Friday, January 16, 2009

Daily Inquirer: How the GOP can win in 2012

Michael Payne says the party must master four aspects of a winning campaign.

1) Message. Obama's was change. Clear, simple, and captured the country's mood. Payne's confident Obama's fiscal policies will wage economic havoc on the country; so a message of fiscal competence will be gift-wrapped.

I'm not so sure. We're already experiencing economic havoc. Regardless of fiscal policy (and Obama's has been moderate, thus far), the economy is so cyclical that it's difficult to imagine Obama won't be able to trot out some good "4 years ago, but now..." lines.

So if the country's in bad fiscal shape, what's the GOP's message? It could be national security again. What happens with terrorism here or abroad? Even in a historically bad time for Republicans, the party's still seen as stronger on national security.

2) Messenger. Payne wants Romney, but acknowledges Palin's got the grassroots behind her. That's okay -- he claims -- as long as she overcomes the qualification gap. He gives her detailed instructions on how to do that, which are similar to what many others have said: study like you were drunk last night and the test's in 10 minutes. Except do that for four years (in other words, be Asian... sorry).

If the exploitable issue is national security; then we need to link 1 with 2. Is Sarah Palin going to be the best option? In other words, you can't look at Payne's list as though each point was separate. The message and messenger need to have sex and produce a winning baby. Further, it's a temporal 1,2. The messenger will not determine the winning message; the winning message will determine the winning messenger.

3) Take back the internet. Obvious. As an aside, The Next Right is my favorite source for such nuts & bolts things.

4) New Voter registration. Money quote from Payne:

"Sarah Palin may rally the base, but a successful grassroots campaign will expand the base. "