Taiwan, As the World Turns in December: Ma Turns to his Spin-doctor King Pu-tsung

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Monday December 14, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

The December 5 election results were not a big loss for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), but they did show the continuing ineptness of Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou. As both President and KMT Party Chairman, Ma could blame no one else. He put his image on the line as he campaigned heavily throughout the country, and especially so in the County of Yilan where the KMT lost handily. Ma tried to explain it all as a matter of the economy (Ma's campaign promise of 6-3-3 is becoming 3-1-1) but whatever the reasons Ma gave, the outcome was clearly another vote of non-confidence in Ma

Desperate times call for desperate measures and so Ma with no other tricks in his bag and no substantial policies on deck did what he always has done in the past, try to cover up lack of substance with image. To do this he has appointed King Pu-tsung, his top spin-doctor from the past as secretary-general for the KMT.

Holding a doctorate in journalism King is well-versed in the techniques and tricks of spin. But he also carries a lot of baggage from when he served both as spin-doctor and hatchet man for Ma in the past. With many enemies as well as many being aware of King's past heavy-handed manipulation of the press, King will not have an easy time of it.

Stay tuned, it is too early to predict any outcome, but all had better brace themselves for a barrage of fluff and mud-slinging. With his hired gun King in place, Ma will try to distance himself and claim the high ground. It won't be pretty. Be prepared Taiwan.