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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The biggest losers in the current race for governor are the neck tie manufacturers. Increasingly savvy candidates are going with the open neck casual shirt, maybe even with a white undershirt beneath that.
Ask Andy Dillon and Rick Synder, the ying and yang of this new way of shucking the tie to look more like the common man.
Don't kid yourself. When it comes to big time politics, the little things such as how you dress means a lot.
The research overwhemingly confirms that after a viewer has seen a candidate on TV, they won't remember squat about what was said. They will recall how they looked and the image they projected. In other words form over substance is the game to master.
The video that launched a possible bid for governor by the Redford democrat is notable for its visual impact and by what was not said.
Usually gov candidates boast about their experience. But if you were seeing him for the first time, you would not know Dillon is a democrat and the leader of the Michigan House.
Bingo. That's exactly what Team Dillon was after. Dillon conveniently leaves his political resume out of his introductory Web video because it is a lousy year for incumbents of any political persuasion.
He delivered a good read of what he had to say, but he did not drive home the point that he is an independent thinker beholden to neither party. There is time to develop that theme, but why not begin on day one?
He did score points by saying we need to end partisan bickering in Lansing. But that's hardly an original thought. Heck Bill Milliken ran on that a thousand years ago.
The fact is the video verbiage left a ho-hum impression however Dillon's hair looked good, he's got a matinee-type mug, and he seemed concerned about turning the state around.
But that distinquishes him from no one else, since everybody and his uncle running for governor is saying exactly the same thing.
So the envelope please on the Dillon video. (Drum roll)
Content: C minus.
Style: B plus.


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