A report came out yesterday stating that from Sept. 28 through Oct. 4, the Obama camp spent $17.8 million on ads compared to a measly $11 million between McCain and the RNC combined. Juxtapose that to a similar week during the 2004 election, when John Kerry and George Bush spent just $18 million (heh, just…) and a couple questions come to mind. For instance, why has the election process come to be so costly and what will candidates in the next election have to spend in order for us to choose the lesser of two whatevers?
The study, by the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project, breaks down the ad spends by state and compares them to the ad spends of the 2004 election — also by state.
“Ten of the fifteen states where both candidates are advertising were won by Bush in the 2004 election,” said Ken Goldstein, professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the project. “The campaign is being played on the Republican side of the field this year.”
Another notable note; nearly 100 percent of McCain’s ads were negative in nature whereas (in our assertion) Obama has tended to stay in the positive arena. However, Obama is outspending his opponent in almost every market, begging the question; how sad is it that massive amounts of money are being spent on delivering pointless messages that do more to kowtow to potential voters’ needs than actually explain a candidate’s plan?
Click continued to see where this is going.
Maybe the “Red State Update” guys were right in saying that when a plumber comes into your house, you don’t want to know what tools he’s going to use — you just want to know that the ‘terlet’ will flush once he’s done. We certainly like the idea that the next president will be working hard to get the shit flowing again.
To answer the question we posed above: it’s really friggin’ sad. Yes, it’s a good thing that they’re speaking to us. But come on — nobody’s fooled by “straight talk” (right? people aren’t that naive, are they? now I feel naive for having that hope…). If Americans don’t realize by now that the entire political process lives and dies based on the politicians’ relationships with one another, and their ability to play those relationships in order to get their constituents what they want, then they shouldn’t complain when “their” candidate doesn’t win. In the end it doesn’t matter what Obama and McCain say in those ads, because when one of them lands in the white house, they’ll undoubtedly have to sacrifice something they promised while campaigning. And that will piss off MADD or the NRA or the “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner” folks. We can’t all win, it just isn’t possible.
But for some reason, we still care about what these guys are saying in the debates, in ads and when we talk amongst ourselves — inadvertently stumping for one candidate or another. That’s why we’re not supopsed to talk about politics, sex and the price of tea in Hoboken — divided we fail.
The political process is way too nuanced for any of us to be 100 percent certain of how the president will make his decisions (eh hem, his is relative to this year’s two candidates being of the male persuasion). After all, what’s best for the country is not necessarily what’s best for you and me. This isn’t Burger King, it’s Democracy.
Let me make one final note: this brief rant is not meant to pose support for one candidate or another. If in some way it seems to have done that, we apologize, as that was not our intention. In fact, we hope to never appear in support of one candidate, political party, brand of soda or whatever. We’re just hoping to start a conversation…about stuff.