Obama’s next Mistake

In Election 2008, Media Criticism, Misc., US Politics on January 9, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Quieting down the crowd that was cheering for him when he spoke after the primary in New Hampshire.

No other candidate has crowds react like that. The people were making a statement of their own, and he could have let them. The chanting O-BAM-A! might have itself become a contagious media event, picked up, circulated and discussed in the wake of the primary, to help give him some steam and offset an apparent loss to Clinton. The only way for the American public to see the excitement he stirs up in people is to let them make a statement of their own. Silencing a show of approval like that, from your own supporters, is passing up a powerful opportunity. It is “little” things like this that will win or lose an election.

  1. I must respectfully disagree with my compatriot here. He did start a little quick, but the crowd was extremely live considering he lost and Obama had to start his speech and finish it within a reasonable time. He’s interrupted throughout – ex: “We Want Change” around 3:40 – and the chorus of “Yes We Can” at the end is nearly deafening. He’s already known for his crowds and their enthusiasm, the real question has always been can he get it done in the polls. His recent performance was enough for 2 Unions to back him, a big opportunity that allows for both coverage and votes.

  2. The reason why I focus on the crowd is because it could have been a victory of another kind. i.e. Hillary wins New Hamshire, but “do you hear this?” Let them go for a minute, and its contagious. Obama’s whole campaign is based on empowering the people. Why not start by letting them show their excitement in a media moment: an early opportunity to give power to the people within the media context of election coverage?

    Other people wanting to be empowered will respond to their own. This can be contagious.

    This reminds me of the 2002 world cup in South Korea, where the hiss of the crowd was so palpable and energetic that it must have given the players a charge science can hardly explain. These things stick in our minds. Euphoria of that kind can sweep across the country, if Obama’s self-depreciating nature (not necessarily a bad thing) subsides long enough to let the people show their true appreciation for what he can do for them.

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