Thursday, October 6, 2016
There for a while I was toying with the idea of voting for Gary Johnson. I mean, I didn’t agree with the man on everything, but in this day and age, you’re not going to find that Golden Agreement Ratio. Ever.
Now, I just can’t.
And it’s not because of Aleppo.
It’s not because of “Aleppo Moments®”
It’s about this: Are Gary Johnson and Bill Weld in this towin, or not?
Or maybe it’s not about that at all. Because the New York Times says something different.
Messaging here is confusing.
And of course the knee-jerk reaction is to “blame themedia.”
Now this is politics. Anything is possible, form the media “making stuff up” to a party running such a mealy-mouthed mumble of a campaign that the media’s left scratching their collective heads over the ever-popular question “What Did That Guy Just Say?” that seems to be hanging over the Libertarians like a clown-shaped cloud.
Confusing the media is one thing. Confusing your running mate is another. But continuously confusing potential voters, already sharp in the eye to Trump and Clinton shenanigans? That’s not a winning strategy.
What should be a winning strategy is to run a campaign based on the merits of your party or your candidates, not running a campaign based on You Don’t Want Either of those Chuckleheads in the White House, Do You? Because running on the “I’m not Trump” or “I’m not Clinton” platform is going to result in muddled messages, confused reporters, and Reason-fueled follow-ups that get buried in the news cycle.
Part of that is a media problem, as Lord Vetinari points out:
"In my experience Miss Crisplock tends to write down exactly what one says," Vetinari observed. "It's a terrible thing when journalists do that. It spoils the fun. One feels instinctively that it's cheating somehow."
But part of running a successful campaign is making sure that media problems don’t become your problems. The Libertarians have proven time and again this year that they can’t do that.
When the Miss Crisplocks of the world begin writing furiously, it behooves the speaker to, at minimum, ask Miss Crisplock to repeat what was written down, and then offer clarifications. Miss Crisplocks may be loth to repeat what was said, or – horrors – to correct what was said, but in this way, the one being interviewed can at least emphasize to the reporter the context, necessary clarifications, and butt-coverage for when the inevitable media screw-up occurs.
Campaigns might aslo be smart to have staff on hand to record interviews – preferably with video – to help straighten the record when flubs occur.
So who am I voting for? Well, there are five in the running for POTUS.