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Failure To Launch

Arthur Silber has some belated advice for the Obama campaign: might be best if you took some time to study dramaturgy in addition to...well, everything else. One of the keys to a certain kind of dramatic structure is that the climax occurs at the moment of maximum suspense. The arrival and duration of that particular moment are determined by the ways in which the preceding conflicts have been developed until the opposing forces have reached the point where the conflicts must be resolved, at least in significant part. The climactic moment cannot be prolonged beyond what the accumulated weight of the dramatic structure will bear. If it is prolonged too much, drama and suspense begin to ebb. When it is prolonged far too much, then what had been rigid goes slack; what had been stiff hopes, if you will, begin to droop.

In such lamentable circumstances (which all of us have experienced; yes, you have too, don't deny it), instead of an ecstatic explosion, we are sometimes left with only a pathetic dribble. In this case, the pathetic dribble goes by the name Joseph Biden.

A Biden dribble just before the Democratic convention is a shocking failure of dramatic imagination. This exercise in digital manipulation was certainly not good for me, and I can't imagine it was good for anyone, probably including Obama. I very much doubt that even Barack wants a cigarette after this failure to achieve satisfactory completion.

I know I don't.


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Leland wrote:

I know by Wednesday, I was more than tired to hear, "any minute now, Barack Obama's campaign might send out the text message announcing the running mate for VP. We may know later today or as early as tomorrow morning."

I heard this same introductory news story starting Monday. Tuesday, I thought maybe it was genius. Make a story, and then have the press cover it day after day. By Wednesday, I thought the press was a silly lap dog to keep covering it. Thursday, I wondered if they had caught a clue. By Friday, they caught the clue.

So, with the last day of the Olympics, the last Friday of summer for students everywhere, and only hours away from the already planned co-campaign stop: We finally get the name Biden.

Whether one agrees with Obama or Biden, the chance to monopolize on the excitement was lost. Those who registered to be the first to know probably no longer cared by late Friday night. Few would go in to work on Saturday to discuss the news around the watercooler. The weekend news shows had a day to set up a group to talk about the announcement, and that would bump the pre-convention discussion.

If the announcement was made Wednesday night, then instead of a stale news story Thursday morning, Obama would be getting headlines for two business days leading to the convention. People could brag about how the text message worked. By Sunday, the political talk shows would have little more to discuss than the last good polling day on Friday heading into a weeklong Democrat love fest.

Obama's campaign blew it. Instead, of talking about Biden all day Friday; CNN had James Carvell talking about Hillary being dissed.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on August 24, 2008 1:27 PM.

More Heavy Lift Thoughts was the previous entry in this blog.

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