The RPs Debate Presidential Leadership: John Y. Defends

John Y.‘s Second Defense

[John Y.’s Provocation The RP’s Rebuttal #1; Ron Granieri’s Rebuttal #2; Rod Jetton’s Rebuttal #3; Krystal Ball’s Rebuttal #4; John Y.’s First Defense; Rod Jetton’s Response #1; Jeff Smith’s Rebuttal #5]

Jeff’s post reminds me of the famous story about the Nixon –Kennedy debates.

On TV Nixon, who had refused pancake make-up, had his infamous 5 o’clock shadow and sweated profusely. Kennedy, by contrast, was cool, calm, and collected—and at his Kennedy-esque best.

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Those voters watching on television believed Kennedy won by a 3-1 margin. Those listening on radio believed Nixon won by a 3-1 margin.

Which opens up an entire new line of discussion: How has TV has changed the message  and the messengers—we get for political candidates today?

Abe Lincoln would have withdrawn from Iowa months before Michelle Bachmann had to. And if Mitt Romney had showed up to debate with Lincoln and Stephen Douglass a while back, he would’ve have been laughed off stage and beaten up as a dandy.  But that’s another thread altogether.

For the record, Jeff,  you worked it well. And Rod, no worries — full disclosure: I was one course shy of a psychology minor, and I do watch chick flicks with my wife. And I think the voting conclusions of the women in your life reinforce the my thesis that Romney is lacking a certain masculine/protector something that worries voters —especially female voters who voted overwhelmingly for Bush II over Kerry (or Romney I according to my theory) in the aftermath of 9/11.

And finally, I don’t drink alcohol either. I do drink caffeine. I’m trying to drink more water these days because it’s supposed to be healthy for you and I assume Mitt Romney drinks bottled water.

Assuming he does, however, I’m really not all that interested in drinking bottled water with him to talk about life or presidential politics. I WOULD be interested in having a water with him to talk about some potential business deals. And that probably indicates another Romney presidential candidate conundrum. Voters don’t find him terribly “likeable” but more relevantly trust him MORE as a businessperson than as a political candidate.

I’m not sure that phenomenon has ever occurred before in presidential politics and wonder how it will play out. Obama would be wise to offer to put Romney in charge as CEO-in-chief of some study or important business development program. Voters would feel they have Romney where they want him and trust him and don’t have to vote for him for president which they are trying oh-so-hard to avoid.


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