"Our Karl Rove is the blog you should be glad that Democratic strategists don't seem to listen to"
-- what they're saying on Republican blogs

Friday, March 31, 2006

The Indy 2006


According to a recent Gallup Poll, one of the key challenges for this year's congressional elections is going to be maintaining the momentum in the evolving feelings of the independent (Indy) voter.

With the hugely effective rhetoric of the Bush Administration and the entire Republican Party since 9/11, Indies stepped off their perch and landed with Republicans in large numbers, believing that foreign policy toughness was required, and that Republicans were the kind of politicians that were going to kick ass and take names.

Many asses and not nearly enough names later, the Indies (who have less ideological allegiance and therefore are less emotional and more analytical in their voting preferences) see how these so-called tough guys overreached, overspent, and overkilled -- and now Indies want an overhaul.

A core component of your messaging strategy needs to focus on responding to this shift in independent voter thinking. Be the party designed to overhaul the party-in-charge by convincing your constituents that a Democratic majority in congress will provide the required oversight and competence needed to put this country back on the right track.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Republicans Have Had "One Too Many"


In order to break through this year, you're going to need some metaphors that instinctively resonate with a broad set of voters who have lost confidence Bush's administration.

One overarching theme must be the one too many attack: Why is voting for your local Democrat so important this year? Because Republicans have made one too many mistakes:

  • Their inability to manage the Katrina disaster
  • Their inability to manage the Iraq war
  • Their inability to see the problems with the United Arab Emirates running our ports

Combine these downright scary national security fumbles with the other blunders that they've made:

  • Nominating Harriet Myers for Supreme Court
  • Social Security reform fizzle due to a plan that had no credibility
  • Trying to turn NPR into FoxNews
  • Outing a CIA operative while at war
  • Being associated with corrupt lobbyists
  • Losing their leadership in the House due to corruption charges
  • One Republican congressman has already resigned over corruption

Plain and simply, Americans gave Republicans a chance to run the country because -- let's face it -- they sounded confident in their stump speeches. Unfortunately for America, these Republicans have made America look unprepared, incompetent, and weak around the world. They've split the country on the war on terror, and we simply cannot afford that. They've even made their own party shake their heads over their inability to keep government spending under control.

In the end, Republicans have made one too many mistakes to allow them to run the country without some serious oversight. This oversight will come from Democrats.

Sure, Democrats might not yet have a leader for the country, but at least they're smart, competent, and will work hard for the American people to ensure that this Republican administration stays in line for the next 3 years.

Republicans have had one too many, and now it's time to take some responsibility away from them. It's just the responsible thing to do.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Democrats: Rolling out your 2006 Brand

[apologies for the black out... a death in the family (who was an outstanding copy editor for OKR) temporarily put the blog on hold]


As you begin figuring out how to win back the majority in congress in the 2006 elections, Our Karl Rove will be launching a series of overarching, national party messages that are designed to resonate with voters this fall.

The goal of a national party message is not to define each candidate, but rather to create a brand that each candidate can effectively leverage to make them a more compelling alternative.

It's all about transforming "Democrat" from a brand that feels like a radical socialist or welfare recipient into a brand that feels more like responsible, competent, and respectable governance and leadership.

When a strong, meaningful brand has been designed t0 resonate with your target audiences, the brand becomes an effective asset that Democratic candidates can use to link their specific, local positions into something national, where Democrats currently have a brand advantage. From the constituent perspective, voters will intuitively use the brand to save time and energy in assessing what a candidate's specific value proposition is, and get a head start as they look into Democratic candidates' specific personal qualities.

It's a simple two-pronged plan: The national party defines the common themes that are well-researched and politically expedient. Once proven effective, local candidates will refer to and embody these themes as a backdrop for their local positions.

Remember: national party branding should enable your candidates, not disable them. This means divisive issues are a no-no. We need to keep them broad, generally appealing, and flexible enough for all kinds of voters.

Let's get to it.