Chas' Compilation

A compilation of information and links regarding assorted subjects: politics, religion, science, computers, health, movies, music... essentially whatever I'm reading about, working on or experiencing in life.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When "Boring" really is Better

Why Mitt should pick a boring Veep:

Romney, make a boring pick for VP
[...] Vice presidential picks are not an opportunity to make a game change, at least in a positive direction. When McCain turned to Palin, he did so in an effort to overcome many of his perceived weaknesses against candidate Obama -- his inability to attract the base of his party, fears that he would appear to look like the "older" candidate in the race, as well as the concern that he was a less charismatic candidate in the eyes of the media.

Clearly the Palin pick backfired. What can Romney and others learn from this episode?

The first lesson is that vice presidential picks should be boring. In the end, Mitt Romney must overcome his weaknesses as a candidate by what he does on the campaign trail, not by who he picks as his running mate.

Having the right person stand beside you rarely will change the way the public sees you. But calling on the wrong person can draw all the focus away from the campaign's main themes and raise serious concerns about the competence of the candidate.

Very often, less than exciting candidates -- Dick Cheney in 2000, Sen. Al Gore in 1992 or George H.W. Bush in 1980 -- turned out to be perfect primarily because they didn't cause much of a stir. When it comes to vice presidential candidates, less attention is better.

A second lesson is that candidates must make sure that their running mate can handle the national spotlight in the modern media age. It's far different to be a rock star in Anchorage than it is in Washington.

With all the outlets for news today, with cable television, the Internet and social media constantly finding and supplying information, it is very difficult to contain charges or gaffes before they go viral.

And despite all the criticism that our current politics are shallow, the fact is that competence can matter very much when candidates stand before the media. When Palin stumbled in her interviews on national television about basic foreign policy questions, the media immediately exposed her flaws.

Katie Couric's questions did huge damage to Palin in 2008 in a manner that most Democrats could only have dreamed of doing.

A third lesson is that appealing to the party's base during the general election is not always the best move to make. After all, Romney's chief asset remains the fact that he is the moderate Republican in the campaign, the Republican who has the best chance to win over independents and disaffected moderate Democrats in November. [...]

Read the whole thing. And lets remember, Obama also made a boring Veep pick, and it worked out well for him.

Sometimes boring really IS the better choice.
     

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