Am I Becoming Immune to this Stuff?

18 12 2008

There has been so much to cover, politically speaking, in the last few weeks that I struggled to decide which major catastrophe/political goldmine to discuss. We had the Rod Blagojevich scandal, auto industry bail out collapse, an Iraqi journalist who apparently is not a fan of President Bush, a new Meet the Press moderator, more President-Elect Obama appointments, the Madoff “Ponzi” scheme, snow in Vegas, the possibility of another Senator Kennedy and today we found out which foreign nations gave millions of dollars to President Bill Clinton’s foundation causing an immediate conflict of interest with HRC set to become the next secretary of state.

Oh, and of course the most read story involved Jennifer Aniston and a striped tie. Go figure.

So where to even begin? I figured I could write, and write, and write all day about each of the stories I mentioned above. But that is probably not the most profitable thing for The Impact Group.  It’s not that I don’t want to write about all those stories. And I’m not getting lazy. I guess I’d just rather write something that doesn’t leave me sitting here shaking my head in disgust/disbelief. The bad news just builds on top of the news from the day before. I think I’m becoming immune to this stuff. So instead, I’ll attempt to clear my head and just leave you with the best political ad, in my opinion, of the 2008 presidential election. 

What made it the best ad, for me, was the simple, honest, genuine and unique message of the ad during the most heated part of the campaign, just a few weeks prior to the Iowa Caucus. You’ll have a hard time convincing me that this ad didn’t help seal the deal for Gov. Huckabee, who was outspent nearly 20-to-1 in Iowa by Gov. Mitt Romney.

Yes, we find ourselves in difficult and uncertain times. Yet we still hold true to the belief that there are better days ahead.  So with that in mind, I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday and a prosperous New Year.


A House Divided…

18 08 2008

Martin Moleski

I read one of the most fascinating presidential campaign articles this past week. Having worked on many different kinds of campaigns, I do my best to pay attention to how the presidential campaigns are running, examine what is/is not working and offer my analysis to anyone who will hear it. That mostly falls on my brother and one of our graphic designers, both of whom are ready for “Change We Can Believe In.” I’ll get back to that in a moment. First…the aforementioned article.

It's YOUR fault!!

It's YOUR fault!!

Joshua Green of the Atlantic gives the best insight, so far, into the fall of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The article starts with this devastating paragraph:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign was undone by a clash of personalities more toxic than anyone imagined. E-mails and memos—published here for the first time—reveal the backstabbing and conflicting strategies that produced an epic meltdown.

How can you not keep reading? The e-mails and memos show a campaign in chaos that failed on multiple fronts. First, the Clinton campaign failed to establish a unifying message that eventually tore the campaign staff into two conflicting teams. Second, the campaign did not prepare for a primary season that lasted until June 3 and ignored warnings that Clinton would be unable to mathematically catch Obama after he won 11 straight contests following Super Tuesday on Feb. 5.  Finally, the campaign suffered due to a lack of understanding that tactical implementation is critical.

I’ve never worked on a presidential campaign, so I can’t even begin to imagine having to lay the groundwork for a nationwide campaign. However, if I was being paid millions of dollars to do it…i’d do my damn best to figure it out quickly. I have, though, worked on multiple campaigns in Northeast Ohio and two things never change. First, stick to your message. I’ve found great success by crafting a strategic message, based on polls, and never straying from it. Second, poor planning will eventually catch up to you. What this article shows is a campaign team that did not know who was in charge of making critical decisions and implementing the many tactics that go into running a campaign. Weeks would go by before a decision was made, and in a 24/7 news world we now live in, her campaign suffered immensely.

Back to Obama’s now famous tagline (no need to type it again). Do you now understand how important those five words are? If you don’t, try to remember Hillary Clinton’s message. Yah, I don’t know it either.

Click here to read the rest of Joshua Green’s article, The Front-Runner’s Fall.

On a side note, the article earned Green a spot on the set of Meet the Press this past Sunday. I thought he did very well, as did David Gregory, who hosted for the first time since Tim Russert’s death.  I’ve been disappointed by Tom Brokaw in previous weeks, and I thought Gregory did a good job preparing for the show and not letting his partisanship come through. He actually seemed to praise Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for how the administration was dealing with Russia’s involvement in Georgia.

Tim Russert Tribute

17 06 2008

In this photograph provided by \'Meet the Press,\' Luke Russert, son of Tim Russert, touches the empty chair that was his father\'s on the set of \'Meet the Press\'\' Sunday, June 15, 2008, at the NBC studios in Washington. (AP Photo/Meet The Press, Alex Wong) By Martin Moleski

I was shocked and saddened to learn of Tim Russert’s sudden death on Friday afternoon. As you can see from my bio, I am an avid Meet the Press viewer. I had a tremendous amount of respect for Tim and his preparation, tenacity, professionalism and true love of all things political. Throughout the weekend I watched many of his colleagues, interviewees, friends and loved ones discuss Tim’s career and life. I was moved by the tribute paid to him on Sunday morning when Tim Brokaw hosted a forum to remember and celebrate Tim’s 17 years on Meet the Press.

What I think helped in my own grieving process was being able to read the  blogs and message boards on various news sites and learn what other fans of Tim were going through. I found that so many people respected Tim for how he lived his life, remembered where he came from and appreciated the responsibility that came with his position. 

The image of Tim’s son, Luke, standing over his father’s chair reminds us all that life is a gift to be treasured. In an interview with the Today show, Luke showed us that he was, in fact, Tim’s best work.

Tim, you will be missed.