Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dana Milbank: Obama and McCain both popular but treated differently

Dana Milbank posted an article months ago that highlights the difference in how Obama and McCain are getting treated by the media. As I've stated before Obama and McCain are popular candidates, 'babyfaces' to use wrestling parlance.
Find old posts here:
- McCain lovefest: The media, Pundits and Jon Stewart
- Babyface Barack Obama
- The Mac is back: Everybody loves John McCain

Whilst the Obama/Hillary matchup was hotly contested and relatively even, there was no denying Hillary was seen as the 'heel' (villain) personality of the two. In this General election there isn't such a clear delineation but Dana Millbank offers an insight on who has the inside track as the face (hero).

Round 1: McCain
John McCain and Barack Obama both appeared before the nation's newspaper editors yesterday. The putative Republican presidential nominee was given a box of doughnuts and a standing ovation. The likely Democratic nominee was likened to a terrorist.

At a luncheon for the editors hosted by the Associated Press, AP Chairman Dean Singleton quizzed Obama about whether he would send more troops to Afghanistan, where "Obama bin Laden is still at large?"

"I think that was Osama bin Laden," the candidate answered.

"If I did that, I'm so sorry!" Singleton said.

"This," Obama told the editors, is "part of the exercise that I've been going through over the last 15 months."

McCain wins round on points (didn't draw the bigger crowd but he did win them)
McCain got a standing ovation -- an honor Obama did not receive when his turn came two hours later.

The room and crowd were larger for Obama. The atmosphere was colder (this time, editors had to pass through metal detectors) and more formal (wine on each table and flowers on the dais). And the candidate was uncharacteristically flat.

Winner: McCain wins convincingly, trouncing Obama.
On the same day, the two media darlings of the presidential election cycle came to address their base -- and McCain easily bested his likely opponent.

McCain's moderators, the AP's Ron Fournier and Liz Sidoti, greeted McCain with a box of Dunkin' Donuts. "We spend quite a bit of time with you on the back of the Straight Talk Express asking you questions, and what we've decided to do today was invite everyone else along on the ride," Sidoti explained. "We even brought you your favorite treat."

McCain opened the offering. "Oh, yes, with sprinkles!" he said.

Sidoti passed him a cup. "A little coffee with a little cream and a little sugar," she said.

Read the full article from Dana Millbank of the Washington Post:
For Obama and McCain, the Bitter and the Sweet

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