Monday, May 18, 2015

1487 How to Know Your Candidate

Presidential election fever is sweeping the land. Never mind that voting is more than a year away.  The political process has become like the Christmas sales at Megamart only worse.


Those start only two months early.  


The Presidential field already is crowded. And more will be upon us well before the end of summer. It’s harder than ever to tell the difference among them.


So here’s a suggestion, something used by one of the smartest and prolific marketers in the country, NASCAR.  When the drivers suit up and put on the headgear, you  couldn’t tell one from the other if they weren’t wearing the logos or names of the corporate sponsors.


Turn on a race.  You’ll see Pennzoil, Cheerios, Office Depot, M&Ms, Skittles, DuPont, Dodge, Burger King, Red Bull, Old Spice, Miller Beer, Budweiser, Go Daddy and on and on.


Let’s get jumpsuits for the candidates.  Then you’ll know who’s paying the freight. Hypothetically:


Koch Industries for Rubio, for example or maybe for Cruz.
Johnson & Johnson for Ben Carson.
Jim Beam for Rand Paul.
Diabetes Solution for Mike Huckabee.
Skull and Bones for Jeb Bush.
Exxon for Rick Perry.
CableVision for George Pataki.
BMW for Lindsey Graham.
Rosebud Coal Mines for Rick Santorum.
British Petroleum for Bobby Jindal.
Madoff Investments for Scott Walker.
Premier Radio Networks for Carly Fiorina.
Ryanair for Peter King.
Comcast for Donald Trump.
That’s not all of them… but that’s enough for now.


Then there are the Democrats:
Baldwin Piano for Hillary Clinton.
The Nation magazine for Bernie Sanders.
ReMax of Newport for Lincoln Chafee.
Smithfield Ham for Jim Webb.
Potomac Edison for Martin O’Malley.
Al Jazeera America for Al Gore.
Victoria’s Secret for Joe Biden.


Okay, boys and girls, suit up.


Some of these candidates are recognizable even without the uniforms.  Trump, Fiorina, Carson, Jindal, Clinton, Gore, Biden, Sanders.  But most of the rest of them look pretty much alike.


If you saw Walker, Santorum, Chafee, O’Malley and Graham in a group photo, could you identify them? Maybe.  But probably not.


So thanks, NASCAR.  You’ve given us something almost as good as fingerprints and DNA to identify this crowd of whistlers and jugglers.  We love to know who or what is behind the people who pretend to have our best interests at heart.


A political race is not nearly as exciting as an auto race or for that matter a horse race.  But showing the candidates’ true colors makes things easy for those of us who are not fans of the sport.


Grapeshot:
-Some of the uniforms come with fringes.


-Chances are one of the people mentioned here is going to be the next president and that’s truly frightening.


-George Stephanopoulos still has his job, proving the Walt Disney Company not only created Fantasyland but lives in it.


I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2015

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