Herman Cain Can't Remember What the President OrderedComplications Ensue
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Monday, November 14, 2011

[POLITICS] I think I might start blogging about political theater again, as the race heats up.

Before you guys fill the comments with actual political arguments, I will stress that I am talking here about messaging, not who's actually right and who's wrong. I'm an Obama fan, but I'm going to write about how effective the two sides' campaigns are.

Herman Cain tries to remember why Obama's Libya policy was wrong and what he would do differently.

I'm not clear why the Republicans don't just give Obama the win on Libya. If I were running R messaging, that's what I'd do. It's going to be a tough sell that a policy that resulted in 0 American deaths, relatively minor expense, and the overthrow of a dictator, was the wrong policy, especially when overcommitment or undercommitment had such serious risks.

Instead, I think I'd push a message like, "It's great that Obama did such a great job on Libya. If only he'd spent that kind of attention on cutting taxes" etc. This election is going to be about the economy, so it's not giving up much.

When you attack your opponent for every last thing he does, it devalues your message.

I bet you the Dems aren't going to do that. I bet you Obama's going to be full of praise for Mitt Romney. Not just for Romneycare, which I'm sure he'll say all kinds of nice things about. But he'll probably say nice things about Romney's job running the Olympics. Because then when you follow that up with an attack, the attack sounds better.

It's been kind of shocking to see the Republican field implode. The Republicans seem doomed to settle on Mitt Romney, a candidate they don't actually seem to like very much -- a sort of Republican John Kerry. Why? Because all the loyalty oaths and pledges you have to sign seem to have chased off all the heavyweight candidates. They could still win it, of course, because the President is so unpopular. But an unpopular incumbent can win, if he can tear down the other candidate. That's why Harry Reid is still in office. (See Angle, Sharron.)

I'm kind of rooting for Newt Gingrich. For all his loose-cannon-ness, he's his own man. He's had original thoughts. He probably could name the President of Uzbekistan. And he wants three-hour Lincoln-Douglas-style debates. That would enrich our democracy, I think.



Good post, Alex. You're right on the money and yes, screenwriters should pay attention to politics. You can learn a lot from what sticks and what doesn't, from what succeeds and what fails. Learn from these and there's quite some things you can apply to the next time you're pitching a story.

By Blogger Daniel, at 6:06 AM  

I'm not clear why the Republicans don't just give Obama the win on Libya. If I were running R messaging, that's what I'd do

Everything President Obama does must be opposed, is wrong, is unamerican. That's the R brand, and so they HAVE to oppose anything he does or says. Or, at best, it was a Republican idea, first, that he stole for "political gain".

Some days I think that if President Obama praised the sun for rising in the East, there would be a Republican criticizing him for it...

By Blogger Paul Weimer, at 6:35 AM  

This has bothered me about politics forever. This isn't just a Republican or Democrat problem. This seems to be in every level of politics. So much so that when an opponent does compliment an opponent on something, I'm taken aback.

As for the Republican field, ignoring whether I agree with any of them or not, I'm shocked at what a joke most of the candidates seem to be. Now, I didn't agree with McCain, but at least he didn't seem loopy or inept. It's as if Sarah Palin opened the floodgates for all the incredibly unqualified candidates to have a chance at winning the Republican nomination. In fact, I think the reason she didn't enter the race is she realized she wouldn't stick out in this field. McCain clearly knows very little about how the government actually works and nothing about foreign policy.

By Blogger Tim W., at 1:19 AM  

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