Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Duff: Cool stuff on You Tube makes political warfare fun for us all

As the 2004 race was fought in the blogosphere, the 2008 race will be fought on You Tube.

The interesting thing here is not what’s being said in the campaign, but how the battle is taking place. The battle for 2008 is being fought with a series of provocative video clips – a volley of streamlined sound bites, laser-targeted and out of context, often distributed by the candidates themselves.

John McCain is feuding with the Club for Growth, Obama fans are tearing down Hillary with brilliant homebrew videos, and the worst dirt anyone has on Obama is a picture of him with a cigarette in his mouth.

The best video so far seems to be an amateur production: a spoof of the famous 1984 Macintosh ad depicting Hillary Clinton as the tired old order, smashed by her young, vigorous rival. Obama’s campaign has vigorously denied creating the ad, and I’m inclined to believe them. The major candidates are so risk-averse these days, I doubt anything this cool could make it past their lawyers.

Camille Paglia compares the candidates to racetrack thoroughbreds “rearing and shying as their handlers try to shove them into the gates.”
Michael Duff

With so much energy devoted to infighting, the actual Republican vs. Democrat sparring is starting to suffer. Greg Sargent of Talking Points Memo has been reduced to comparing divorce rates among Republican and Democratic candidates. The verdict? “The entire field of Dems deemed credible boasts fewer divorces than Rudy Giuliani alone!”

The fun part is watching the usual suspects play against type. It’s still early enough that partisans are willing to praise their opponents and criticize their own frontrunners. In a year or so the major parties will form ranks behind their candidates, but we still have a few months of in-party warfare left. I say enjoy it while it lasts. We’ll get down to business soon enough.

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Written by Michael B. Duff

May 11, 2007 at 15:23

Posted in Columns, Politics, TV

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