Nation-wide political campaigns are almost entirely about manufacturing public perception, especially in the primaries. Two candidates, one Republican and one Democrat, have been making a host of monstrous blunders as to let their leads slip or evaporate completely in the early primaries.
The Republican Transgressor: Gov. Mitt Romney
Mr. Slick has been fighting that very image (too tan, too smooth, too well-groomed) along with his vague answers in debates that led to a slippery and "typical politician" perception. That dangerous compound mixed with his flip-flopping record on abortion, taxes, and health care, it's a powder-keg ready to implode the candidate's Presidential bid in the blink of an eye. As if those weren't enough to kill a candidate, his Mormonism may be the dagger to the heart.
Romney, who was getting hammered on his faith by bloggers and political pundits, decided to address the issue in a press conference almost two weeks ago in College Station, Texas. He basically had to say, "My Mormon beliefs won't ever be an issue while I'm making Presidential decisions." The media seemed to call it "Case closed," while the Republican support base found themselves completely done with Romney, holding the definite conclusion that not only is he a Yankee grease-ball flip flopper, but he also doesn't have any convictions to guide him in the big decisions.
Bottom line: Romney probably won't win the nomination, and even if he did, the Republican nominee would have no chance in the generals with his own base staying home watching Kenneth Copeland on election day. It would be an electoral college landslide. Rudy Giuliani, who is not leading in one single state wide poll of the first 5 primaries, though his inconsequential national numbers still have him in the lead by 5 to 8 points, would be much the same as Mitt in the generals.
By the way, Rudy's biggest mistake is his communications director continuing to hammer out a message that leadership in New York appeals to an audience anywhere outside of New York. I don't think Rudy would even win his home state should he be the Republican nominee; but don't worry...he won't be.
Democratic Strategy Transgressor: Sen. Hillary Clinton
"Turning around to sling mud only slows you down in a race."- Samuel Clemens
It's the classic mistake of a jittery front-runner. In its latest poll, Rasmussen has Obama leading Clinton by 3 points in Iowa. But why is this happening with Hillary having held a 15 point lead in the Hawkeye State only a month ago?
Her campaign strategist saw Obama inching closer to her, but at a much slower pace than her staff believed. The former First Lady's self-destructive mudslinging campaign has back-fired, leading to a total collapse as The People of this country are starting to remember why she was the least popular First Lady of the modern political era...she's cold, boorish, stale, and considered untrustworthy to the average audience who views her. Even Hill's proponents have admitted she seems unlikable at times.
Obama, with the Democratic base whipped into a door-knocking frenzy over his "Street Cred," charisma, and solid liberal voting record, has chipped-away at Clinton's lead in every early primary, including New Hampshire where Obama is almost polling within the margin of error. He's also neck and neck (33%-33%) in South Carolina where the "Big Mo" could swing well in his favor. The races in Nevada and Michigan are typically VERY HEAVILY influenced by the first two primaries and may end up going for Obama despite Hill's double digit lead for the time being.
The Bunkhouse has these two primary candidates as their most likely representatives in the general election...
Democratic: Sen. Barack Obama
Republican: Gov. Mike Huckabee
The ultimate dream team VP tickets...
Democratic VP Nominee: Oprah Winfrey
Republican VP Nominee: Chuck Norris
That would be the Armageddon political showdown for the ages, people!
There are many other political miscues being made by other major candidates. Which ones do you think will be the most devastating to their campaign?