Speechifying Speechifiers

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if we all voted for president this coming Tuesday instead of waiting until November. What else could possibly be said at this point?

After the conventions is when the race traditionally heats up; if that holds true, this election season will start glowing like Chernobyl and burn a hole right through the earth’s crust.

Watching the Republican National Convention, it was interesting that Mitt Romney didn’t once utter the word “Afghanistan.”  Certainly Mitt Romney cares that we’re in Afghanistan; it’s incomprehensible that someone running for president is not concerned that we’re at war. But the truth is very simple:  research told him not to bother.

Every idea in his speech, indeed his entire campaign, is informed by intense research to reveal what voters care about. None of this is random and none of it is based on what would seem to be logical priorities. If surveys and focus groups told the Republicans that America is very concerned about Afghanistan, then that would have been reflected in his speech. It’s as simple as that — and I hate to say this, but if you believe otherwise, you are deeply naive.

So, this shouldn’t be taken as proof that Mitt Romney is not interested in Afghanistan. Political communication is not about saying what you believe, but what you believe will get you elected. That’s nothing new — but it really makes you wonder what’s actually bouncing around in a candidate’s head, doesn’t it?

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