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Dan Rather on the bunny suit incident

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  • Dan Rather on the bunny suit incident

    I thought this was an interesting point:

    Long ago and far away, I wanted to be a print reporter — and no, not because television wasn’t yet invented. Would’ve been one, too, if not for my wretched (or is that retched?) spelling. But sometimes still wish I were one, especially when I see headline writers miss a big chance, like this one for John Kerry’s Dukakisesque photo op yesterday at Cape Canaveral — POLITICAL ADVANCE WORK: IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. You really have to wonder what the candidate, his staff, and anyone else involved was thinking with that one.

    Lost, I suppose, in the rush to compare the bizarre shot with Dukakis-in-a-tank circa 1988 was this: The Dukakis shot was grievous because it was an attempt to paint the candidate as strong on defense that instead gave rather the opposite impression. I suppose this was an attempt — in its way — to make John Kerry look bullish on science, but it didn’t backfire because it sent the opposite message. It backfired because, put bluntly, it made Kerry look silly, bordering on weird.

    Again, who says political campaigns turn on trivialities?


    Then again, Americans are, as a whole, more sophisticated than they were even a few election cycles ago about the inner workings of political operations — in part because virtually news-less conventions have led reporters to focus on the people pulling the levers behind the curtains. With this in mind, whatever fallout comes in the end from Kerry’s space-suit shot may have as much to do with voters wondering whether campaign slip-ups augur governing slip-ups as it does about superficial concerns about whether or not a candidate looks goofy.

    (goofier than an amish midget, IHMO!)



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