DC Dreaming? Here we are in the nation’s capital… the District of Columbia. Gets me thinking about politics. As Mark Twain commented: "There is no distinctly American criminal class—except Congress." Or Will Rogers: "Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for." And, "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer." And, "On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does." Which raises a question, how many lame ducks live here now? There’s the obvious pair in the Executive Branch. Some 34 Senators are up for re-election in 2008. And, of course, all 435 Representatives. Or, 470 + 1 (maybe—if the Veep ain’t in either the Executive or Legislative Branch, who knows if he goes?) lame ducks this round of elections. Given the high regard citizens have of this President and Congress, I suppose anything is possible this year. And that, kids, is really good news for local cable ad sales… Time to take some serious looks at your local politicians… right now, the hopeful are jockeying and the incumbents are—in more places than usual—running a bit scared. So get to know all of your state and county party chairpersons really well. And, look for ways to get the hopeful and the running scared onto local "O’" governmental shows and talk shows… Make cable the default this year instead of broadcasters… who, as we all know, can only think about the whole market area, not the targeted market areas that cable can deliver. And, oh yeah, this is one place satellite can’t play ever and the telcos can’t play for a long, long time. Imaging what might happen down the road if the local winner owes his or her victory to smart cable advertising and local cable coverage… Since the industry abandoned most serious local and regional trade shows and events (except notably in New England where the interplay with local and regional politicians is a text book case on how to do it), this is cable’s best chance in a long time to be as important as we can be! Random Notes

  • Meanwhile, CTAM: It is, after all, why most of us are here this week. So, mega-kudos to co-chairs Sam Howe, Time Warner Cable, and Wonya Lucas, The Weather Channel… nice cover and photos in the CTAM Summit Issue of CableWorld. And some good reading about marketing superstars: Comcast’s Barb Gee, Charter’s Barb Hedges, Bright House Network’s Steve Stiger, and Time Warner Cable’s Lauren LoFrisco. (And, on the serious side, my Cable 10 Commandments).
  • ESPN + Kaitz: Good choice. Mark your calendar now… Wed, Sept 19 in New York City. The guy who runs ESPN is a class act, and the company’s touch of humble is real. ESPN has a way—as it did in raising rates—to really go for it… including diversity. (Of course, while I might have been a founder of the Kaitz Foundation and a long time personal contributor, I’ve never heard—except a buy this card—from the latest guy to run the Foundation… Makes we want to get out my old Jerry Garcia side project and listen to "Old and in the Way").
  • Sharks Up Close: In the Monterey Aquarium and "Independent," of course.

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