Just left the Educate ’08 event “A Daily Briefing: Former White House Press Secretaries Dee Dee Myers and Ari Fleischer” in Monroe Lecture Hall. PR majors were reserved seats in the front from second to fourth rows. Thanks professors and University Relations!
Fleischer said McCain initially had a chance to win this election but due to his reaction to the economic crisis he lost the race. The introduction of Palin as Vice President boosted enthusiasm and “reinforced McCain’s maverick convention”. Where McCain made his error was by “introducing an unknown” before Palin had a chance to prepare herself, according to Myers. Fleischer stated Palin was a victim of “brutal and biased press coverage”. Obama declared his candidacy early enough in the race to make mistakes with little reaction. McCain also erred when misreading the depth of the financial crisis (but we all knew that already).
Myers said the Internet was a large factor in changing the way we view presidential politics. The Obama campaign successfully utilized the Internet to raise funds, transfer info, and to organize and implement their strategies. In general, the role of all media has been redefined. Myers reiterated that even CNN and The New York Times, “mainstream media”, have their own websites and blogs. Instant Internet access to information has created “pressure on journalists” according to Myers, having short deadlines and therefore running the risk of inadequate fact checking.
Fleischer predicted that Obama will win and Democrats will be given more power in the government by acquiring more seats in the House and Senate. Democrats will also start to “meddle”. Fleischer also said that Palin’s “star will rise” and to “not be surprised” if she becomes the first female president (yeah right). Fleischer and Myers both predicted the economy is going to get a lot worse (no shit).
Both Fleischer and Myers said 2008 was a monumental year for one of the longest campaigns in history. Myers compared the lengthy campaign to the 8th inning of the greatest baseball game but “they stopped serving beer two hours ago”. Myers said that Election Night will be “uplifting” for all Americans.
Both speakers were excellent, sharing personal stories and cracking jokes. Myers was a pro at creating similes for certain points, such as the fact that trying to find a message in McCain’s campaign is like searching for “the prize in the cereal box”. Showing the ability to relate is the sure fire way to have an audience place their trust in you.
Myers said that what Obama has over any other candidate in the past is his ability to not get disturbed easily. As a Public Relations enthusiast, how one presents themselves, to me, is a deciding factor of their accountability. Especially in the debates, Obama has presented himself cool, calm, and collected.
sidetrack – it’s raining today and I forgot my umbrella. Even when I do remember, it’s a miserable experience because the wind always catches on it’s red and white hearted nylon brilliance. It never fails that when it is storming on Long Island, I feel like I could fly away like Poppins.