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Posts Tagged ‘David Axelrod’

VAL 2015 | En sak är säkert när det gäller valet i Storbritannien. Oavsett vilket parti som förlorar kommer man att skylla på sina professionella politiska konsulter.

David Axelrod on the television program Face the Nation, 2010 - Encyclopædia Britannica

Och omvänt; det parti som vinner kommer att hyllas för sin framsynthet när man valde sin kampanjstrateg.

Både Conservative Party och Labour har hyrt in välkända namn från utlandet.

Labour vände sig till David Axelrod som tidigare har varit Barack Obamas kampanjrådgivare. De konservativa anställde redan redan 2012 australiensaren Lynton Crosby.

Crosby låg bl.a. bakom Boris Johnsons valseger i borgmästarvalet i London och segern för premiärminister John Howards Liberal Party i Australien 1998 och 2001.

Peter Jones, som har en spalt i The Spectator där han visar att vi fortfarande har en hel del att lära från antikens Aten och Rom, är inte imponerad.

Crosbys strategi – att attackera Ed Miliband och samtidigt försöka övertyga väljarna om briljansen hos de konservativas långsiktiga ekonomiska plan – är något Plutarchos och Aristoteles, enligt Jones, skulle varnat för.

The Greek biographer Plutarch (c. ad 100) could have advised him against the attack-dog tactic. In an essay entitled ‘Turning enemies to one’s advantage’, he pointed out that the presence of enemies kept one sharp; to distress the enemy who hated you, ‘be a man, show self-control, tell the truth, treat those who come into contact with you with generosity and fairness’. Likewise, by understanding what it was about you that gave enemies the chance to attack, it was possible to adjust your behaviour and blunt their assaults. Miliband is learning fast on both counts.

As for the ‘long-term economic plan’, Crosby is ignoring basic rules that Aristotle (384–322 bc) expounded in his ground-breaking Art of Rhetoric. One was that, as well as presenting oneself as a credible and fair-minded speaker, one also had to be alert to the disposition of one’s audience in order to generate in them the necessary emotional response. Crosby had clearly not assessed how open to persuasion any audience would be to promises of yet more ‘austerity’ demanded by the ‘long-term’ plan.

A further rule was that rhetoric was a matter of ‘detecting the possible means of persuasion’ in any particular case. For example, Aristotle spends some time explaining what it was about the young, the old, etc. that a speaker could turn to his advantage, e.g. the young are sex-crazed, ambitious, keen to win, credulous, optimistic, full of hope for the future, easily deceived, prone to pity people, think they know everything and love laughter. So what are the ‘possible means of persuasion’ in banging on about austerity? Anyone have the foggiest? No wonder the Tories are now throwing out bribes left, right and centre.

Slutligen ett lite lustigt exempel som illustrerar varför inhyrda konsulter inte alltid är så briljanta som alla tror.

När David Axelrod med ett tweet skulle tala om hur fantastiskt det var att få arbeta med Ed Miliband och Labour lyckades han både stava fel på partiledarens namn och följa fel Twitter-konto.

Istället för Milibands officiella Twitter-konto följde Axelrod en parodi på Milibands. En men förtroendefull början på en relation kan man ju tänka sig.

Bild: David Axelrod som gäst på tv-programmet Face the Nation, 2010 (Encyclopædia Britannica).

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BOK David Axelrod, tidigare politisk rådgivare, har intervjuats av NPR:s Fresh Air med anledning av hans bok Believer: My Forty Years in Politcs.

Believer-My forty Years in Politics by David Axelrod

Förutom frågor om Axelrods tid som Barack Obamas kommunikationsstrateg och rådgivare ställde reportern Dave Davies naturligtvis också en obligatorisk fråga om vem han tror blir demokraternas respektive republikanernas presidentkandidat.

Davies: All right. I’ll give you a chance to predict who will be the party nominees, who will win the election.

Axelrod: I appreciate that opportunity. Look, I think anyone would suggest that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. I think she’s the strongest open-seat contender for a party nomination that I’ve see it in my lifetime. And, you know, I look at these polls, and Democrats are – despite all the stuff you hear, Democrats are very solidly behind her.

On the Republican side, I think that’s a very open question. Jeb Bush is a talented guy, and I think if he got through the process and didn’t compromise on his positions on things like immigration reform and education reform, he would be a formidable candidate for president. But the history of the Republican party for the last several cycles is that they’ve nominated center-right Republicans, but they’ve forced them to make Faustian bargains with the right wing in order to be the nominee, thus rendering them unelectable. And the question is whether Bush can get through the primary process with his positions and to the general election. If he doesn’t, Scott Walker’s the flavor of the month now – the governor of Wisconsin.

På NPR:s hemsida kan man antingen lyssna på radiointervjun eller läsa hela avskriften från intervjun.

Bild: David Axelrod, Believer: My Forty Years in Politcs, Penguin Press (2015)

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USA | Barack Obama kommer antagligen att gå till historien som en av de minst teatrala presidenterna i modern tid.

Bloomberg Businessweek 27 oktober-2 november 2014

Många har påpekat att hans lågstämda och intellektuella framtoning inte alltid är till hans fördel när krisen står inför dörren.

Medborgarna förväntar sig känslomässigt engagemang och inte bara kallt redovisade av fakta och åtgärder. Kontrasten mellan hans två briljanta presidentvalskampanjer och tiden i Vita huset är tydlig.

Det är bra märkligt att en person som genomförde två nästan perfekta valkampanjer har haft så svårt att skapa kontakt med medborgarna när han väl befinner sig i Vita huset.

En anledning till detta är naturligtvis att han har haft utmärkta kommunikations- och valstrateger som lyckats ta honom till valseger.  Ingen presidentkandidat kan fixa en valrörelse alldeles själv.

Läser man böcker om hans två valkampanjer framgår det dessutom att Obama trots allt också var en av de som många gånger såg till att lugna ner känslorna i stridens hetta.

Den andra anledningen till kontrasten mellan valrörelserna och Obama som president är att det alltid är en stor skillnad mellan att kampanja och att styra.

Valrörelser har alltid en drag av underhållning och show över sig. Att vara president innebär ett ständigt beslutfattande som knappast är speciellt glamoröst.

Men oavsett vilket har Obamas stil påverkat Vita husets krishantering. Så frågan kvarstår om presidenten är alldeles för cool för sitt eget bästa?

Joshua Green skriver i Bloomberg Businessweek:

Administration veterans describe Obama’s crisis-management process as akin to a high-level graduate seminar. “He responds in a very rational way, trying to gather facts, rely on the best expert advice, and mobilize the necessary resources,” says David Axelrod, a former White House senior adviser.

[…]

By all accounts, Obama treats a crisis as an intellectual inquiry and develops his response through an intensely rational process. As former CIA Director Leon Panetta said recently in a TV interview, “He approaches things like a law professor in presenting the logic of his position.”

Six years in, it’s clear that Obama’s presidency is largely about adhering to intellectual rigor—regardless of the public’s emotional needs. The virtues of this approach are often obscured in a crisis, because Obama disdains the performative aspects of his job. “There’s no doubt that there’s a theatrical nature to the presidency that he resists,” Axelrod says. “Sometimes he can be negligent in the symbolism.”

[…]

It’s hard not to suspect that Obama’s lack of executive experience before becoming president is one reason why he often struggles to strike the right tone. In this way, he’s the opposite of the man who preceded him. “I still remember where I was when Bush took the bullhorn at Ground Zero,” Axelrod says. He was recalling one of the great moments of presidential theater, when George W. Bush climbed atop the rubble of the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11 attacks. “I can hear you,” Bush shouted to the cheering rescue workers. “The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” In a stroke, Bush galvanized the nation.

[…]

But his record, even on issues where he’s drawn heavy criticism, is often much better than the initial impression would lead one to believe. He may tackle crises in a way that ignores the public mood, yet things generally turn out pretty well in the end. He and his economic team, though deeply unpopular, halted the financial panic and brought about a recovery that’s added jobs for 55 consecutive months. His signature health-care law addressed a slower-moving crisis; while similarly unpopular, it has delivered health insurance to more than 10 million people. Even Deepwater Horizon was nothing like the environmental cataclysm it threatened to become. “It really became a parable of how government can mobilize to solve a big problem,” Axelrod says. And he adds, “Bush didn’t get bin Laden—Obama did.”

[…]

All in all, it’s a fascinating case study in the interplay of modern media and politics, the sort of thing that would make for a good graduate seminar. “As Obama used to say all the time,” Axelrod says, “ ‘This shit would be really interesting if we weren’t right in the middle of it.’ ”

Tidskriftsomslag: Bloomberg Businessweek, 17 oktober-2 november 2014.

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USA | Kommer hon eller kommer hon inte? Frågan ställs i nästan alla artiklar om Hillary Clinton.

The New York Times Magazine - January 26, 2014

Frågan gäller naturligtvis om hon kommer att ställa upp och försöka bli sitt partis presidentkandidat.

Att Clinton har en formidabel kampanjmaskin i ryggen om hon väljer att ställa upp i presidentvalet står utom allt tvivel.

Och till skillnad från många andra som går i samma tankar verkar Clinton ha fler allierade än vad hon rimligtvis kan behöva.

Amy Chozick i The New York Times Magazine kallar det för ”Planet Hillary”.

Unlike Barack Obama, who will leave the White House with more or less the same handful of friends he came in with, the Clintons occupy their own unique and formidable and often exhausting place in American politics. Over the decades, they’ve operated like an Arkansas tumbleweed, collecting friends and devotees from Bill Clinton’s kindergarten class to Yale Law School to Little Rock to the White House to the Senate and beyond.

[…]

This may represent Hillary Clinton’s biggest challenge for a hypothetical 2016 campaign. How can Clinton, who is 66, make American voters think about something other than her fraught personal and political past? How can she present herself as someone hungry to serve rather than as someone entitled to office? It starts, perhaps, by figuring out how to deal with many of those characters assembled along the way. “I love Barbra Streisand,” says Donna Brazile, the Democratic strategist who worked on both of Bill Clinton’s campaigns, “but Beyoncé is what’s happening now. I love Peter, Paul and Mary, but she needs to be Justin Timberlake. She can’t afford to kick people out, but she can afford to let new people come in. I realize that’s uncomfortable.” Put another way, the members of America’s most dysfunctional extended political family are about to meet a lot of young new operatives who don’t work in the same way. The Clintons may have come to power when an offensive election strategy meant digging up files of opposition research, but presidential politics are increasingly the province of number-crunching quants and code-breaking hackers. “The challenge is to create ways for people to help but also to figure out who the next generation is,” says Steve Elmendorf, deputy campaign manager on John Kerry’s 2004 presidential run. “Even David Plouffe is a generation removed. Who is the 32-year-old version of David?”

It’s an organizational conundrum that even members of Hillary Clinton’s innermost circle already concede.

[…]

For all the pieces now falling into place, the staff members new and old looking for a seat at the table, the super PACs looking to take credit and the speeches to Wall Street executives (at one session with a hedge fund in 2013, Clinton conceded that any hypothetical candidate would have to decide “toward the middle of next year”) — for all of the inevitable inevitability, perhaps the most important thing Hillary Clinton has to do is not appear like a big-footing Goliath who is finally getting her due. Six years ago, Iowans rejected Clinton, in part, because she seemed too entitled. I remember talking to caucus-goers who were turned off by the “I’m in to win” video that kicked off her candidacy and others who cringed at the loud landing of the Hill-a-Copter, which cost several thousand dollars a day in a state where voters prefer their candidates in Greyhounds.

When I asked David Axelrod what he thought Clinton had to do to win in 2016, he referred to the change she underwent during the last campaign. “She stumbled in 2007, when she was encased in a presumption of inevitability,” Axelrod said. “And she was a very good candidate in 2008 after she got knocked back. Instead of a battleship, she became a speedboat, and she got down on the ground and really, I thought, really connected to the middle-class voters and people who were struggling. People who were struggling connected with her when she looked like she was struggling.”

In her final months as secretary of state in the summer of 2012, when her approval ratings and press coverage were at all-time highs, I asked Bill Clinton what he thought of his wife’s transformed image. Over coffee at the Hilton in Nicosia, Cyprus, he told me the story of having just finished working on the McGovern campaign, his official, and intoxicating, introduction into presidential politics. He said he told Hillary he’d met some of the most prominent people of their generation, and she was by far the most gifted. “You should be in public life,” he told her back then. “She said: ‘Look at how hard-hitting I am. Nobody will ever vote for me for anything.’ ” The former president also gave some thought to her current image. “I think the country sees her the way those of us who know her see her.”

Clinton seemed to be implying that Hillary was gifted and driven and committed to public service and also was someone who genuinely liked to knock back beers in Cartagena and hit the dance floor in Pretoria. And it was sweet to hear the former president talk about his wife this way. But it also seemed like an exercise in magical thinking, as if the intervening decades of public life — with all the attendant drama and political missteps and immense power accrued and wielded — hadn’t complicated that vision of her. Hillary Clinton’s truest challenge, it would seem, is not to make the country glimpse who she was 40 years ago; it’s to recognize that for all the layers that have been added to the onion, there’s still something at the center that’s aching for the rest to be peeled away.

Läs mer: “How Our Hillary Clinton Cover Came About” av Arem Duplessis.

Tidskriftsomslag: The New York Times Magazine den 26 januari 2014.

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STRATEGI | Mitt Romney såg sin chans att vinna presidentvalet efter att ha besegrat Barack Obama i den första tv-sända val debatten 2012.

New York 11 nov 2013

Teamet som ansvarade för att förbereda president Barack Obama inför de tre inplanerade debatterna började känna oro. Det var en oro de inte var ensamma om.

Även den i vanliga fall så självsäkre Obama började tveka om han klarade av den här typen av framträdanden.

“I just don’t know if I can do this”, var Obamas överraskande kommentar vid ett tillfälle. Det avslöjas i den nyutkomna boken Double Down: Game Change 2012 av John Heilemann och Mark Halperin.

Obama hade haft en konstant ledning i opinionsmättningarna under hela valrörelsen. Men det var också en högst marginell ledning.

Det fanns därför ingen garanti att för att Romney inte skulle ta ledningen och vända valrörelsen till sin egen fördel om presidenten misslyckades även i nästkommande duell.

Även presidenten insåg att något måste göras.

 “These are not debates,” Obama observed to Plouffe. “These are gladiatorial enterprises.”

The first lady worried about her Maximus and his return to the Colosseum. In truth, she had fretted over the debates even before Denver. In July, around the time her husband’s prep started, she met with Plouffe and expressed firm opinions. That Barack had to speak from the gut, in language that regular folks could understand. Had to avoid treating the debates like policy seminars. Had to keep his head out of the clouds.

[…]

The president was presented with a piece of overarching advice and a memo, both of which would have been inconceivable before Denver. The advice was […] “the Six A’s”:

Advocate (don’t explain)
Audience
Animated
Attacks
Answers with principles and values
Allow yourself to take advantage of openings

[…]

Klain turned Obama’s prep regime upside down: new strategy, new tactics, new structure. In Williamsburg, there would be an intense concentration on performance, including speeding up Obama’s ponderous delivery. There would be less policy Q&A and more rehearsal of set pieces and lines that popped. Less emphasis on programmatic peas and spinach, more on anecdote and empathy. Contrary to Clinton’s advice, there would be plenty of punching to go along with the counterpunching.

[…]

“We’re here, Mr. President,” Klain began, “because we need to have a serious conversation about why this isn’t working and the fundamental transformation we need to achieve today to avoid a very bad result tomorrow night.” We’re not going to get there by continuing to grind away and marginally improve, Klain went on. This is not about changing the words in your debate book, because the difference between the answers that work and the answers that don’t work is just 15 or 20 percent. This is about style, engagement, speed, presentation, attitude. Candidly, we need to figure out why you’re not rising to and meeting the challenge—why you’re not really doing this, why you’re doing … something else.

Obama didn’t flinch. “Guys, I’m struggling,” he said somberly. “Last night wasn’t good, and I know that. Here’s why I think I’m having trouble. I’m having a hard time squaring up what I know I need to do, what you guys are telling me I need to do, with where my mind takes me, which is: I’m a lawyer, and I want to argue things out. I want to peel back layers.”

[…]

“When I get a question,” he said, “I go right to the logical.” You ask me a question about health care. There’s a problem, and there’s a response. Here’s what my opponent might say about it, so I’m going to counteract that. Okay, we’re gonna talk about immigration. Here’s what I’d like to say—but I can’t say that. Think about what that means. I know what I want to say, I know where my mind takes me, but I have to tell myself, No, no, don’t do that—do this other thing. It’s against my instincts just to perform. It’s easy for me to slip back into what I know, which is basically to dissect arguments. I think when I talk. It can be halting. I start slow. It’s hard for me to just go into my answer. I’m having to teach my brain to function differently. I’m left-handed; this is like you’re asking me to start writing right-handed.

Throughout the campaign, Obama had been criticized for the thin gruel of his second-term agenda. Now he acknowledged that it bothered him, too, and posed a challenge for the debates.

You keep telling me I can’t spend too much time defending my record, and that I should talk about my plans, he said. But my plans aren’t anything like the plans I ran on in 2008. I had a universal-health-care plan then. Now I’ve got … what? A manufacturing plan? What am I gonna do on education? What am I gonna do on energy? There’s not much there.

“I can’t tell you that ‘Okay, I woke up today, I knew I needed to do better, and I’ll do better,’ ” Obama said. “I am wired in a different way than this event requires.”

Obama paused.

“I just don’t know if I can do this,” he said.

Obama’s advisers sat silently at first, absorbing the extraordinary moment playing out in front of them. In October of an election year, on the eve of a pivotal debate, the president wasn’t talking about tactics or strategy, about this line or that zinger. He was talking about personal contradictions and ambivalences, about his discomfort with the campaign he was running, about his unease with the requirements of politics writ large, about matters that were fundamental, even existential. We are in uncharted territory here, thought Klain.

[…]

The full team reconvened in Obama’s hold room. Klain ran through his memo of the previous night and explained to the president the new  new format for his prep: For the rest of the day until his final mock, they were going to drill him incessantly on the ten or so topics they expected to come up in the debate, compelling him to repeat his bullet points over and over again. Klain also presented Obama with his debate-on-a-page:

MUST REMEMBER

1. (Your) Speed Kills (Romney)

2. Upbeat and Positive in Tone

3. Passion for People and Plans

4. OTR [Off the Record] Mind-set—Have Fun

5. Strong Sentences to Start and End

6. Engage the Audience

7. Don’t Chase Rabbits

Resten är vad man säger historia. Obama vann de två nästkommande valdebatterna och behöll därmed ledningen valrörelsen igenom.

Heilemanns och Halperins nya bok Double Down: Game Change 2012 ger en intressant bild av presidenten och alla turerna under valkampanjen.

Här får man följa bl.a. Obamas kampanjteam som bestod av David Axelrod, huvudansvarig för att upprätthålla budskapsdisciplin; David Plouffe, valstrateg och rådgivare i Vita huset; Anita Dunn, tidigare Vita husets communications director; Joel Benenson, tidigare medarbetare hos Mario Cuomo; Jon Favreau, Obamas talskrive samt Ron Klain, ansvarig för Obamas debatträning.

Läs mer: Ovanstående bearbetning är från ett utdrag från boken som publicerats i tidskriften New York.

Tidskriftsomslag: New York, 11 november 2012.

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DEBATT | Inför deras första debatt har Barack Obama och Mitt Romney gått inför att skapa låga förväntningar kring deras egen debattskicklighet.

Strategin går naturligtvis ut på att överraska väljarnas med att de gjorde bättre ifrån sig än väntat när det väl är över.

“Governor Romney he’s a good debater, I’m just okey”, poängterade t.ex. Obama under ett kampanjevent i Las Vegas under förra söndagen.

Och Romney spelade samma spel i en intervju med Fox News i vecka som gick.

”I don’t know how to raise or lower expectations,” sade Romney. ”The president is a very eloquent, gifted speaker. He’ll do just fine. I’ve never been in a presidential debate like this and it will be a new experience.”

James Fallows, nationell korrespondent på tidskriften The Atlantic, har tittat närmare på debatternas betydelse för utgången av ett presidentval och de två kombattanternas olika styrkor och svagheter.

Mitt Romney is far less effective as a big-speech orator than Barack Obama, and in many other aspects of campaigning he displays what appear to be laboriously studied moves rather than anything that comes naturally. But debates are and have been his strength. He grew up enjoying “big, boisterous arguments about everything around the dinner table,” according to his campaign strategist and main debate-prep specialist, Stuart Stevens. “He loves the dialectic of arguing the different sides, and he’s most uncomfortable when no one is disagreeing with him.” He will enter this fall’s encounters with very recent, successful experience in a very wide range of formats and challenges.

In none of the Republican-primary debates was Romney judged the big loser; in many he was the clear winner, and as the campaign wore on, the dominant image from the debates was of a confident Romney, standing with a slight smile on his face and his hands resting easily in his pockets, looking on with calm amusement as the lesser figures squabbled among themselves and sometimes lashed out at him.

Civics teachers won’t want to hear this, but the easiest way to judge “victory” in many debates is to watch with the sound turned off, so you can assess the candidates’ ease, tenseness, humor, and other traits signaled by their body language. By this standard, Ron Paul, with his chronically ill-fitting suits, often looked cranky; Rick Santorum often looked angry; Rick Perry initially looked pole­axed and confused; Jon Huntsman looked nervous; Newt Ging­rich looked overexcited—and so on through the list until we reach Mitt Romney, who almost always looked at ease. (As did Herman Cain, illustrating that body language is not everything.) Romney looked like the grown-up—the winner, the obvious candidate—with or without sound. “He is as good as it gets in debating,” former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who was the first major contender to drop out of the Republican race, told me. “He is poised, prepared, smart, strategic—tactical, too.”

[…]

Romney is very strong as a debater but has also shown two repeated weaknesses: a thin command of policy details, and an awkwardness when taken by surprise.

When the subject is one he’s prepared for, he rarely falters. When it’s not, or when an exchange goes on longer or in a different direction than expected, many of his ad-libbed responses turn out to be mistakes (“I’ll bet you $10,000!”). Thus the Romney team has the impossible challenge of trying to imagine every question or attack line that might come up in debates with Obama, while the Obama team tries to imagine what Romney’s might have missed. This kind of chess game is always part of debate preparation, but it is unusually important this year, because the gap between Romney at his best and at his worst is so wide.

[…]

“The history is that challengers tend to profit, particularly in the first debate,” David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist, told me in June. “Just the act of being on the stage with a president is an elevating thing.” This sounds like a small matter, but through the years, analysis of debate reactions has shown that the public takes a candidate more seriously after seeing him, for the first time, on equal footing with an incumbent president.

[…]

In this year’s debates, Barack Obama’s most inspiring and powerful message as a candidate will no longer be available to him. Four years ago, “Change we can believe in” suggested that things could be different and much better with him in charge. Now even his most fervent backers doubt how much better things are likely to get in a second Obama term. His critics put the same point more harshly. “This time, the president won’t have the luxury of making stuff up and speaking aspirationally,” Tim Pawlenty told me on a campaign swing through Pennsylvania with Romney in June. “He actually has to defend his record and attach facts to it.”

One more factor is working against Obama in the debates. When the economy is bad and an incumbent is beset, the challenger’s task is simplified. He doesn’t need to belabor the case against the incumbent. Reality has already done that; everyone knows what’s wrong with the president they have now. All the challenger has to do is say: “Look me over. I’ll be okay in this job. You can feel comfortable with me.” This is what Ronald Reagan did in 1980, and Bill Clinton in 1992. Meanwhile, the incumbent has to work twice as hard, in order to make two arguments at once. He must prove something about himself: that, while battered, he’s still energetic, visionary, and up to the job. He must also prove something about his opponent: that he is bad for the country, unready, and overall worse.

And he must do all this without seeming defensive or tense; while appearing easily in command to those who see images without hearing words; and, in Obama’s uniquely straitjacketed case, while avoiding the slightest hint of being an “angry black man.”

[…]

If economic trends are bad enough—or, improbably, good enough—to turn the election into a runaway, we might look back and say that the debates didn’t matter. But in what gives every sign of being a close, bitter, expensive, and mostly negative contest, the way these men interact onstage could make a major difference.

Övrigt: Se även Fallows video “Romney the Debater: His Strengths and Weaknesses”. Inför valet 2008 gjorde Fallows en liknande analys som ovan i essayen ”Rhetorical Questions”. (Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är The Atlantic, september 2012.)

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SOUTH CAROLINA | Valsegern i South Carolina gav Newt Gingrich 40,4 %. På andra och tredje plats kom Mitt Romney (27,8 %) och Rick Santorum (17,0 %).

De senaste dagarna har varit tuffa för Mitt Romney. Först får han besked om att han inte vann Iowa med åtta röster utan förlorade med trettiofyra röster till Rick Santorum. Och nu denna valförlust.

Frågan är bara hur överraskande resultatet i South Carolina egentligen var. Delstaten tillhör en av de mer konservativa.

Att man gärna ville se någon annan än Romney är därför inte alltför överraskande. Möjligtvis är det gapet mellan Gingrich och Romney som förvånar mest.

Eller som President Barack Obamas rådgivare David Axelrod pikade Romney på Twitter: ”If you & SuperPac spend $4.7m, and get zero delegates, how much did you spend per delegate?”

Men nästa delstat är Florida där Gingrich kan få det betydligt svårare. Ben Jacobs, The Daily Beast, skriver:

The next state to vote is Florida, where Romney leads in the polls. He’s already spent more than $1 million there and is mounting a concerted effort to target absentee voters, since many in the Sunshine State vote early. At least 185,436 votes have already been cast, and there are nearly 300,000 more absentee ballots still outstanding. These voters will be impervious to the sort of last-minute momentum shifts that helped Gingrich claim victory in South Carolina.

Further, the diverse demographics of Florida appear to favor Romney. Although much of the northern part of the state is as deeply tied to the Bible Belt as any other part of the South, Florida will also be the first state where there will be significant minority participation in the GOP primaries, particularly in the Cuban community in South Florida where Romney has already secured a number of major endorsements, including Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Bild: The State – framsidan är från söndagen den 22 januari 2012. Tidningen publiceras i Columbia, South Carolina.

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