Friday, January 25, 2008

¡Adiós! Dennis

I heard on KPOJ this morning that Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio is ending his campaign for the Democratic nomination for US President. Of all the candidates, his message spoke to me the most. Was there perhaps a problem with the messenger? Do we ourselves have a problem? With "short" people?

I recall a conversation on this topic on the radio back in November. The radio hosts (Thom, Carl and Heidi) were discussing the importance of physical appearance in political campaigns. A caller astutely noted that in this media driven world, the visual package matters. Advertising works! Carl agreed, saying "There's a telegenic aspect to running for President." Height of course is merely one factor. To his credit, Thom said "I frankly don't care what the guys look like." And I suspect when polled, most voters would agree. But there is the so-called Bradley effect, which essentially refers to biases that people are perhaps to afraid to admit to themselves.

Heidi brought the discussion home referencing the US Senate race in Oregon and Thom ended the segment saying "teve Novick would make a great Senator, and it's got nothing to do with his height." I can think of only one possible advantage that Novick's 4' 9" would give him. (Well, I could think of a lot of silly things too.) Back to the question of "electability"... These are only opinions, not backed up by any data pulled out of my nether regions.

  • I believe a certain fraction of the electorate are less likely to vote for a candidate based their race, sex, height, etc.
  • I also believe it to be a fact that Novick's entire physical package (yes, hook and all) will more than offset lost votes due to hidden prejudices simply because he is indeed so different. I once heard him joke, "The voters want someone who's a little different. Well, I'm little. And I'm different!" Looking at the what we've already got, you've got to admit he's very different.

Ok, this is my take on the current field. If you didn't see the real ad on TV yet, you can check it out here.


Pat Malach said...


Good to see the blogging back.

Thom said...

Hey, a fellow SOB! (Society of Banned Bloggers)

I've continued to write, just not publish after Blue0's Chisholm used this forum to "out" me. (And it looks like he's back.) Say, I wrote a few commentaries on some of your art. I'll let you know if I ever greenlight them.

How about that TV ad? I know I'M in the mood for something different. In my mockup of the ad, the pics of Wyden and Merkley (minus the sign) are my own, and I remember thinking when I uploaded them "tall dude," "picture perfect." etc... But this is a cycle that will favor change. Steve Novick is the "picture perfect" change candidate.

How did you like that quote from Thom Hartmann? "Steve Novick would make a great Senator, and it's got nothing to do with his height."

Pat Malach said...

How about a Gilligan's Island parody with Kari as the Skipper and Jeff Alworth as his admiring little buddy Gilligan.

You are the Photoshop master, Thom