September 9, 2008

"If I were advising the candidates, I’d tell them to double down on weirdness."

Says David Brooks, noting that Obama started out weird and did well, then got conventional and did less well, especially with McCain getting weird. "Weirdness wins," he says.

19 comments:

Brent said...

Amazingly - very wierd! - David Brooks may be right.

Heck, he obviously talked Obama into choosing Joe Biden

Meade said...

"double down on weirdness"

No, not double down.

All in.

Peter V. Bella said...

Re: post below. Brooks is another example of gasbaggry.

Simon said...

And then there's this, by Hitch.

Henry said...

Looking above and below this post, apparently the wrong people are taking Brooks' advice.

Roger J. said...

having had to listen to Brooks, and the equally vapid EJ Dionne analyze the conventions on NPR on my drive home from work for the past couple of weeks, I knew Dionne was a hack; Brooks has now confirmed his hackery as well.

peter hoh said...

I think I see a potential wedge issue that may give Palin trouble. But it won't be anyone on the left screaming about it that makes a difference. It depends on how much Palin spends talking about it.

Rich B said...

If McCain takes advice from David Brooks, he deserves to lose. Obama didn't do well because he was weird, he did well because he was an attractive blank screen upon which Democrats could project their fondest dreams. In the general, a little more substance has been required, especially in constrast to McCain, who definitely does not glide effortlessly through life.

Obama has led a charmed political life up to now - remember the "lucky" release of divorce records for Hull and Ryan during his Senate campaign? The pixie dust is not working anymore - even before Sarah Palin.

matthew said...

I have no clue what Brooks means by "weirdness." After reading his column, it seems to mean "not mindlessly following the party line," which is an odd definition of the term.

But I think he is right about his advice. Obama is turning off alot of people by being a conventional politician, complete with lots of nasty campaign rhetoric which he once claimed to be above. But maybe that's not really surprising...

Still, he was alot more attractive to me with his positive messages rather than "everything is wrong and needs to be changed and it's all the elephants's fault," speeches. And the attacks by the left (though not specifically from Obama) on Palin's family are borderline disgusting.

Drew W said...

If weirdness wins, wouldn't Emo Philips be president by now?

Ron said...

What tha?!? The President is NOT Emo Phillips? Alert the Media!

vbspurs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

McCain got a hard eight, whereas Obama rolled snake eyes with Biden.

If you have to double down on anything, do it on 'freaky' -- like moose hunting.

Weird puts off voters. There's a difference between those folksy constitutionals that Truman took daily, but once LBJ showed off his gallbladder scar he was toast.

Cheers,
Victoria

Joe said...

Rich B is right on.

Even today if you were to ask 100 democrats what Obama stands for, you'll get 100 different answers, many wildly contradictory. This isn't simply due to Obama shifting positions like he's doing the mambo, it's what Rich B says.

Ironically, this was a similar problem with George W. Bush.

XWL said...

While looking for the Thompson quote that would seem to be applicable to this post, came across this bit from his 1972 campaign book (I've modified it a bit to make it about 2008)

"If the current polls are reliable... McCain will be elected by a huge majority of Americans who feel he is not only more honest and more trustworthy than Barack Obama, but also more likely to end the war in Iraq. The polls also indicate that McCain will get a comfortable majority of the Youth Vote. And that he might carry all fifty states... This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 300 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable. The tragedy of all this is that Barack Obama, for all his mistakes... understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like John McCain. Obama made some stupid mistakes, but in context they seem almost frivolous compared to the things John McCain does every day of his life, on purpose... Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President? "

(not my opinion, but it does reflect the attitudes coming from the left since 1972 and the sort of demonization of both McCain and the United States we can expect should McCain win, and win easily)

blake said...

Boy, Fred Thompson's gottenweird.

veni vidi vici said...

Brooks has needed better writers for a long time now.

Perhaps he ought to write another "Bo-Bo" / "Pleasant Drive" (or whatever it was called) book, if he still has it in him.

And btw, his tie in the NYT photo is an affront to decency everywhere.

AGrad said...

The only good advice in these columns by Brooks is the idea that Obama needs to criticize their own side. Moderates and independents really do thing the political class are a bunch of self-centered jerks. You can't make reasonable claims to be post partisan if you never ding your own side. McCain and Palin succeed in that. Obama talks a good game - all he needs to do is talk the same game against his own people now and again. Sistah Souljah moment where are you?

AlphaLiberal said...

Brooks is being self-indulgent again. Trying to coin a new meme.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........