"This race has a long way to go, but it will be disastrous if we let CNN and Fox News control the message and shape what this election will look like. This year's primaries are our elections- not theirs."
Now that's just silly. Campaigns are a marketing exercise - the candidates are selling themselves in much the same way that we try to sell our products:
- Positioning against the rest if the market
- Core positions (features)
- Defining who the opposition (competitor) is
Is it the marketing department alone who gets to create that message? Of course not. For popular products, the trade press plays the same role that the media plays in politics (heck, following the Java goings on between the Eclipse folks and Sun is indistinguishable from politics at times). Actual users of the products play a role, as they speak out (press, blogs, one on one, user groups). All of that plays out in ways that are not under the control of the marketing group - just as in politics, a marketing campaign plays out in ways that are not fully under the control of the campaign team.
In any marketing effort, the best you get to do is set the initial tone. After that, you have to adapt to what the rest of the world says and does - if you steadfastly insist on staying 'on message' when the rest of the world is reacting to something else - you're sunk. The funny thing is, developers sometimes recognize this in product campaigns, and then get all idealistic about it in other domains (like politics). It's all marketing.