Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Perception Change in Action 

What are the clues that lead to a change in perception about a person? Whatever they are, it is apparently happening to Barack Obama who is now being perceived as a candidate not quite ready for primetime. Obama has made gaffes that have turned the pundits against him. It wasn't long ago that he was a darling among many commentators, particularly those who were nervous about the Clintons.

It's interesting to watch how quickly this happens in politics. There are no second chances. One or two missteps and an individual is ushered to the door. That is why Hilary Clinton seems scripted and cautious. She's not about to step into a mess from which she cannot extricate herself. But, it also says something about campaigning in general. There is no room for mistakes in the present era of the internet. A gaffe anywhere on the campaign trail is picked up in blogs, replayed in YouTube, thrown back at the candidate quickly and often. Candidates of old didn't have to worry about that. They were even protected by the press on occasion, something one would rarely see today.

It is harder to win public office now, especially the presidency. There is greater risk, more cost and swifter ends. If you don't like what you see, get used to it. There will only be more.


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