Monday, October 29, 2007

Political Machines: The Issue Wasn't the Sigh

A story has become popular that the US media had become so childish and corrupt that in the debate between Bush and Gore, the media focused on Gore sighing or rolling his eyes instead of Bush programs that arithmetically did not add up. Then focused on which candidate would be better as a beer drinking partner.

That story really does not capture that there was a Bush machine and a Gore machine. The Gore machine would and did emphasize Bush's failings. Bush's machine did the opposite. It was a mark of a good performance by Gore that Bush's machine emphasized sighs, but it was going to emphasize something.

At that point, it wasn't a contest of debate performances, but a contest of machines. And the Bush machine won because it had more resources better deployed. It is bad for the US that it the machine was inherited instead of built by its leader, but the sigh itself was not important.

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