Read and Tell Monday

Last week, inspired by my recent trip to Washington, and the fact that it’s Super Tuesday in America tomorrow, I have been reading this (the US edition in red, but UK edition is next to it…):

US edition

UK edition

Now, I will try not to get too political on anyone, but the story of the 2008 American Election is enthralling, shocking, and inspiring. Enthralling, in the amount of personalities and characters at play – from the Clintons’ to Sarah Palin, to John Edwards, Michelle and Barack Obama – the characters, stories and egos from the 2008 election were like no other.

Shocking, in the sheer arrogance, deception and stupidity of some of the campaigns – Hilary Clinton’s assumption on the old way being the best way, John Edwards’ womanizing and reluctance to tell the truth, and Sarah Palin’s apparent $150k wardrobe makeover.

And inspiring: in the way that the Obama camp played their game, stuck to their guns, and in a sense, ignored the rest of them.

Whatever you may think about Obama now, in 2008 he was playing a game of small vs. big, inexperience vs. experience, pride vs. arrogance, new vs. old – and it has all really struck a chord with me and what we are trying to do at Hot Key. One of the very clever things Obama did was focus the future and the way he wanted elections to be, not just accepting the way they were. While Hilary Clinton dismissed his campaign as “looking like Facebook”, these “Facebook” photos were of him posing with high school kids who were soon to be approaching voting age, so therefore gaining their allegiances early. Smart, very smart.

Publishing is having its much documented game change moment now. In my opinion (and in the aftermath of reading this!), in order to survive we need to start looking a bit more like Facebook and a little less like the cold Washington politicians which Obama eventually overcame.

Okay, worthy semi-rant over – a more lighthearted read from anyone else??

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