In the primary, David Simpson lost. In an Everett Herald interview on September 15, 2004 his opponent Sells said, "I'm certain it had an impact-People look at candidates' credibility and make judgments based on that."
Pandering and Total Contradiction
Clearly, the "credibility" problem flows from "the contradiction" of trying to advocate for opposite positions at the same time.
Make no mistake, THIS IS THE ESSENTIAL HAZARD OF PANDERING. When a politician tells whatever group he is in front of what they want to hear in order to gain their support, sooner or later he will contradict himself. It is inevitable. Pure pandering represents a reckless disregard of existing facts. You are allowed to "diminish" unfavorable facts but you are not allowed to eliminate them.
This is why every politician is coached to "stay on message." Unlike pandering, message is purpose. "Message" represents the argument that the candidate is advocating. If we are fortunate it also represents the candidates vision for the public.
Pure pandering destroys purpose in the head-on collision of contradiction.
Purpose is essential to meaning. When we say what we mean our words have clarity and focus. We instinctively believe that those who say what they mean will manifest their words in action.
Occasionally, time may allow a person to be for a cause and then later against a cause. But, as Mr. Simpson learned, unless your pandering remains undetected, it is impossible to be in favor of opposite purposes at the same time without destroying the inherent meaning and credibility of both positions.
Pure pandering generates meaninglessness.