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September 6, 2008

There’s Projection And There’s Projection


You’ve probably already seen the picture of McCain’s entrance for his RNC acceptance speech.  What it illustrates extremely well is how the Republican’s, in their blunt yet effective playbook, make use of projection.  No, I’m not talking about special lighting or video effects, I’m referring to the psychological term.  In other words, hammer your opponent to death over something that you exercise over and over yourself. 

In this case, we’re talking about the “celebrity” meme.  Of course, Team Obama made their own gesture to call out the double standard with their “Embrace” video, but a fundamental weakness of the Dems is that they don’t do repetition — at least not the way stampeding elephants do. 

I can’t be positive, but I think it McCain’s entrance was specifically designed to play off of his latest celebrity attack on Obama, echoing the dramatic final evening in Denver under the night sky.  (That’s not to say, however, that you see plenty of allusions of your own.)

(image: Damon Winter/NYT.  Minneapolis.  September 3, 2008)

  • Books Alive

    The long shadow evokes a “tall, skinny guy” – what a coincidence!

  • Mona

    It has a Frank Sinatra moment; I did it my way alright!

  • Rob

    This has Darth Vader written all over it.

  • 3O3

    Honestly, when I saw his entrance, I didn’t think of Frank S., I thought of the Obama symbol of the rising sun. Just my opinion.

  • gypsy howell

    My main impression from the speech is Cottage Cheese in Lime Jello. That’s the image that stuck.

  • Chris

    McCain isn’t exactly a dead ringer for Darth Vader (that’s Cheney of course), but the set is unmistakably the Death Star.

  • yesterday gone

    listened to a lecture of his recently on cspan. there is a word that lakoff uses (i can’t remember it right now) that describes the dynamics that goes one between speaker and audience. if the speaker is relaxed and confident, the audience picks up on that and they themselves grow relaxed and confident.
    mccain is at a disadvantage with his disability. it’s painful to see him raise his arms like that. i can imagine it makes viewers uncomfortable.

  • a-j

    Hey, it worked for Fred Astaire.

  • SuavecitoMama

    I first saw the combination of the elongated figure and the rising sun that Obama uses. McCain’s disfigurement from his injury makes him look “stumpier”. So it looks like they gave him the image of looking taller while saying, “I’M the man to bring a new day…not that other guy with the funny name.”
    And I see one more thing…a crucifix. The layout of the stage looks like a cross and McCain standing there is like Jesus/Lazarus RISING up with the sun. Remember just a year ago, his campaign looked DOA.

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