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Media in Paving the Way to Presidential Elections Success

Election is the time for image-making of aspiring politicians to win positions that they and their party prefer. With the modern world of fast and wide information sharing, the election tactics are able to utilize all of the popular ways of communicating their plan of actions and portraying the image of a leader they are. This paper will analyze the use, the why and the how media can be considered as the primary and most effective tool for election campaign.

Media extends far more from what an individual could imagine: World Wide Web, newspapers, print ads, radio and television comprise a very huge arena where the world is the audience and the politicians are the performers. Some could be given a standing ovation while some could be booed that is why politicians spend millions of dollars for media expenses: to showcase what they got for the country. With the huge amount of money they are willing to shred for media expenses, all elements that are seen on media are carefully and intentionally selected.

Each element has something to shout out to the people to form an image on their mind that will make them vote for the politician featured. Since Barack Obama’s presidency has just started recently, it will be suitable to use the 2008 US Presidential Elections as the main example for this paper. What are the media techniques that were used by Obama and McCain? And has the media been a major help for Obama’s success? Whenever Obama delivers a campaign speech we will always hear the word ‘change’.

Though most politicians have something new to offer and some people have been tired hearing that word, Obama made himself clear that the change he intends is for the good of all American people and not just for the average or poor. The ‘general American’ as the concern of Obama was attacked by the ‘Joe the Plumber’ phenomenon of his rival John McCain. The concept of an average American was disturbed through a fallacious background of Joe Wurzelbacher exposed by the Republican slate (Bummiler, “McCain and Obama Hurl Broadsides..

”) and the outcome was not effective because when American people found out that the Joe’s real character is fallacious, though the story sounds good, their attention will just be shifted to how bad the election strategy of the Republicans is. This is a proof that media is enticing at first but when watchers had gone critical, the purpose of forming a good image can be trashed. However trashy ‘Joe the Plumber’ was, Republicans however took a good step by releasing a commercial ad which hit the education concerns of Obama.

This video is supported with one-line comments from leading newspapers in US telling that Obama’s education reform proposal is ‘elusive’, ‘has not made a significant mark in education’ and ‘a staunch defender of the existing public school monopoly. ’ When the video reminded the audience of Obama’s ‘Comprehensive Sex Education’ that is to be taught to kindergartners of Illinois, it hit Obama’s image with something like to be considered a strong upper-cut jab (Montanaro, “McCain Hits Obama with Education Ad”). McCain at this time used other reliable sources (newspaper comments) to support his attack while leaving his hands only half dirty.

‘Change’ is on the placards, videos, newsprints, magazines and other media forms of the Democrats and this consistency and emphasis marked in the minds of the voters. It would be impossible for ‘change’ to be remembered if it is only mentioned and not thoroughly broadcasted. Media was there to echo to the world the primary agenda of the Democrats. Barack Obama’s campaign can be said to be very appealing to emotions because unlike McCain, he insists that ‘this election is not about me, this is for the American people’, ‘we need change and I will give you the change you need’ and many more.

Obama is naturally charismatic and a rhetorician but his words have essence, not as how the Republicans impliedly accuse him as a leader who just appeals to emotions. If McCain had the ear to pinpoint each arguable word Obama said, the same is through with Obama. In the ‘Lose Ad’ released by Obama, the Democrats highlighted the lack of intention of McCain to fix the economy because McCain once said in a campaign that ‘if we keep talking about the economy, we are going to lose.

’ (BarackTV, “Lose Ad”). Using the examples mentioned and upon observation, we can induct knowledge on how McCain and Obama used media for their campaigns. Each has to say and each uses almost the same mediums of communicating their messages to the people. The distinction is on the content of their words or the propaganda the advertisements are trying to convey. If politician A attacked politician B’s proposals or plans, politician B is always ready to shred out money for a retaliation message.

If efforts are to be assessed, both candidates gave their fair amount but it just so happened that the views and plans of Barack Obama are more acceptable for the majority. In addition, the audience makes the largest difference because they are the final consumers of the ads and they are the one who will judge the candidates’ efforts, on the Election Day. However intelligent a voter can be, it is still possible for the candidates to convince him or her to be on their side because media can be deceiving: remembering that politicians are performers who may be insincere and media is only the venue.

Works Cited Bumiller, Elisabeth, & Jeff Zeleny. “McCain and Obama Hurl Broadsides at Each Other Over Taxes and Jobs”. The New York Times. 25 October 2008. <http://www. nytimes. com/2008/10/24/us/politics/24campaign. html? ref=politics> Democratic National TV. “BarackTV: Ads” <http://origin. barackobama. com/tv/advertisements> Montanaro, Domenico. “McCain Hits Obama with Education Ad”. MSNBC First Read. 09 September 2008. <http://firstread. msnbc. msn. com/archive/2008/09/09/1369562. aspx>

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