Nov

27

I Noticed, from Gary Rogan

November 27, 2012 |

 Did others notice that the media lavished fawning attentions on the incumbent this time as he swooped in for a post-Sandy look-see, versus the complete opposite, total opprobrium, against W when he humbly visited the post-Katrina landscape?

From the President of the Old Speculator's Club:

Having spent over 35 years in advertising, I look for campaign themes and whether or not they're effective. Once a successful one has been developed, it's important to study how it can be maintained, tweaked, or revamped to remain relevant. Frequently, this entails being somewhat less than completely forthcoming. The scriveners of the editorial department looked down upon us for this practice.*** (example at bottom)
Now they and their buddies who have been co-opted by the political establishment (hello, Messrs. Moyers, Stephanopoulus, Axelrod, Carney, etc. ), pretty much follow that same playbook. They take what's working, beat it to death, quickly abandon that which is not, and if it cannot be abandoned, it is re-fashioned into something that originally came from the other party (with years and years of congressional records, easy access to old speeches and videos. It's near impossible to NOT find a politician who didn't flip-flop on most issues…Ron Paul may be the exception but look what happened to him).

But there is one significant difference. When advertising a consumer product or service, all that is required is enough customers to make an acceptable profit — this number may be (relatively speaking) a very small percentage of the population. Historically, Rolls Royce, Remy Martin, Rolex, and Louis Vuitton have done very well with a small customer base. Chevy, Gilbey's, Timex, and Martha Stewart, on the other hand, need far more customers to turn a comparable profit.

Better quality goods, marked-up accordingly and marketed smartly ("at 60 MPH all you can hear is the ticking of the dashboard clock") will do very well, even in times of economic adversity. Goods of lesser quality, need a far broader audience and one more concerned with cost than quality or durability. Little wonder them that politicians require (by marketing standards) a staggering "50% plus 1" - one wonders that if it were not for the "two-party system," if anybody could ever get elected.

And here's where the current "rub" comes into play. Though the final result has been characterized in many different ways, the final numbers make it a very slim majority for the incumbent — slim enough, in, fact, that any one of several special interest groups (African-Americans, Hispanics, Roman Catholics, gays, pro-lifers, eco-friendlies, educators, union members, etc.) can claim their votes were the deciding factor.

In my old business, all we had to do, once the sale was made, was deliver the promised product. (If we didn't we could be prosecuted.) It's going to get real dicey when these various groups present the bill for their services (some already have). With a cupboard that's almost bare, the real fun is still ahead of us.

This is the post-Sandy problem that will have to be dealt with and the WH is going to need a magician more than a czar or mouthpiece.

***(I once received a nasty note from the Home Guide editor who chastised me for writing a nice review of a "terrible" restaurant. Well, of course, I wrote a nice review - they were a paying advertiser and I received, in addition to a free meal and copious amounts of gin, $30 tax-free - at the time I was making about $180 a week, my tax bracket was 28%, and I was paying close to a full week's salary in child support - so a free $30 was an incredible windfall. In any event, I pointed out that I had used about 400 of my 800 words raving about the establishment's use of anchovy stuffed olives in their very fine martinis. Another 250 words were devoted to the magnificent ambiance, prompt service, and large parking lot. What remained went to its pastoral location, extensive hours, and drive-out instructions - not a word about the quality of food. And, honestly, the food wasn't "terrible," but the Editor possessed a finer palate and a large enough salary to satisfy it…I got by at Franksville…with lots of sauerkraut and chili on top.)


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  1. Steve on November 27, 2012 4:50 pm

    “In my old business, all we had to do, once the sale was made, was deliver the promised product.”

    Politicians always deliver the promised product to their powerful patrons- the MIC, the Banks, Pharma, etc.

    But to the voters (suckers), politicians will always over promise and under deliver.

    And once a US President wins a 2nd term, he begins counting the days when he can collect the cash he will get for speaking arrangements, book deals, lobbying, not too mention the more complex under the table graft he will receive.

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