10 September 2008

the Six P's Principle .... the next 8 weeks

P.P.P.P.P.P. (from 8 weeks out, 9Sept2008)

an old axiom from the company seems particularly relevant at this moment of flux and pause
before the campaigns for the US Presidency get fully underway. the six P principle,
Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance, requires a list of the following:
a. what is scheduled to happen ?
b. what is likely to happen based on history/experience ?
c. what could happen that must be prepared for ?
d. what 'telegraphs' sent already this year, could recur ?

a. what is scheduled to happen ?
POTUS debates, candidate fundraising reports, market/economy reports, early election in Canada, kadima party election in Israel
each debate performance can alter the political calculus, as candidates must try to exploit any advantage and/or minimize any disadvantage, recover and resume. the GDP report for the US economy's performance in the 3rd Quarter comes out 30 Oct, five days before the election, as well as monthly unemployment and inflation reports.

b. what is likely to happen based on history/experience ?

candidate "gaffes" (intended and unintended), partisan and media faux outrage and euphoria with it's always attendant "plausible deniability", poll numbers moving and tightening, osama bin laden releasing another tape (is killing or capturing OBL even still considered possible?)
each of these have happened so many times before that one would assume the electorate is conditioned to them, but the message from the mass media and the younger, less experienced people on the net blogs, paints them as dramatically new.

c. what could happen that must be prepared for ? (the axiomatic "October Surprise" phenomenon) overlaps with d. what 'telegraphs' sent already this year, could recur ?

mccain could fall (ala Dole), a 'macaca' moment (i expect a temper outburst at least once from one or more candidates/surrogates/pundits, and predict that the N-word will get used, possibly intentionally, before the election), a 'gaffe' by a candidate's spouse (has anyone heard Todd Palin speak yet?), more internet flash-fire rumours, more endorsements by prominent members of the opposite party, possibly (every POTUS year's dream) pre-election announcement of cabinet members selection, another/more hurricane episodes, possibly another bridge collapse (ala st.paul), another/more large bank failures, maliki and/or karzai killed in terrorist attack, an early election called in the U.K., revelations of drug use (not necessarily what one would expect), shots fired 'tween US and Russian troops in Georgia/Black Sea, OIL/gas prices falling to 2006 levels, an attack upon Obama, a major US corporation filing for bankruptcy (GM,Ford etc), another school shooting with mass casualties, more pastor(s) grandstanding, aged old pols dying, well-known pols hospitalized or indicted, another sex or gambling scandal, and lastly, never forget there is always the possibility of another large-scale terrorist attack on targets in the United States (but also Europe)

and one thing 'telegraphed' so far this year (month actually) must be included in the list: on the off chance that a politician seeking national office would lie, if Gov. Palin's daughter is not actually pregnant, there will have to be a "miscarriage". thus the question becomes "when would such 'news' be most politically opportune?" (my best guess would be the thursday before election day, 30 October, to pre-empt any surprise news scheduled for friday, with the daughter going to the hospital to focus media attention on the drama of waiting for the outcome)