July 18th, 2008

Press worth more than fifteen points for Obama?


If, as Evan Thomas of Newsweek said in a moment of unguarded candor:

The media, I think, want [Democratic presidential candidate John F.] Kerry to win. And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and [running mate John] Edwards…as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all, there’s going to be this glow about them that is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points…”

—then how much is Obama’s press worth?

I’d say about double that.

And aren’t Evans’ remarks even more on target as a description of the Obama mystique than they ever were for Kerry/Edwards?

30 Responses to “Press worth more than fifteen points for Obama?”

  1. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Dude, are you trolling or just trying to violate copyright?

  2. huxley Says:

    Given the public’s fatigue with the Iraq War and Republicans and the erosion of faith in the media, I don’t think I’d say that media support is worth 15 points to Obama, but it is worth something.

    I suspect that the media knows this is their last big chance to swing an election, so they are doing so nakedly.

  3. njcommuter Says:

    The basic fact is that, while we can defeat barbarians, we cannot defeat barbarianism; we can just push it back and make it unprofitable. The same is true of terrorism. We can go after the terrorists (if we are smart, we will) and we can make it harder for them to live in the cracks in our society and on the wires of our networks, but this form of terrorism will last as long as the structure of government that it is designed to attack. (One of Bobbitt’s points.) We have to get used to the idea that we will be fighting it all the time, and that it means to destroy us, and we have to get better at fighting it, which means closing the places, physical, virtual, and procedural, where it lives.

    We should be encouraged by successes, but not satisfied by them; there will always be more to do against this enemy just as there is always a way for Evil to creep back.

  4. ad Says:

    Kerry lost, which must say something about the value of “having the press on his side”.

    It is not that long since the press were calling Clintons victory “inevitable”.

  5. mouse Says:

    If press coverage for Edwards and Kerry was worth 15 points, you then ask: How much is Obama’s press worth? And answer –I’d say about double that.

    Your reasoning is way off. The RCP average now has Obama at 45.9%. That means his press coverage is worth exactly 45.9%. Absolutely nobody would be voting for him if he weren’t carried by the press.

    PS, This may not be a deep comment but at least I didn’t post it ten times.

  6. PC Says:

    10 times? Try 24! (I counted.) It was pretty good stuff (though hardly on topic) the first time around but 23 times more? That’s a BAAAADDD way to make people join your side of the conversation.

  7. huxley Says:

    Press or no, many Democrats will vote for Obama just because he is a Democrat and not a Republican. See “Yellow Dog Democrat” in wiki:

    “…when the Democratic party of Kentucky, in convention assembled, sees fit in its wisdom to nominate a yaller dog for the governorship of this great state, I will support him — but lower than that ye shall not drag me!” –Theodore Hallam

    Hallam actually withheld his vote from the Democrat in that election but only because he viewed the candidate as lower than a yellow dog. Many Democrats may be less than thrilled with Obama but as yet they still hold him in at least as great an esteem as a yellow dog.

  8. Terrye Says:

    This morning a friend of mine and I were talking about Obama’s trip to Europe. I told him that the news anchors for the major network news people were going to go with him and open their shows in some city where Obama is “starring” that evening. He said McCain should demand equal time. I laughed, like that is going to happen.

    McCain has been to Afghanistan and Iraq many times. They did not literally do the news from Kabul or Baghdad for his benefit. And the European press, anti American little lefties that they are, well probably be chanting his name by the time he leaves Berlin.

    I do wonder however, if people are starting to notice all this. It is getting more and more obvious.

  9. expat Says:


    They are going to set up video screens between the Siegessaeule in Tiergarten, where BO will speak, and the Brandenburg Gate. It will be a big party like the European soccer championship. Obama is scheduled to speak for an hour to this adoring crowd. He wants to show us dumb rubes that if we elect him we will be loved again. I expect reference to this being the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, whch marked a tirning point in relations between Germany and the US.

    I think I’ll keep an upchuck bucket handy.

  10. Vince P Says:

    Nothing turns off Americans more than Europeans backing one of the candidatesd.

  11. FredHjr Says:

    Obama’s trip to Europe is slick. He knows Europe is very much in his corner, as the people of Western Europe tend to be socialists anyway. Eastern Europe may be another matter entirely, because there the people have first hand experience of the failure of socialism.

    American “transnational progressives” want the United
    States modeled after Western Europe, which is why they want us put under the boot of the U.N. And Obama is quite happy to sponsor a bill calling for a monstrous wealth transfer to the U.N. Nor is that all. Inside that bill are provisions which would effectively permit the U.N. to control aspects of our society in ways that the Founders would barf over.

    Obonga has no right to usurp our rights and put aspects of our society under the U.N.’s authority. He has no right to pick our pockets and fork it over to the U.N. For the United States Senate and Congress to go along with this scheme is shameful and infamous.

  12. SteveH Says:

    I don’t think the Obama team knows just how overboard their slick packaging appears to flyover country.

    Let them keep it up. Another hundred days of this and more people will resent network news looking like an Obama infomercial.

  13. Terrye Says:


    It would make me throw up too, if I had to watch it. I intend to keep my gaze averted. At all costs.

    No I can’t vs Yes I can

  14. Terrye Says:

    Steve H:

    Another 100 days of this and we well all feel like we are already in Obama’s second term. Enough already.

  15. Netwatcher Says:

    Actually, they’re acting the way they are not because they can swing the election, but because they think its already over, and they want to be next to the man they think is going to be the next president.

    They have the same access to the electorial maps, and national polls that both the RNC and DNC have.

    They know that once you play tetris, and allocate the hard red and blue states, and assign those that are leaning to each camp; Obama only need to win 20 votes of the 109+, left in the swing states to win.

    Combined with the fact, that Republican enthusiasm is at a record low, (many conservatives won’t even admit that their Republican anymore), McCain has about as much chance of winning, as the President being elected for a third term.

  16. Vince P Says:

    Pro-McCain passion might be non-existant but in my part of the world Anti-Obama passion is overflowing.

  17. Roy Lofquist Says:

    A body of studies have shown that most people vote a party line their whole lives. The most important influences, in decreasing level of effect are: parents; family; friends, neighbors then work associates, church, social clubs …

    The media ranks real close to the bottom. Methinks the talking heads have a rather inflated view of their influence.

    That being said, when people do change their loyalties it is most often a negative reaction to a candidate rather than attraction to a charismatic one. This perhaps explains the effectiveness of negative advertising.

    Obama, in my estimation (watching elections since 1952), has nowhere to go but down. We are already seeing signs in the media (WAPO, LAT, ABC, Newsweek) that the bloom is off the rose.

  18. mouse Says:

    huxley: A little on Yellow Dogs, since I’ve had fun with that concept.

    I consider myself a Dead Dog Republican: If it’s a dead dog, if it’s a Republican, I’ll vote for it. So I’m going to vote for McCain. Fortunately, he has a personal history I admire; I focus on that, and ignore the worst of his views. But this is only true for the general election against a Democrat, in the primary I vote for the best man, or make a “statement”.

    Applying this to the Democrats this year. In the primaries, no matter what the press coverage was, once Obama got his start, he probably would have beaten Hillary. That’s because so many Democrats hated Hillary. “Hope and Change” meant: “I hope we can get rid of Hillary.”

    Now in the general election you’re right, the Yellow Dog comes out. But to only slightly overstate my case: If Obama were given fair coverage, that is, if he were portrayed in terms of his real accomplishments, character, intellect, independence, courage, and potential as POTUS, then:

    –No Republican would vote for him
    –No Independent would vote for him
    –And all Democrats would stay home… “Lower than a yaller dog ye shall not drag me.”

  19. rickl Says:

    FredHjr Says:
    July 18th, 2008 at 8:26 pm
    Inside that bill are provisions which would effectively permit the U.N. to control aspects of our society in ways that the Founders would barf over.

    By “barf” I assume you meant “revolt”.

  20. abu al-fin Says:

    Obama has everything to lose and nowhere to go but down, agreed. But McCain can go down too.

    This may be the first US election with voter participation below 20%

  21. Occam's Beard Says:

    I was amused to see that Obama was the choice of ca. three-quarters of the Germans – who are well-known for their excellent judgment in choosing leaders.

  22. Netwatcher Says:

    I’m a little murky here…

    Its already agreed that most people wont be voting for McCain, but…

    Do you think McCain has a chance because… you are hoping that people will vote against Obama, or are you counting on people voting against Obama.

    Because either scenario is actually pretty sad.

  23. Sergey Says:

    See excellent comment of Dawid Warren:

  24. Occam's Beard Says:

    Since it’s already agreed that Obama is a stuffed shirt Chicago ward heeler surrounded by toxic acquaintances appealing only to those desperate to prove to themselves that they’re not racists after all, it’s so sad that some people didn’t get the memo and think he might actually win.

    You’re on to something, netwatcher. Begging the question is fun!

  25. huxley Says:

    While I do think Obama is the worst major presidential candidate fielded since William Jennings Bryan, I also estimate that Obama has excellent chances of winning this year.

    Fortunately Obama’s unfavorable ratings have risen steadily in the past year from the low 40s to around 49% these days.

    There are three months until the election and much good material against Obama. If that unfavorable rating goes up another three or four points, Obama will be unelectable.

  26. Tim P Says:

    As regards the press being in favor of Obama. It seems to me that the media have heavily favored democrats as far back as I can remember and I can remember back to John Kennedy. Nothing new there.

    I think what will have far more influence is how the economy affects people in the lead up to the election. The main stream media’s painting of the economy as bleak will do far more to help Obama than any overt fawning and open support.

  27. saveliberty Says:

    I think that “positive” press coverage backfires these days. The more that the liberal establishment covers for him, the greater the disbelief among the viewing public.

  28. Occam's Beard Says:

    I agree, saveliberty. I think that Obama fatigue is going to be the determinative factor, and is already beginning to kick in a bit. As indicated on another thread, McCain’s best move right now might be to buy more TV time for the Messiah.

  29. strcpy Says:

    “I think that “positive” press coverage backfires these days. The more that the liberal establishment covers for him, the greater the disbelief among the viewing public.”

    I think what you say there is true, however that has little bearing as to how many points this has gotten Obama in the polls. It is also a different question than how many points they have changed on McCain.

    If they were honest, accurate, and unbiased Hillary would have been the candidate and would crush McCain (not that I prefer Hillary over any of them but of the two I see little difference and general dislike against the R’s along with the Clinton’s ability to play the polls would have carried over). With Obama there is no real way for them to make him a “positive” image, just not as bad as others. That still makes him bad even though it is helping him by 20-30 points or more (I really think more – the real Obama would most likely have never been elected to the senate in the first place unless – as they did – the republicans ran someone that would loose to a dead rotten yellow dog that would vote 100% lockstep with Pelosi).

    So, in short, the media can be responsible due to fawning admiration for a 30% approval rating *and* a 20 point gain at the same time.

    I’ve said for a long time Obama is not electable, he has to depend on McCain being an idiot (and lord knows, like all the Republicans, he is capable of it).

  30. Even JOURNALISTS Are Admitting It Now: The Mainstream Media Is Feverishly Working To Slant ‘News’ To Benefit The Obama Campaign « Start Thinking Right Says:

    […] Doctrinaire liberal “journalist” Evan Thomas of Newsweek birdcage-liner fame once said this in a candid moment: July 18th, 2008 Press worth more than fifteen points for Obama? […]

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