On Morning Joe today there was more Jon Huntsman buzz. He's considered the Media's Candidate until he can get some buzz with the base. Moderates and liberals like him, and this is always interesting -- they like the image, just like they were smitten with the image of Obama. It seems like they would learn. The political class still talks and analyzes in terms of political manipulation, as if they still believe "perception is reality" -- more harm has been done by this ostensibly profound phrase that pundits have been so eager to repeat, it amazes me that pundits still feel smart by giving it credence. Of course there is still a faction of the public which can be fooled by image, but only because they are true partisans to start with, but independents aren't going to be fooled by image. The Obama image campaign may never be replicated, as the Information Age now unfolds at an amazing pace.
Speaking of image over substance, Mika's father was on the show as the Elder Foreign Policy Expert, and all the semi-regular guests queried the Wise Man about Afghanistan -- he basically has no idea how the administration can achieve its goals or even what the goals are, but Z. B. speaks like an important official and he knows his Pashtuns and the inside dish on Karzai and the Pakistanis' secret dealings, and it all sounds smart, but, in the end, all he has is stay three more years and hope for the best. Why we should listen to someone from the Carter administration on Mideast policy is a mystery.