Friday, July 6, 2012

Quick Change the Subject

Democrats are smart campaigners. They are way smarter than Republicans. Democrats know instinctively that the object is to win however you have to do it. They will take the worst negative and spin it and exaggerate and outright lie about it. They will do it long and loud and in unison. They will send their corps of minions out to every talk show, local or national with unified talking points. If said minions are asked a question not covered in the talking points, they will do a non sequiter right back onto the talking points and never miss a beat. At the same time their press hacks that stand in thrall will flood the print press with supporting ink. Standards, who has standards.

Republicans at the same time seem to think it unseemly to wallow in the dirt of a campaign. "Clean hands and a pure heart appears" to be the face they want to show to the voting public. In many cases neither hands nor heart are as clean and pure as they would like the public to think. The two places where illusion is everything is magic and politics. So here is what it comes down to, Republicans have won major office in two situations. One is where there is a candidate like Reagan who could pull off the illusion. The second is when a strong but questionable candidate runs against an inept opponent such as when Nixon ran against McGovern. Republicans don't show, many times, that they understand that the "kill or be killed" instinct that is needed in national politics.

A really good start in running a campaign is to control the narrative. There is a great narrative for Republicans in this years election. An inexperienced president has mis-focused his efforts and allowed the economy to get progressively worse (pun intended). Fewer people are working. More people are on food stamps. Construction starts and durable goods are down. Hiring is not improving. The country is heading toward a financial precipice and the mid-east is in turmoil. These are all things that Obama promised that he and only he knew how to deal with in his 2008 campaign. He has proven himself gloriously wrong. But what has he got the campaign talking about? Obamacare. Is it a tax or a penalty? Was the Supreme Court wrong? Maybe too political? The so-called war on women? The Republicans are letting the Democrats control the narrative. There are Republicans out there that know how to run a presidential campaign. Romney seems not to know their names.

The sorry part of this is that while Democrats are great campaigners they do not do so well as administrators. They do politics well but seem to be clueless about running a business. And, believe me, the USA is one huge business. We need no more showboating and lectures. We need someone capable of solid business decisions. Obama equals four more years of showboating and serious damage to our country. Romney is the only choice and if he wants to win he needs to change the subject and speak with a loud clear voice.

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