Ace has a lengthy post on the "Narrative" - the way a candidate is framed by the media.
The Narrative felled Fred Thompson - he didn't "have the fire" in 2008.
The Narrative dominates Dan Quayle - there won't be a potato famine in his obituaries.
Did Ronald Reagan beat the Narrative, or was Jimmy Carter just such a bad president that the Narrative didn't drag Reagan down?
The Narrative tries to beat down Sarah Palin - a quitter, not really serious, too crazy to be president. Can she overcome it in 2012? Does she even try, in an election where the media Narrative will be severely tested.
The Narrative puffs up President Obama. No matter how little he does or how poorly it goes, it's still seen above the fray.
Read the piece and look for the Narrative. Here's the biggest clue.
We all -- but especially the media -- make up The Narrative to paper over our insufficient knowledge.
If a Narrative has a strong through-line, as they say about scripts and fictions, then the momentum of that through-line, that main driving plot, will tend to carry the story over any plot-holes or weakly-motivated actions. If the through-line is strong enough, it will carry you over such logical gaps and Deleted Scenes and and Scenes Scripted But Never Shot because you're getting the big picture well enough to miss the fact that the little details are either absent or a muddle.