Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
Without a doubt, the media, particularly its ability to raise exposure, create reality-show-level celebrities and award lucrative TV contracts have helped line the pockets of GOP thought leaders. But it has had a disastrous effect as well: We now have candidates who are no longer politicians but rather a person making money in business of politics. That is, they make their money as a celebrity in politics. Yes we’ve had celebrities become politicians. This is different. Now being a celebrity is the goal in itself, not the step to the presidency.
This is a bit funny as one of the major barbs thrown against then candidate Barack Obama was that he was a “celebrity.”
Once a slur by the GOP, many have come to embrace it. And the money that comes with it. Many have become less politician and more political media brands. Book deals. Speaking engagements. Fox News TV contracts. Nothing wrong with making money, but it also seems to be having a disastrous effect on the caliber of Republican candidates. Candidates managing their brand and the media income portfolio than boning up policy, skills and putting the work to actually run for president.
Herman Cain’s staff and Newt Gingrich’s staff complain their candidates spend more time hawking their books more than attending key GOP meet and greets.
Even though they both claim the current president is the biggest threat America faces and should be ousted at all costs, apparently not at the cost of their Fox News TV contracts. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee both turned down running for president to stop him. Instead, both decided to keep their Fox News gigs. Gigs that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum got angry about being fired just before running for president.
Candidates are running for money than president. Looking for way to line their pockets after their (marketing/branding) campaign is over than solve people’s problems. It’s created a group of panderers than leaders. Candidates ready learn one-liners, not policy positions.
And you can see the result and the frustration with GOP Primary votes. Let’s not get started on independent’s frustrations. They’re not happy with the candidates they have to pick from (Help, Chris Christie!) I think there is an underlying reason for this. For many high profile Republicans now, the farm team – the place you go to build you political credentials and hone your skills as president, isn’t a think tank or governorship where you have real management skills, it’s Fox News. Get a gig, make money, throw out a few clear sound bites, get name popularity so you can be considered for president – because, when you achieve the level, then you get a lot more press and get a chance to make a lot more money.
Policy issues? Talk to voters? Sorry, I’m getting paid to speak at Exxon shareholders meeting. Bye.
That pretty much covers most of the current GOP candidates. Mitt Romney is the odd man out. He’s run for governor. Dealt with problems. And with a net worth in the over 100 million. He doesn’t need the money. Yet the GOP doesn’t trust him.
Maybe he should see about a gig on Fox News.
For another take on this, read “How Fox News Is Really Destroying the Republican Party“