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I have to admit that I never unsubscribed from the Obama campaign emails, and I was just reading in Bloomberg that I’m not alone. Part of the reason I hung in there was the messaging. It was good. Okay. Very good. Stuff like “Do this for Michelle.” “Join Michelle and me” These, especially got my attention because we all love Michelle Obama.

No surprise, the Obama people are smart
They tested and retested every subject line as many as 18 times to tens of millions of readers, including me, to get the maximum impact. The killer? I will be outspent. The poor-little-me approach apparently generated more than $2.5M. Casual worked best as well as slipping in the occasional “hell” or “damn”. People love a little bit of naughty. Conclusion: Most people have a nearly limitless capacity for e-mail and won’t unsubscribe no matter how many they’re sent.

Okay. We’re addicted to our email
But we also know that we need to be constantly trying to compete for eyeballs. It’s madness out there. How to turn boring into scintillating?

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I’m a politics junkie and it’s election season–a very long season. While the presidential election is still a long way off, the candidates are jockeying for position and slinging mud. There used to be the flavor of the month; lately it has escalated to become the flavor of the week. Michele Bachmann has lost her luster; Sarah, not surprisingly, just didn’t want to work that hard, Rick Perry seems to suffer from acute brain fog, which is fine with me–I have very little interest in listening to an evangelist for four years, and Newt can’t gain any traction. The mystery is Herman Cain’s emerging as a favorite, except now it seems he may be a serial harasser.

Politics is all about marketing and advertising, and Cain’s credibility is just another marketing campaign. Political candidates are nothing more than a brand. In the same way that we are bombarded with ads to buy the new iPad or Diestel’s free-range turkeys for Thanksgiving, candidates are trying to convince us that their brand is one of integrity, intelligence and real-world experience that can guide the country out of the recession and debit and into happiness and prosperity.

What and whom to believe? While Herman Cain may be a total pig, it looks like Sharon Bialek has a seedy past. Sexual harassment is inexcusable, but you do have to wonder why Bialek waited 14 years to come forward about Cain. It does smack of opportunism.

In the courts, Ms. Bialek has had a lengthy record in the Cook County Court system over various civil lawsuits. The following cases on file in Cook County are:

  • 2000-M1-707461 Defendant against Broadcare Management
  • 2000-M1-714398 Defendant in lawsuit against Broadcare Management
  • 2000-M1-701522 Defendant in lawsuit against Broadcare Management
  • 2005-M1-111072 Defendant in lawsuit against Mr. Mark Beatovic.
  • 2007-M1-189176 Defendant in lawsuit against Midland Funding.
  • 2009-M1-158826 Defendant in lawsuit against Illinois Lending.

Ms. Bialek was sued in 1999 over a paternity matter, and records show that Ms. Bialek has also filed for bankruptcy in an Illinois bankruptcy court in 1991 and 2001.

Whom to believe? It comes down to Bialek vs Cain, and you can only wonder if his brand is strong enough to sustain this.

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