posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 09:40 PM
Read this if you're interested in what happens during high level strategy sessions.... maybe this is real... maybe it came to me in a psychic
vision... maybe it explains some of the "mystery" about why Obama became a "phenomenon" early in the year, and why he's looking more and more
like an ordinary politician everyday. Let's just call it a "theory" for now...
Hmmm.... where to begin.... ok.... I guess the best place to start is to look at the entire process as an exercise in Influence.
One of the greatest tools of influence is to paint a picture for somebody and then let them fill in the missing pieces with EXACTLY what it is that
THEY want. Then when the visual images are filled in, the influencer shows the person something that he claims will create the very images that were
A person walks into a car dealer and the salesman asks what they're looking for in a car. The person immediately creates a visual image in their
head about all the EMOTIONS that they'll have when they drive the car of their dreams. The salesman then shows them his latest model car and says,
"This is just the car for you!" The person then irrationally links the car to the emotions and believes the car will create those emotions in the
More importantly, the person could see the red Ferrari and then create the vision of driving down the highway, top down, hot babe beside him, etc.,
etc. The salesman doesn't have to create the picture, all he has to do is show him the car.
Sadly, it's same dynamic in romantic relationships, but I digress.
Obama's strategists recognized that after 8 years of Bush, people wanted to FEEL different. They knew people wanted to FEEL good about the future.
This is the premise that started the entire campaign. They asked a quality question, "What positive emotions do people want to feel about their
They immediately came up with a few emotions: change, certainty, love, making a difference, etc. The goal was to target specific emotional states,
induce these states in people, and link Obama to these states.
There was an internal battle over "hope." Obama wanted hope. Others saw hope as a disempowering emotion. I.e., when you're hoping you are giving
the power to succeed to an outside force. Obama won. They then picked "change" as the other emotion.
Now here's the problem that they understood from day 1, but never agreed on how to deal with it. Obama anchored "hope" and "change" to his own
identity. He induced positive states in people and did what is called "future pacing," linking these states to people's visions into the future,
and linking his persona to the future and the states.
However, Obama knew that there would be issues and actions he would be forced to take before the election that would be in conflict with the visions
people imagined during his state inducing speeches. As a side note, he practiced the MLK intonations and cadences of the "dream" speech because
people were already anchored to "hope" from that speech.
Now here's Obama's challenge, and where the strategists are conflicted in how to resolve the problem. The "hope" and "change' emotions are
getting whittled away by Obama's actions. It was inevitable because they knew people's visions were individualized, and could never match Obama's
real actions. The conflict is over how to proceed.
One school of thought is to assume "hope" and "change" will be diluted, but will still be sticky enough to have an impact. The other school of
thought is that the "hope" and "change" anchors need to be reinforced again. The former school of thought is that Obama should now expand from
"hope" and "change" to other emotions, most notably "certainty" and "significance." This was seen in his round of "tough" talk that's been
on display in the last few weeks.
However, there is an internal disagreement about whether the abandonment of "hope" and "change", or even the diluting of the "hope" and
"change" anchors will cause a collapse of the anchors. Some think that "hope" and "change" were what was needed to win the primaries, and that
to win the GE there has to be a transition to "tough" and "certain".
In other words, to win the Dem nomination Obama had to be more of a mother archetype, but to beat McCain he has to become more of a father
"archetype." A lot of the strategy is based on tapping into the feminine and masculine "energies" at strategic moments. And there's been a lot
of internal debate about how Hillary as VP would provide the perfect compliment to Obama. Not just in terms of demographics, but in terms of what
some call psychographics. Right now the smart money says Hillary is already the VP. The thought is that with Hillary as VP she will represent the
"tough" and "certain" elements which will allow Obama to revive the "hope" and "change" elements.
Like I said, maybe I just had a "psychic" vision and the above scenario is just a figment of my imagination.... or maybe not.