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Election Update: It's October 11, just a few weeks until we vote for president (and everything else). I know you're excited, because I am. Since we last chatted about this, a few things happened, in terms of "trail drama": the Embassy attack (may they rest in God's peace), Romney's huge debate win, and the hearings on the attack. All of these were bad for the president. But remember, events only reinforce narratives; I've already told you that Romney is going to win. Events will only decide the margin.
Romney's debate win did not change this race, and don't let anyone tell you differently. Romney won precisely because there is no compelling narrative for an Obama victory. Obama knows that as well as we do. If he doesn't know it, he can't tell the voters what it is. And so, you lose debates, and sound like a moron. All that happened is that most people who are not political junkies got clued into the lack of a narrative that the junkies already told you about.
Remember John McCain. Think back to that election. No compelling reason existed for that person to be president. Obama in 2008? Oh, about a million. If the storyline is against you, you've got to create a new one centered around the unsuitability of the other person, but carefully, mind you. If you're too obvious, you'll be branded a jerk. If you do it right, the other guy just looks out of place, and the public says, "Well, nothing personal, but you're not it." McCain's people were comically inept, and McCain listened to them. They reacted to every little occurrence on the trail each day, instead of the things that set narratives. Best 3 moments of the McCain campaign: his first speech after becoming the nominee (Kenner, LA, if memory serves), Picking Sarah Palin, (yes, I said it) and his concession speech. As you can see, only the first two were usable. A candidate has to be acutely aware of his weaknesses and limitations; if he's aware of them, he can de-fuse them before the other guy sets a narrative that sticks. Obama Weakness #1: Inexperience. What they should have said: "Wow, this Obama gives a great speech. But he's risen higher than his gifts. In Washington, nobody cares if you want to change the world. The presidency breaks down the most idealistic of men. There are Congressmen and Senators who've seen 5 presidents. They are neither easy to impress, nor dislodge. Not only have I seen Washington and know how it works, I've stood firm against men a whole lot meaner than old guys with their personal fiefdoms."
 Take The Strength and Flip It--Obama Strength: Biography. What they should have said/done: What a great American story, triumphing despite a broken home. He found mentors and friends along the way. But what's he gonna do when he's a struggling president, and he has no friends? Inexperience Double Bonus. Their mistake was in trying to out-biography Sen. Cosby from Hawaii. McCain has a great story, but being a war hero doesn't help when the president led us into a war everybody's sick of, either.


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