I never thought very highly of James Carville. The Democratic strategist and ‘political critic’ in my view boasts a big Cajun mouth, but he never really achieved that much. The Bill Clinton presidency? If Ross Perot hadn’t taken in all those Bush-votes in ’92, Clinton would very likely still have been governor of Arkansas. And Carville knows this. But he has for the past 48 hours been bashing the Democratic Convention in Denver for not rolling out a Central Message. And he’s dead on.
Because where is the anger? Where is the vitriol? Where are the Democratic talking heads who are throwing in McCain’s lot with that of George W. Bush, a.k.a. The Destroyer, a.k.a. President Failure, a.k.a. Mr Destroy The Economy?
I’ve got a creeping feeling that Team Obama wants to play the ‘positivity card’, the ‘let us be happy and united!’ card, the ‘so happy together’ card, and the ‘let us have an honorable campaign’ card.
Because, after all, Obama promised a ‘new kind of politics’, didn’t he? Well, think again. Gore tried that, Kerry tried that, and they failed miserably.
Stop being nuanced. Stop giving fuzzy answers. Be smart: be simple.
The message needs to be: Bush has almost singlehandedly trashed the foundations of the formerly quite healthy US economy. He’s sold out the financial resevers for Medicare and Medicaid to his rich friends.
John McCain wants to further Bush Jr’s policies. Therefore, McCain = Bush. Therefore, McCain must not be allowed to enter the White House.
The Democrats need to pounce on this. They need to paint McCain for what he is: the second coming of George W. Bush. Not only that, they at the same time need to paint McCain as a flip-flopper; the guy first railed against Bush’s policies, and now he unflinchingly supports them. He’s a flip-flopping opportunist who will say and do anything to get into the White House, including publicly embracing the man who once trashed his adopted daughter because it was politically expedient.
In fact, throw all Republicans in with Bush. Even if the Democrats fail to paint all of them as ‘Bush Republicans’ (remember that one!), at least the GOP will be divided between those who have been painted, and those who are running for the door. Divide – and conquer. Call them by their name: Bush Republicans.
Use every opportunity to define an opponent as a ‘Bush Republican’. ‘They’re all Bush Republicans.’ ‘He? Oh, he’s a Bush Republican.’ ‘What, she? Naw, she’s a Bush Republican!’ ‘The Bush Republican, John McCain…’
Give. Them. No. Quarter. No Pasaran! Down with the Bush Republicans!
That’s what the central message needs to be.
And I swear: if Team Obama decides to not play this card, they will have deserved the loss in november.
Communicatiestrateeg en schrijver van het boek ‘Megafoonpolitiek‘. Op Twitter te vinden als @kajleers. Politiek bewust, voormalig financieel-economisch journalist, muziekmaker, professionele kletskous, schrijver. Geeft ook social media-trainingen, denkt graag met je mee over communicatiestrategie. En ja, content is en blijft King.