Alex Massie

The Media Campaign

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Ouch!

The paradox of this scene was that the Obama campaign’s communications strategy was predicated in part on an aggressive indifference to this insider set. Staff members were encouraged to ignore new Web sites like The Page, written by Time’s Mark Halperin, and Politico, both of which had gained instant cachet among the Washington smarty-pants set. “If Politico and Halperin say we’re winning, we’re losing,” Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, would repeat mantralike around headquarters. He said his least favorite words in the English language were, “I saw someone on cable say this. . . .”

Actually, I think that's a little unfair on Politico, but there's something to this nonetheless. Politico and Halperin and plenty of others have every incentive in the world to come up with fresh, counter-intuitive, let's-throw-this-against-the-wall-and-see-what-happens analysis; hence a political campaign might best be advised to do everything it can to ignore all this froth and sound and hubbub.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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