Why is it that media pundits are proclaiming Hillary Clinton the winner of last Monday’s CNN/YouTube Democratic presidential debate, while the majority of Democratic voters and focus groups believe Barack Obama won? I think I have the have the answer.
Members of the mainstream media seem to prefer cautious, polished candidates like Hillary Clinton. However, deep down, I think most voters prefer candidates who speak from the heart and say what they really think about the issues. Those are the candidates voters get excited about. Unfortunately, the media's influence in this country is far too great and usually carries the day when it comes time to vote, i.e., their favorite candidates generally prevail. That's one thing that really turns people off about politics.
Howard Dean in 2004 is a prime example. In the months leading up the Iowa Caucuses he was generating all the excitement, getting the big crowds, and grabbing the lion's share of the contributions. He's was the people's favorite candidate (among the Democrats).
However, when caucus day finally came around, he finished a disappointing third. What happened? The media never liked him. He was too much of a loose cannon -- a no-no with them. Their preference was the boring, but more "practical" John Kerry. They convinced voters that Dean was too high-risk and could not win in the general election. Iowa voters bought it hook, line, and sinker, and just couldn't pull the trigger for him on caucus day. The rest is history.