James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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The Palin/McCain administration: Put whom or what first?

Posted by James McPherson on September 18, 2008

In a discussion about political symbols, students in my media criticism class last spring liked Barack Obama’s logos and signs much better than John McCain’s. My students are more politically conservative than the nation’s as a whole, so I think they were fairly objective in their analysis.

Though I thought Obama’s logo looked too much like one for a natural food co-op, the students thought it well represented his “change” motif. McCain’s logo seemed stodgy to them; they criticized it as looking like a real estate ad. For that reason I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself when the words “Country First” began to appear on the signs–I keep envisioning a suburban ranchette.

I also would argue that the campaign’s seemingly desparate attempts to smear Obama through negative ads suggest something other than “country first.” But now it seems that Sarah Palin has forgotten even whose names is first on the signs (see video below).

Perhaps that confusion is understandable. The media and Republican supporters alike have been treating Palin as if she were at the top of the ticket. Some of those supporters have been sticking around at rallies just long enough to hear Palin speak, then leaving while McCain does his best not to numb the crowd.

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One Response to “The Palin/McCain administration: Put whom or what first?”

  1. I am a one issue voter. I am for women, not because I am one, I am not, but they should not have political interference with their medical freedom. Palin is pro abortion and McCain loses my vote.

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