07 February 2008

Potemkin Village on the Potomac

When I initially opined about Mac at CPAC, I noted that the camera never panned the crowd for reaction shots, nor did the cable news channels have stand up reports inside the hall.

People listening to the speech did hear some boo birds at the start but mostly heard enthusiastic cheers. This put on a good reception for the prospective nominee reaching out to alienated conservatives.

The video from the back of the room, first linked by Michelle Malkin's HotAir blog shows a different story from the back of the room.

As we know, to gain entrance to the McCain speech, the crowed was chided not to boo. Clearly the McCain campaign packed the first five rows in the front with enthusiastic supporters. Senator George Allen gave a rousing introduction which seemed to be McCain's cue which was met with a chorus of boos, and Senator Coburn delivered another testimonial before McCain appeared. This probably gave organizers time to neutralize the most vocal detractors near the stage. As the video shows, the standing ovation was not unanimous and seemed somewhat limited to the McCain-iacs towards the front.

It was good stage craft and common campaign tactics employed by the McCain team but the Potemkin Village shown on camera was not the whole picture at CPAC.

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