In a move which should come as no surprise to anyone, I hereby declare that I completely agree with Oliver:

The solution to what ails the Democratic party is not lurching left or right on issues. Here’s a piece of information I’ve uncovered: people don’t vote on issues. Let me refine that – aside from partisans, Americans don’t vote on issues. On the right, you will roast if you don’t march with Dobson and the Chamber of Commerce. On the left, your goose is cooked if you don’t support Choice and worker’s rights. But beyond that, we as a nation don’t pick our presidents (or other leaders, for that matter) by stacking up the positions and choosing from “A” and “B” and adding it all up. We pick the entire package, and the winning campaign is the one who presents the best person.

The last two Democratic campaigns have failed (I say failure in the case of Gore because it should never have been close enough for the shenanigans in Florida to work) because both candidates listened to the beltway crowd and whizzed around from issue to issue. Bush won because he picked four points and repeated them until he was blue in the face and then said them again. He didn’t win because people necessarily agreed with all of those points, but because he communicated an image of control and sympathy within the box he had created for himself.

He throws in this at the end, however:

ALSO: Don’t go windsurfing. It is simply the worst sport you could be photographed doing. Go bowling or something, anything normal people do – but not windsurfing.

Which I think weakens his overall point. If you understand the first stuff, what you’re photographed doing won’t matter. People will already know what you’re about, and why the other guy is worse. That bullshit won’t even penetrate. By the end of the campaign Bush could have fucked a goat live on televison and they’d still be interviewing grandmas in Kansas who thought he was such a nice boy.