Campaign Poetry: Self-conscious staging

“Were the stories and the scenes less genuine for all the cameras and the self-conscious staging? Maybe so. But there was no way to win as a renegade without mastering a campaign’s language and look, its conventions and protocols. They were taking enough risks by running against the Clintons; anything else was beyond their powers of self-control and team discipline. For any other insurgent candidate, there would have been no press, no public, and no money for TV ads. That would have forced him to take more risks and create more opportunities. But even six months before the first votes of the 2008 election, there was no free-wheeling phase for Obama. His campaign was a magic lantern show, projecting something once real, and now sometimes hidden, onto a large blank screen.”

Richard Wolffe – Renegade. The Making of Barack Obama (p. 79).

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