Perhaps the reason I welcomed Barack Obama’s surge in the Democratic primaries now nearly two years ago was that I first experienced the then-Chicago politicians as an image on TV screen without sound. As the 2008 campaign got underway, nearly all the TV coverage I saw was when I was doing cardio at the gym. He looked good, relaxed and in control.
If image matters in political campaigns, then Scott Brown has a long career ahead of him. Last night, while at the gym, I watched coverage of the two “political celebrity” visits to the Bay State. Former President Bill Clinton on behalf of Democrat Martha Coakley. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on behalf of Scott Brown.
The brief clip I saw of the Democrat’s appearance showed a formal Clinton praising Coakley in a nondescript (hotel?) ballroom. The candidate herself looked stiff and formal, proud to be honored by the society blowhard at her cotillion, prim, proper and perhaps too poised. By contrast, we saw the New York City Mayor outdoors on the streets of Boston’s North End, joining the energetic candidate moving about the crowd and shaking hands. It was like comparing the society column to the sports page (only this sports page was like that in the Daily Prophet, the characters in the photographs moved).
(This is not the same clip I saw on CNN, but some of the imagery looks familiar. Thanks to GatewayPundit for posting it.)
Given that Clinton carried the Bay State twice (the second time with over 60% of the vote), his backing of the hapless Democrat should help her campaign. But, will it hurt Brown that the former Mayor is a big Yankees fan? (You know the team Red Sox fans love to loath.) Alas for the Democrat that in trying to use this to drive a wedge between her opponent and his Boston base, she shot herself in the foot.
It ain’t just her cluelessness about the Bay State’s beloved BoSox that’s hurting Martha Coakley, it’s also the image of her opponent in the outdoors (you know, that cold outdoors) interacting with the people he seeks to represent.
As you may recall, Bill Clinton did a lot of events outdoors in 1996, making sure the TV cameras caught him doing things. That was the year he won 61% of the vote in the Bay State, garnering more than two votes for every one his disabled opponent picked up.