March 8, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Viable

The difference between the good candidate and the viable one is set in the election context that the candidate finds him/herself in. Even if a candidate is viable, one who’s framing is approved of by the political community that does not mean that s/he will win. Dick Morris explains this perfectly in his book The New Prince, “ It is only in hindsight, or a few weeks before election day, that its [the elections] dimensions become apparent. Pundits will always hedge their predictions near the 50-yard line, generally seeing only moderate gains or losses.” He goes on to say, “The most important question for any potential candidate is, ‘Is this my year?”
When we saw the Sam Brownback campaign frame Sam Brownback as being “pro-life and whole life”, “explaining that meant fighting for the unborn but also for the ‘child in Darfur’ and ‘people that are being trafficked out of North Korea”, we got a message that may have resonated with a populous in 2004 or even 2005. The political climate has changed since then and in 2008 he was “struggling to make himself known to most voters and convince them that his issues are more important than the name recognition enjoyed by his better known rivals…”  In this case Brownback had viability, because his political image coincided with the methods that the popular press used to assess viability. Even though Sam Brownback had viability, his political image did not sync up with the context of the election. But we only could really tell that this was the case after the fact, however now, I feel that with a detailed knowledge of a political context a campaign should be able to figure out if it is 'his/her year.'

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