Sunday, 12 October 2008

Strategic Positioning: Obama one up on McCain?

Allright, I admit it- I am fascinated by the US presidential elections and am devouring all information on what's happening there. That said though, for my craft (marketing), there is plenty of drama and stuff to learn from.

As I was listening to the podcast of the second presidential debate, I was fascinated by something. McCain's campaign positioning, at least after the Republican Convention, has been "why Obama is not the right person for the job". But, this is the interesting part, the more he tries to move the argument to Barack, the more the debate seems to be around him and his VP pick, Sarah Palin. The big challenge with this campaign for McCain is that now, he to move the debate away from him, and into Obama's camp, and he has 25 days to do it, and Barack is gaining daily…

So what are my 3 points?

  • McCain should have been true to his DNA- a "maverick" view, which John genuinely is, is a very self led, internally focused view- Mavericks generally do not care about what other people do, or think. However, his campaign is focused on going after Barack rather than focusing on himself???
  • If his game was to go after Barack, he should have done a better job of battening down the hatches in his campaign, with "extreme" picks like Palin, what he has done is to expose his campaign to serious cracks in his argument- you want the focus to be Barack, you don't want anyone to focus on you, right? How many of us doubt that the 70 Million people that watched the VP debate, amongst the most watched in history, came to watch Sarah commit gaffes after the Katie Couric interviews?
  • Finally, there is a serious amount of negative energy involved in going after someone. This negative energy is offputting, and turn quite a few people off, as well as take the focus of the campaign away from trying to get better, to trying to prove that the other person is worse off. I wouldn't do it.


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