Oh my. I've just written a huge rant. I just hate it when I get so verbose and go on and on and on. Is this what happens when women get to be my age? So, I'm putting my verbosious (rhymes with halitosis) rant on the flip. If you care.
Getting an email from an ex-president (subject: Bill Clinton (my thought: you know, that guy who everyone agrees has charisma, regardless of your political persuasion) aroused my curiosity so instead of click-direct-to-junk mail, I opened it: "Dear _____(my name)" the personalized (?) email started. The last paragraph:
"I wish I could talk to every last person who has worked so hard for Hillary to thank you for everything you've done for her. You mean so much to both of us. She's still in this thing because of your hard work and your indomitable spirit." Signed: Bill Clinton
In the old, old old days, if this had been something printed, I might
have taken my thumb, spit on it and smeared the signature to see if it
was real. Before I knew about signature machines, I would test to see
if it was printed or hand-signed. All
I've done for any campaign is analyze the communications and media.
(But. A President's signature. ON AN EMAIL???? DOES THIS MAKE IT
"PERSONAL"???? OH COME ON. and then there is the BIG contribute button.
She's putting their own money in at this point anyway...isn't that a
sign of a sinking ship?)
Ex-President Bush Senior stayed out of his son's race. I find that dignified. Ex-President Clinton, to me, is demeaned by this pandering for more power. Do you read this the same way? How are you impacted by political emails? Do you read those from friends, like the ones about Obama's religion, or direct appeals? Or are you swayed by any? The theory is that "influential others" -- like friends you like and admire, or community leaders you know personally, or bible study leaders, carry more influence and weight in your decision making (or now, bloggers). I'm just curious about how we've moved from Dean's bottom-up grass roots (nipped by the Dean Scream) to now. The youth of today see through the bluster and they aren't tripped up by marketing tricks. Yet we can only take in so much. 2004 was the pinnacle of micro-marketing, of niche marketing. What is working and what isn't in political communications? What will pull the next gen into civic involvement? I listen to everyone's arguments. I guess I'm the typical female in this campaign. But somehow, this week is the Dean Scream.
How to market to moms? That is Advertising Age's lead article today. Of course, it is in terms of Mother's Day and consumer purchasing when it writes:
...mothers are the chief purchasing officers, or CPOs, of their households, making almost all of the spending decisions. From computers to cars, from airlines to appliances, from home improvement to high-definition TVs, women -- the majority of whom are moms -- make 85% of all household purchase decisions in the U.S. ....In a way, they do; 84% of women over 40 have kids -- ergo, they are mothers. But the real driver of women's spending power kicks in when they are less involved with their kids...
If candidates are sold like products (starting in the '60s - read The Selling of the President), then does this apply? One point the article makes is that moms with teenagers don't blog about it. I can tell you that is the truth. We moms of older kids need diversions from the hard, hard, hard exhausting task of turning our little adorable ones into the adults they need to be. So in terms of socialization and culture, we need to channel this intensity elsewhere. Food budgets and gas prices and college tuitions.... Isn't politics a relief???? It is an arm's length entertainment.
Meanwhile, back at the (political communications) ranch: The NYT's military analyst story was ignored and the polygamy story dominated the media, according to a Project for Excellence in Journalism study reported in the Columbia Journalism Review.
Two stories on the important piece were in the 1,300 stories in 48
different news outlets. My major for my journalism degree was public
relations so I've followed this story that received no attention and
found it interesting, especially with this administration that has been
called down repeatedly in the past for propaganda. Go look at PRWatch.org to see what they say on this and how too much information will overwhelm the media.
But hey. Let's get to back campaign races that excite us. Who is the
winner? The horserace story is THE STORY. I walked into the room where
my husband had the cable on, sound off. Has she quit yet, I ask. We're primed for winners and losers. We're a nation that sees things in war framing, primed for fights to the finish. The battle is hot, we're down to the wire on one side.
My reaction to Bill's (yes, we are on first-name basis! Aren't we? By his personalization ploy?) email: delete. And that big red CONTRIBUTE button at the bottom. What was my reaction? delete, delete. delete. It made me want to spend fifteen minutes and blog this post. Life, death and legacy. Gasping last breaths are heard, but will the major media really write about it or go there? Power does have its pull. So do spouses and moms. What communications make an impact? What cultural message will resonate?
My mother forwards to me an email yesterday quoting the WSJ article on Cindy McCain (which I saw the same article in USA Today the week I went to visit her two weeks ago - great pr push by McCain's campaign). The "personal email" she received (subject: Cindy McCain) had this closing line by the "friend":
I'm surprised the media is so quiet about her attributes. She sounds more capable than Hillary or Obama. We would really get two for the price of one. A person with business and international experience. John did work for the firm for awhile when he left the Navy. She, however, has the real business experience. Very interesting. (signed) Pat
What pulls you in, makes you want to spread the message and influence others? What messages and from whom do you pay attention to and forward? I've written about how this campaign is about connecting. What does this mean when we are bowling alone, so to speak, when we have less intimate friends than we used to, when our sense of community has fragmented?
I'm just AnotherMother of kids growing into adults and I'd much rather write about this than how my kids spend their own money on items with logos. barf. I'm pushing publish and I should probably just not write about politics. There's too much out there already.