I'm not certain this will be coherent or that profoundly new, but it's something I've been turning over in my head for some time...
The modern notion of a nation-state was really firmly established until the 19th century (in the Western world... I'll get to that later, in a way). Borders were amorphous, and allegiance to a particular sovereign (a political center, with authority to make law, collect taxes, illicit loyalty, etc.) overlapped, was weak far from centers, conflicted, and was generally unclear. We think of the world now with such distinct boundaries, leaders, political entities. But, it's not like that everywhere! The borders of Pakistan, so often in the news lately, are one example. A 'state' is cast over tribes. Tribes have political power over people, membership... not necessarily mappable land. India is a patchwork quilt of languages, identities, histories... a weak-centered modern democratic Western state, unlike the single minded identity we hold as Americans. The collapse of Western colonialism tried to force it's constructs over it's former colonies. Many experts will tell you that even a century later that's a factor that's fucking up the Middle East. Take Iraq, for instance - Shiites, Sunis and Kurds all put together for the perceived convenience of the Western powers to be able to control a fractured weak state down the road. Also, consider dutchies and old holdouts still exist in Europe, which never got eaten up by the other states - Liechtenstein, etc. German and Italian unification in the mid 19th century were just a big combination of these former, 'older' political entities. Of course, those examples become the very example of the modern nation-state. Perhaps because the process was voluntary, a naturally occurring political decision by choice, they don't suffer the problems of the post-colonial world. Point is, the world is not as simple as we like to think it... so we can sort and categorize and make sense of it all. And, we like to believe our Western understanding of the nation state is evolution, progress. But I won't debate the superiority of Western thought, make of that what you will. It's just... well the world is not that simple. Different understandings remain.
When we talk about Iraq, how many of us really know it's history? The legacy of colonialism, the British and French interests in the region? Or Iran? Where allegiance is less to the state than to religion and heritage? Or Afghanistan - it's absurd to expect a strong centralized government to spring into existence where that idea is barely understood. Even conflicts in Kashmir, Africa, ...
A bit of political history and an understanding of non-Western ways of thinking about political theory and the state can inform a much deeper understanding of what's going on in the world.
I brought home 2 cases (1 Lager/ 1 Porter) of Yuengling with me from Pennsylvania. For those unaware, Yuengling is a beer which is available for tap in every bar in PA, but is not distributed here (MA). I'm not sure it'd win any awards or anything, but to me it tastes like home.
Marketing dead in politics? Not bloody likely. The landscape has simply changed... and narrowed momentarily. That is, if you ask me. I mean, what do I know? I only have a poli sci degree, an understanding of marketing, and a media addiction.
Ok, so what's my point? My point is these Ms Elders missing the point. The groups have changed. It's simply a matter that no one has identified them yet, at least publicly. Her first line is correct however - "Political campaigns are marketing campaigns." Sad, but true.