President Barack Obama has deliberately doubled the opportunity for GOP debate contenders on Thursday, and the opportunities go far beyond what the president is asking his supporters to do. The president sent a message via his party’s national committee. The email asked his supporters to watch the GOP debate on Thursday (Fox News). As they say in the meme-sphere, you can’t make this stuff up. The real question is will GOP candidates realize they’ve been handed a mother lode of opportunity? Does the president realize what he’s done?
Obama’s missive goes far beyond viewership numbers if a candidate knows what to do with the gift he’s been handed.
Obama’s email message relied on familiar talking points—Republicans want to “undo all of the hard work we’ve done to move this country forward.”
“Forward” is a subjective term, and whether we’ve gone forward or backwards depends on your individual circumstances. At any rate, sending your supporters into the arms of the opposition is not a good idea. Why?
Yesterday when I was doing my daily workout torture, I channel surfed while I was on the treadmill. I listened in for the last few minutes of the Sean Hannity radio show. Hannity was talking to a 93 year old man who is an Obama fan. The gentleman made assertions his fellow Democrats often make, focusing on President George W. Bush. But the senior citizen also said something else. I can’t remember his exact words, but he repeatedly stated all Republicans are rich. The gentleman bought into a false premise. Members of his own party are quite wealthy.
Why it matters that someone is rich is beyond me, but the talking point for Dems is as common as flipflops on Florida feet.
I can attest to the fact not all Republicans are rich. Nor are all Democrats as rich as the Dems who are union chiefs and presidents of organizations like Planned Parenthood where the top staffer draws close to $400 thousand a year in salary. All Republicans are not as rich as Tinseltownies like the Democrats Leonardo DiCaprio and Beyoncé. You want rich? Check out Sec. of State John Kerry (D) or Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Obama may not realize it, but he opened a world of opportunity for the GOP contenders in both debate events on Thursday. Note the time change for the first group of debaters now scheduled to go on stage at 5 p.m.
A smart candidate will manage to get across to Americans the negative impact Democrats’ policies have had on the middle class, from decreasing wages by importing an oversupply of labor, ever-larger utility bills, mortgages (new fees), food costs, health insurance premiums, and taxes (Obamacare Tax Bill).
Democrats are fantastic at politics and messaging, but when it comes to actual policy, Main Street feels a bite even though academics will creatively crunch all sorts of numbers in an effort to “fact-check” away what you know for a fact.
Democrats’ angst over the presumed nominee for president, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, broadens the opportunity for Republicans. The situation the party has is similar to that of the Republican Party in 2008 when many of us knew the moment Sen. John McCain was dubbed our nominee was the same moment we would lose the presidential election.
Obama has deliberately made an effort to increase viewership for Republican presidential contenders. Disgruntled Democrats, especially those who earn a paycheck and lean independent, are looking for alternatives. The Republican candidate who talks to us as Americans—not stereotyping us by skin color or ethnicity for political gain—has a lot to gain by saying the right things.
Candidates who get bogged down in policy weeds will not resonate. A national election will not be won by arguing rationally or by offering sophisticated solutions. Whoever wins in 2016 will be the candidate who manages to capture the hearts of Americans and inspire them to head out to vote.
It would be a good idea to remind Americans that in 2008 we were promised “hope and change” by Democrats. We got the change for sure, hope now lies as supine as road kill.
Meanwhile, Democrats haven’t announced a debate schedule yet, and a self-declared socialist is giving Mrs. Clinton a run for her crown. As 2015 dawned, Reuters—no conservative outlet by a long shot—led a story with this statement:
“Barack Obama enters the final two years of his presidency with a blemish on his legacy that looks impossible to erase: the decline of the middle class he has promised to rescue.”
Vast opportunity awaits the candidate who can tap into this and remind all voters we have done poorly under policies set by the president and his party.
Finally, if I were a power broker in Democrats’ circles, I’d be asking the creator of the Obama-email campaign a question—What the hell were you thinking?
Watch the video and read the story at Fox News about the first GOP debate on Thursday. A debate for those whose poll numbers didn’t qualify them will be held at 5 p.m. prior to the 9 p.m. debate.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/August 5, 2015)
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