October 29, 2008

One million dollars per network (NBC, CBS, Fox), for a solid half hour of prime time television infomercial. Probably at least another two million, in careful scripting and filming. It is a staggering campaign investment by any measure.

The reach is staggering. No question but that Barack Obama's message will get out there. With an average 2.4 televisions, how can it not?

But which message will it be?

Will it be the kitchen tables and appeal to regular voters scripted and framed by his campaign team? Or will it be the fact that the campaign managers have five million dollars to spare for something like this, during a time of major economic turmoil?

For those in a position to vote in the United States: whichever side you take, don't expect quick change or major change. The government simply does not have that power. Those who say otherwise either don't know or are playing coy.

But please, whatever else you do, don't vote on the basis of colour, for or against.

I remember a university student union election where one of the students running for president happened to be female and black. She was not exceptionally popular or unpopular, as a student she was average, she had the least experience of any of those running and she lacked natural gifts that might have let her make up for it: but she won by a landslide and made history in the process.

She turned out to be one of the least effective student union presidents the university had ever seen.

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