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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Ed Kilgore sets the stage at The Washington Monthly for President Obama’s “reboot” speech today in bellwether Ohio: “A “reboot” isn’t needed because of the “private sector is fine” gaffe or the alleged rebellion of the Clintonites or the sudden bullishness on Romney on Wall Street or any of the other snail’s-eye-view crap we’ve been hearing the last week or so. It’s needed to reflect a full commitment by the Obama campaign to a comparative message…”
Has Obama’s message been too complex? Michael Finnegan argues that it is in the L.A. Times: “But when it comes to the core message that each candidate is trying to get across in TV ads and campaign appearances, Romney has boiled it down to a simple argument. Obama has not…Blaming Obama is indeed the premise of Romney’s argument, along with a promise to create jobs by shrinking government…Obama’s counter-argument is layered with nuance and complexity.”
In their Common Dreams post, “Wisconsin Blues” (via Reader Supported News), George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling have some framing advice for progressives in the wake of the WI Recall: “What progressives need to do is clear. To people who have mixed values – partly progressive, partly conservative – talk progressive values in progressive language, thus strengthening progressive moral views in their brains. Never move to the right thinking you’ll get more cooperation that way…Start telling deep truths out loud all day every day: Democracy is about citizens caring about each other. The Public is necessary for The Private. Pensions are delayed earnings for work already done; eliminating them is theft. Unions protect workers from corporate exploitation – low salaries, no job security, managerial threats, and inhumane working conditions. Public schools are essential to opportunity, and not just financially: they provide the opportunity to make the most of students’ skills and interests. They are also essential to democracy, since democracy requires an educated citizenry at large…”
Aaron Blake’s post, “House GOP previews fall ad strategy ” at The Fix is more about how much the NRCC is spending on campaign ads and where than on message content.
In similar vein, Dave Nyczepir reports on “5 media markets already flooded with ads” at Campaigns & Elections.
Also at WaPo, Paul Farhi asks “Presidential campaign ads are ubiquitous, but do they work?” Farhi notes, “John Kerry and his Democratic allies ran almost 200,000 more commercials than George W. Bush did in 2004 and lost in a close election. On the other hand, Obama had a narrower advertising advantage over Sen. John McCain in 2008 and won relatively easily.”
In his L.A. Times article, “Arizona shows Democrats’ strength, weakness on retirement programs,” Dan Turner has a different take on Rob Barber’s win in AZ: “If there’s a less obvious takeaway from the Arizona election, it might have something to do with Social Security and Medicare. Republicans grumble that their candidate, Jesse Kelly, who lost to Giffords in a narrow contest in 2010, failed this time around only because Barber was the emotional favorite…but the fact remains that the district in question has a comfortable GOP majority and Barber was heavily outspent. Meanwhile, the major area of difference between the two candidates concerned Medicare and Social Security, and it would be tough to deny that Kelly’s hard-line stance on privatizing these federal entitlement programs scared off many of the district’s elderly voters of both parties.”
At National Journal’s ‘Hotline on Call,’ Sean Sullivan adds: “The early vote accounted for about 75 percent of the total vote in Arizona on Tuesday, a disparity the Barber campaign anticipated, given recent voter patterns. In 2010, Gabrielle Giffords won the early vote but lost the Election Day tally. The same thing happened to Kelly in the special election primary this year.”
Fun stat of the day: Romney tanking in his three home states.

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