Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ferraro's Game: Segment and Conquer

Former Congressional Rep. Geraldine Ferraro is playing a nasty, cynical game. It's a game I know well because I play it professionally. She's not a racist. She's a marketer.

Ferraro is just working the old dodge of market segmentation and positioning. And the Clinton campaign is eagerly playing along.

Ferraro's original claim (in the Daily Breeze) that "if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position" frames the competitive product as a candidate for blacks and elitist, latte-swilling liberals. What's that leave for her own product (Clinton)? The much larger segments combined from white working-class and rural voters and women.

She's not a racist, but she's dog whistling to them along with whites who resent black progress and to feminists who think that the woman candidate deserves to go first while the African American candidate waits his turn.

Will Bunch calls it "Hillary's 'Archie Bunker' Strategy," and he reminds us that Ferraro was Archie's congresswoman.

Adam Hanft exposes the preposterousness of taking Ferraro's claims at face value by asking us to imagine the impact of a white candidate who had the education, skills, perspective, and vision of Obama.

But Ferraro herself exposes her own cynicism (or idiocy) in the defense she made on ABC yesterday morning.
"I was celebrating the fact that the black community in this country came out with a pride in a historic candidacy, and has shown itself at the polls. You'd think he'd say, 'Yeah thank you for doing that.'"
Right. That's just what you'd think. Obama, whose signature is broad appeal to black and white, old and young, gay and straight, Democrat and Republican is about to thank you for defining him as the niche candidate for the black community.

It's a shameful game. And more shameful is the record of the Clinton campaign moving slowly and gingerly to ever-so-slightly distance itself from it. But the Clinton campaign has no shame.

Even the master shamer of cable TV, Keith Olbermann won't move the Clintonistas. But he has moved me, and I'm hopeful he will move you. His rant is up all over the Web in the left blogosphere. But just in case you've somehow missed it, here it is again.



Mickeleh's Take: Segmentation and positioning are powerful tools in politics as well as marketing. The Clinton campaign has chosen the route of Segment and Conquer.

4 comments:

woid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
woid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shortini said...

The issue of race has been an age old excuse for so many strifes around the world. Jews, Palestinians, Israeli's, Indians, blacks and so many other groups through-out history. The whole of humanity may be evolving in economic, math and science expertise but when it comes to petty fears the media and small minded people help keep us in the dark ages.

Every time there's an issue in US business or government where a person of color and a white person are involved the issue of race is the way white people have of trying to hold their perceived position of power.

If you look around the world white people aren't that dominant. No country on earth is completely free from having other races integrated into their populations. So in reality people should be trying to figure out how to get along and thrive in a multicultural and diverse world rather than fruitlessly trying to rattle supremacy sabers.

World’s 10 Largest Countries in Population
2007
Country
Population (millions)
China
1,318
India
1,132
United States
302
Indonesia
232
Brazil
189
Pakistan
169
Bangladesh
149
Nigeria
144
Russia
142
Japan
128

Source: 2007 World Population Data Sheet

Anonymous said...

This is so irrelevant