Thursday, August 26, 2010

A More Effective Way to Run Campaigns

Congratulation to Senator John McCain. On Tuesday night, McCain soundly defeated former infomercial pitchman J.D. Hayworth to win the Republican primary to be the US Senator from Arizona.

Pundits have framed this victory into several different themes. They say that he abandoned his self-described maverick persona, turning far right to defeat a strongly conservative candidate in a state hungry for red meat. They also say that McCain bucked the anti-incumbency wave that effectively ended the careers of colleagues from Utah, Pennsylvania, and possibly Alaska. They say that McCain is poised to become the lion of the Senate, able to work with colleagues on both sides of the isle from a position of respect.

Frankly, I don’t care about any of the pundit narratives. What interests me most is that McCain spent $21 million on the primary campaign. As a result, 281,347 people voted for McCain in Arizona. That works out to $74.64 per vote.

This seems like an ineffective way to run a campaign. Instead of spending money on commercials with haunting keyboard tones and splotchy videos of his opponent, McCain could have given voters something they want. He could just give voters $74.64.

I’m nearly broke. With $74.64, I could buy a bottle of Jack Daniels, an eighth of weed, and a half-rack of Budweiser (with the profits from the beer going straight back to McCain’s wife’s company!). Then after smoking a joint and doing a few shots of Jack chased by the Budweiser, I’d walk to my nearest polling place to vote for McCain out of gratitude. (Naturally, I’d need to be drunk and high to vote for McCain.)

People in Arizona don’t need flashy yard signs and bumper stickers proclaiming “McCain ’10.” With a 9.6% unemployment rate, Arizonans need money, and $74.64 is a nice start.

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