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What a week for US politics! And the brands on display have made for fascinating viewing. First we had Michelle Obama with a heartfelt rendition of family values and the power of the American dream. Then came Hillary… dynamically rousing her supporters to vote for Democratic principles – and to get over the attachment to the person.
Then the nation collectively held its breath waiting to see if Bill would do the same. And he did – even describing himself as the warm-up for Barack’s running mate Joseph Biden. Biden delivered his yin to Obama’s yang – or is it the other way around? And the grand finale, Obama accepting his party’s nomination in front of 38 million countrymen – fighting, fierce, up for it.
And just when we thought it was all over until next week when the Republicans will do the same, McCain stole the weekend media thunder and announced his running mate, Sarah. Sarah who? Who? Oh, Sarah Palin of course. Virtually unknown, a governor for less than two years, small town beauty queen, small town mayor – who has (now famously) said of the Vice Presidency role “…what is it exactly that a VP does every day?”
And so the rapid building of a brand is occurring as I write this and by next week, Sarah will be a household name. Fascinating. But not as fascinating as the impact that this has had on McCain’s brand. We are now thinking of him as a maverick, a risk taker. If this is his way of showing that he is not George Bush, then he has certainly gone out on a limb to do so – far, far out.