March 6, 2009

Defining Viabillity Historically: Political Image Part 2

We take our own concept of a politicians image and mould it based on the news that we consume. Rarely will our initial perception, or image, of a candidate be radically transformed when we hear new or revealing bits of information, it will only be augmented. Think of it like a rubber-band ball. At first you have a few key knots that you have to form in order to begin the ball and add more rubber-bands. The color and size of your rubber band ball may change but not the initial core that you used to create the ball. Over time, those weaker rubber-bands that you used in the beginning will no longer bear the load put on them to encompass your rubber-band-ball. The same is true for personal image and political image. 

The more information that we gain of a candidate, we no longer use tokens of trivial types to define our image of the candidate. So when we begin to analyze a candidate, dress, posture appearance play a pivotal role, just as they would for anyone. When we learn more about a candidate and his/her personality we no longer use those initial standards of image creation to broaden our image him/her. That is partially why, in my opinion, the William Ayres connection did not play out as well in the general election against Barack Obama as the Reverend Wright connection did during the primaries. Even if it was news to most Americans, the press had already written stories about both Ayers# and Wright, it was old news to them. 

Image creation works differently for the primary campaign and the general election campaign. Since we are focusing on viability I do not think that it is necessary to discuss image creation during the general election, because the major party nominees have proven that they are viable candidates. When a candidate is scrapping among six or eight other candidates for his/her parties’ nomination, image creation is not so much defined by other candidates’ attacks as their own framing and the political community via the popular press. 

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