Playing to the Audience

I have noticed something watching John McCain and Sarah Palin at the debates:  they seem to miss their hand picked audience at times.

McCain especially seems to pause when he gives his little “zingers” waiting for the cheers or laughter.  How many times have you heard him say “…and I have the scars to prove it?”  That is a line that gets him standing ovations at his rallies and he waits for the applause at the debates and, of course, there’s none coming, so he gets a funny look on his face and appears to get angrier than he already was.

To her credit, Palin didn’t use her “I said thanks but no thanks” line during the debate, but that was probably because she knew that Joe Biden would have a chance to respond and she’d look foolish.  At their rallies there is no chance for the truth being brought up, so that line remains a big applause getter, although these days she is getting applause by attempting to paint Barack Obama as a terrorist.

From the point of view of an observer of campaign tactics, I don’t think it’s a good idea to seed town hall crowds with people who work for the campaign to lead cheers at appropriate places.  While that may just convince a few people to be more excited than they otherwise would be about your candidate RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT, it robs your candidate of having to actually earn the applause and laughter.

I kind of think thats what these rallies are supposed to be about.  People are supposed to attend so they can judge whether or not they like what the candidate stands for and whether or not they will vote for them, or maybe donate or work for them.

Instead we get show business and end up with a candidate who spends two years in front of “home crowds” falling flat when that sure fire line doesn’t deliver applause when its supposed to…

– writeside