his motivation… I think he actually came across as more authentic than Obama.
And Palin is at this point a rather refreshing portrait of authenticity, in the totally surprising package of conservative womanhood. She’s hot in a very cool way. We’ll see how it turns out, but Grandpa John may actually turn back the popular and youthful Senator. In the 60’s when Kennedy won, the country was in the early stage of the emerging idealistic generation. People wanted Camelot, and the Kennedy’s delivered.
But now, it’s about being real, somewhat flawed, and having cogent and realistic plans about how to solve real problems.
I’m putting the cave plans on hold… for now.