• Google Bookmarks
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • reddit
Who're you going to believe? PDF Print E-mail
Barlow's Beat
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 11:04

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Two weeks, says the adage, is a lifetime in politics.
Last week’s debate between President Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney proves the point.
Going in to the debate, President Obama was beginning to pull away from Mr. Romney, according to most polls including one by the FOX network.  This was more evident in swing states such as Ohio, Virginia and Florida.  Even North Carolina was shifting towards Mr. Obama.
No more.  Mr. Obama’s baffling and bad performance as much as Mr. Romney’s energetic challenge have changed the dynamics of the race.
A week later, data about the debate underscore its importance in the history of this campaign.  The show also illustrated the power of visual impressions in politics.
Start with the number of viewers, estimated to be over 67 million.  That’s a 28 percent increase over the debates between Senator John McCain and then Senator Obama in 2008.  And it is unlikely that the two remaining debates, Oct. 16 and Oct. 22, will draw such crowds.
One doesn’t need polls to see the change in outlook, especially for the Romney Campaign.  The Wall Street Journal reported that $12 million of online contributions flowed into Mr. Romney’s campaign fund just hours after the debate.
The candidate’s abrupt turn away from his “severely” conservative positions in the primary hasn’t upset the right-wing of his party.  He knows such voters really don’t have anywhere else to go, and their joy at Mr. Obama’s humiliation overcame their misgivings about Mr. Romney’s flip-flops.
There is a hidden challenge now facing Mr. Obama’s campaign.  It is wrapped in the words of Groucho Marx’s brother, Chico:  “Who are you going to believe, me or your own [lying] eyes?”
One of the effective arguments against Mr. Romney is that he is out-of-touch with the lives of average Americans.  Mr. Romney himself gave witness to this image in his candid remarks to wealthy contributors in Florida.
He said his job was not to worry about 47 percent of Americans who didn’t pay income taxes.  He coldly pictured them as lazy, unproductive, and lacking in “personal responsibility.”
This image did not fit the visuals of the Mr. Romney in the debate.  People saw with their own eyes someone much different than the one on the hidden video.  So, who are they going to believe now, the Mitt Romney in negative campaign ads or the guy they saw in the debate?
The hidden camera video is Mr. Romney and so is the one in the debate.  The challenge for Mr. Obama in the next debate and future campaign ads is to persuade the public which Romney to believe.

 
Copyright 2011 - All Rights Reserved
3012 Highwoods Blvd., Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27604
Telephone: (919) 790-9392