Sunday, October 26, 2008

Victory Exclusive: Interview with David Gergen and Pat Buchanan

Election 08 Special Series

As a part of the Sunday Talk shows, Victory Bell sat down with David Gergen and Pat Buchanan to talk about the campaign for Washington State Sportswriter of the Year.

Victory Bell (V.B.):

Gentlemen, thank you for being here.

David Gergen (DG) and Pat Buchanan (PB):

It's good to be here.

VB:

David Gergen, let's start with you. What are your thoughts about the current dynamics of this race?

DG:

Well, I think that the dynamics are obviously fascinating. On one hand, you have this lingering question about whether or not there even is a race and whether or not an award even exists. Three quarters of the parties involved haven't even acknowledged that there is a race, let alone announced any campaign.

But, the other fascinating point is how the WSU Football Blog has managed to turn this into an Italian Parliamentary Election. In American Politics, we're used to a two-team race where the victor has to capture the imagination of the majority of the electorate. But here, it's a four team race meaning that a ticket could win with only 25.1% of the vote.

Obviously, such math favors the underdog. So I think it's a very savvy move by the WSU Football Blog to frame this as a four team race.


VB:

Pat?

PB:

I totally agree with David here. This is a brilliant move undertaken by a bunch of poised, veteran political operatives. If the nation didn't know about Longball yet, they do now. He is a tremendous force to be reckoned with as the manager of this complex, diverse campaign. What talent, what strategy!

VB:

Okay, so let's talk strategy. What do you see as being the main dynamics of this race?


DG:

Well, clearly you have to say that the structural advantage lies in the Condotta-Withers camp. They have the largest readership, are quite competent and professional, one of them blogs actively, and they also represent both the Huskies and the Cougars. Collectively, those factors give them access to an enormous share of the electorate and market share (if you will), so they should really win this thing handily. The key for them is to not rest on their laurels, because the electorate is still quite vulnerable to believing what might be construed as "baseless attacks."

VB
:

Pat?

PB:

While I agree with David on the last point, I don't think its right to underestimate the Grippi-Blanchette ticket.

With them, you have the second largest media market in the State, a dedicated and somewhat monolithic readership, and a host of experience.

They might just be content to let the others just go at each other, win the Spokane region, and walk home with the presidency... I mean, award.


VB:

So, David, what do you think about the Post-Intelligencer's chances?

DG:

I like them. They have a hardcore partisan in Jim Moore who really resonates with the Cougar Base. Molly Yanity is young, but she brings the gender card into the debate. Will women flock to her and Moore because of gender? That's a possibility and one that might make a big difference with a 25-30% threshold.

Plus, Jim Moore is not a beat reporter, so his record is not held to as much technical scrutiny as we would see in someone like Condotta.


PB:

But this is where I disagree with David. I think that the PI ticket is effectively toast.

The only meaningful cross-over that Moore-Yanity have is with Dog lovers.

And for that reason, I thought the WSU Football Blog's move to put a photo of Sedihawk with his dog Barkley on their campaign announcement was genius--it split the Golden Retriever vote right down the middle.


VB:

So, lets talk about the WSU Football Blog. What is their strategy and what are their chances?

DG:

Well, their chances are paradoxically good but small. On one hand, they have the problem of name recognition which is why you've seen an all-out publicity stunt from the start of the campaign.

But, from what I've seen, their strategy might prove to be effective.
Basically, they know that the major markets are out of their reach.

So, what you see them doing is hitting small, rural communities that tend to be highly pro-Washington State University. Their thought is that securing the support of those towns will get them from 16 to 20 points which I think is what they are polling now.


But, even with that approach, they're still short about 9 points.


PB:

What they're doing is taking a page right out of Karl Rove's playbook. Each move they make is meant to take away the opposition's strength. So, they go at Grippi's methodicism because if they disarm that, Grippi has nothing to run on.

So, I think that you will see them take that bent at every turn that they can--especially against the Seattle papers.


DG:

Exactly. What I would add is this: What the WSU Football Blog wants is for the Seattle Papers to go at each other. If things get nasty enough, then places like Marysville, Tukwilla, Burien, and Spanaway may come into play.

And that may be exactly what the WSU Football Blog needs to steal this election.


VB:

Fascinating. Last question, what main political or popular figures are the campaigns targeting right now?


PB:

BoldGreat question, Liberty.

VB:

That's "Victory," Pat.


PB:

Whatever. I'd have to say that Jason Gesser and Mike Price are huge targets right now in this election. They carry so much weight with the WSU base. Gesser with the fantastic record on the field, Price carrying them to two Pac-10 titles. Their endorsements would be huge.

DG:

For me, there's no question about the man that all parties are actively courting right now: It's Keith Jackson. The man is a legend, perhaps the biggest name in WSU sports history. Whomever wins the support of Keith Jackson will win this election. There's no question in my mind about that.

VB:

Thank you, gentlemen, for your time.

PB & DG:

Thank you.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why don't these old guys even mention the youth vote. I think it is big mistake to ignore this aspect of the race especially with the importance of the internet in todays world.

Anonymous said...

Just because we had a bye doesn't mean you guys should lower the standards of what you write! This is so damned stupid!!! Can we get back to the football anytime in the near future???

Anonymous said...

I agree. I usually love your stuff, but if you have nothing more to write about, then don't write anything. This is just stupid.

No More Moore said...

Stupid is as stupid does, right.

I actually like this political satire as a brief diversion.

More importantly, did anyone else notice that Grippi ripped off Sedihawk's post from last week about the parallels with the Minnesota coach?

Keep em honest, boys. Keep em honest.

Timmy said...

Count me in as somebody who is finding this funny. Not much else to talk about during the bye week anyways.