Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Comparing Obama '08 to Bush '00

Previously, I compared the histories of Karl Rove and David Axelrod. Another way to compare the two would be to compare the campaigns each has shaped. In 2000 and 2004, Karl Rove (the second link in his name creeps me out a little) was the principal advisor to George W. Bush in his campaigns for President. In 2008, David Axelrod is the principal advisor to Barack Obama.

I want to see David Axelrod's tax returns next year if this is the case in the Obama campaign. From a Rolling Stone article from April 2007:

The party's campaign strategists operate under contracts that would make Halliburton blush. While their GOP counterparts work for a flat fee on presidential campaigns, Democratic media consultants profit on commission, pocketing as much as ten percent of every dollar spent on TV ads. It's a business model that creates "an inherent conflict of interest," concedes Anita Dunn, who served as a strategist for Bill Bradley in 2000. The more the candidate spends on TV advertising, the more the consultant cashes in. And that compensation is hidden from public scrutiny: Federal campaign reports reveal only what a campaign spends on ads, not how much the consultants skim off the top.

"Consulting," says former Gore campaign chair Tony Coelho, "is a business that can turn into a racket." Over the past two presidential elections, Rolling Stone estimates, that racket has cost the Democrats at least $10 million more in consultant fees than it did the Republicans. Even top GOP advisers, who usually counsel that greed is good, are amazed by the exorbitant fees. "If you want to elect your candidate, you ought to be able to work for a reasonable rate -- not try to haul off a sack full of profits," says Mark McKinnon, the lead media strategist for George Bush in both 2000 and 2004.

Can you imagine how much money even one percent of the total amount that Obama's campaign has spent on television advertising? Earlier tonight, Barack Obama bought half an hour in prime time from 7 to 7:30 pm CDT, on three of the four national television networks, FOX, NBC, and CBS. This forced the delay of the conclusion of Game 5 of the World Series. If you read the articles linked to in this post about David Axelrod, you will remember that he is obsessive about baseball. I wonder whose idea it was to buy the half hour time slot before the possible series clenching games of the World Series. Also, if you go to the bottom of that story on SkyNews, it says

It is estimated that by the time this election is over Obama will have spent £144m ($230m) on TV advertising.

Ten percent of that would make a very tidy sum.

The bottom line is that, by writing this, I now think that David Axelrod is the most interesting figure in this political campaign. One thing about Rove in 2000 was that he was well known. Rove had been involved with the Republican Party, in DC then in Texas, back to Watergate. I do not see a broad spectrum of information available about Axelrod like I do when I search for "Rove 2000".

Since I am new to all this, I do not know how to embed youtube videos, so I will just give you the links.

John Edwards in 2004, when Axelrod worked for him.

Barack Obama in 2007, when Axelrod worked for him.

Apparently the politics of hope requires a black candidate and slower, clearer diction.

I just deleted a lot of this post because it was much too long. I will try to revisit the similarities between the Bush '00 and Obama '08 after I have had more time to ponder and research this topic. If I ever do write it, it will be very long.


Michael said...

Why can't anyone else post a comment? We shall see...

Randy said...

Now that this can accept comments, I will provide one.

I love this post. It's genius. The two video clips are amazing. Great work.

Altogether it really depresses one about what we're really voting for. Either candidate, either party. The deliverer of an architect of rhetoric is what we all vote for.

Any candidate for any party is a big bag of promises, with a flimsy foundation in their actual principles, or more correctly, in their "values." (If you want to know why I make a distinction, ask me, or maybe I'll post it later)

We all want to side with the guy whos values are closer to our own, and that's how some people vote. I think most people vote for the guy who makes his values sound the best, and then the individual justifies their vote by twisting in their minds the niceness they hear to match their own values.

What I wish for is a guy who I believe, even just a little, truly cares about the country and the office of President.

A guy for who the office isn't about the power, prestige, or history of holding the office. And I believe the rhetoric that builds a campaign can speak back to whether the office is a geniune care to the candidate, or whether the office is just a thing to say anything to obtain, for whatever motivation the office is desired, probably power and history.

Your post shows me which candidate, and party, falls into the latter category.