Huckabee: The Greatest Communicator Since Reagan
Mike Huckabee plays guitar and jokes about his weight on The Tonight Show.
Last night on Jay Leno, Mike Huckabee put in the best late night performance in presidential history, potentially catapulting himself to a win in Iowa tonight and gaining enough momentum to march on to victory in South Carolina. As I explained when Fred Thompson launched his campaign on late night television, these types of appearances are a powerful new strategic tool in campaigns.
On late night shows, candidates are usually able to offer their best personal narrative, and hopefully in the process, prime memories of likability and strong character. The appearance on a late night show can also generate positive news coverage and positive buzz at the office, on blogs, or among friends. Most importantly, when candidates go on late night comedy, they reach the limited number of "persuadables" left in the electorate, non-news audiences who have few other sources of information about the candidate, winning their support and most importantly in Iowa tonight, giving that added motivation to actually turn out and caucus. [This ability to bring latent supporters into the electoral process by way of entertainment and celebrity venues is on greatest display with the Obama campaign and their Oprah strategy, which I first wrote about back in September.]
Huckabee's brilliance as a communicator shouldn't be underestimated. In fact, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the leading historian of presidential communications, calls Huckabee the best she has seen since Reagan. Here's what she said in a must read interview on the Bill Moyers program (transcript):
....I haven't seen a politician who has his talent to connect with voters since Ronald Reagan. If you just listen to him on radio, there is a communication sense, a sense of him as a communicator that telegraphs an immediate identification that's really very powerful. And the question is: Does that telegraphy distract you from asking questions about who he is and what he stands for? And if so it's a net political advantage. It may not be a net advantage ultimately in the translation of governance.
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.
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