Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Defining the GOP?

"The Republican party in Washington today is no different than the Republican party that ran the Congress before," Rep. Chris Van Hollen, head of the Democratic House campaign committee, told the liberal Talking Points Memo.

Labeling their GOP candidates as being part of the Sarah Palin or Tea Party wing of the GOP will be the key element.

There is a danger to this strategy. First, it is primarily negative which turns people off. Things have to be really bad for a negative campaign to work—and then usually only against those already in power. To be in power and run a negative campaign would be a tip-off that either one has no ideas or that the ideas are unpopular and they need a subterfuge.

Also, the Dems would be assuming people think the Bush/Republican years were abysmal. Take away the start and the finish and Bush presided over a strong economy. I can see the GOP running ads saying that before November 2008 the economy was fine, then tanked after Dems took Congress. Sound bites and images with Chris Dodd and Barney Frank and their mortgage shenanigans could help the elephants beat the jackasses. The electorate could also enter the polls thinking, “Well, we didn’t have 10% unemployment with these people and we didn’t have extremists shooting up our bases or trying to bomb planes over cities.”

And trying to tie the GOP with Sarah Palin as a negative? Has any Democratic strategist seen Ms. Palin’s book sales? If she were truly unpopular, I doubt she would have sold that many books or have long lines at her signing tour events.

Sorry, I don’t see this as a winning strategy for Dems. But if they have unpopular ideas and refuse to change their policies, well…..

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