(Community Matters) I like Arianna Huffington and her idea for the new campaign theme.
I joined Arianna’s good friends (neighbors in LA) Suzanne & David Booth along with Kirk Rudy, Diane Land and Steve Adler plus about 400 others at the Austin Convention Center for lunch and Arianna’s keynote at the Out & Equal Conference. Evan Smith emceed.
She is a remarkable, insightful and articulate woman. I read her everyday and Steven & I co-hosted a luncheon & table conversation for her a few years ago. She remembered (or claimed to) when I greeted her before her speech where she talked mostly about the current presidential race – of course.
Not unlike my conversations with the campaign this week, with our friends at the dinner table Thursday night, and with our friends and campaign staff at Tommie & Lynn’s last night, Arianna believes we screwed up by paying much attention to Sarah Palin and that we’ve got to return the campaign to Obama and McCain. And, like earlier postings on this blog, she too agrees the race is less about eating into the opposition’s base or even the 43% of swing voters who actually believed the Kerry Swift Boat ads, including that he self-inflicted his wounds to get a Bronze Star. She too believes it’s about attracting new voters, whether newly registered or registered but who don’t vote – citing the 83 million registered voters who didn’t go to the polls in 2004. I’m with her here but won’t make a quotable statement about those swing voters.
While talking with a friend about Drew Wilson’s book, The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation we were discussing the importance of Obama’s political narrative. The GOP Convention and their adopted language brilliantly coop Obama’s narrative: change, hope, leadership you can trust. And, given their base and evangelical following, Sarah Palin is their charismatic new leader.
Arianna recalled one of Barack’s themes in his convention speech: Enough! At our table, we agreed with her, it’s the right one for the rest of the election. ENOUGH!