I See the GOP Freight Train Coming

Thu, January 31, 2008


The cranky white men are getting in touch with their inner heroes.

No, not those Heroes, though that would be interesting!

To paraphrase Steve Martin from SNL, some of them have started joining hands to sing together in a spirit of harmony and peace.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain and Rudy Giuliani were all SOOOO chummy yesterday in a ‘let’s-all get-a-mani/pedi-after-this-new-conference-is-over’ kind of way after the California governator threw his support to McCain.

But watching and listening to the GOP event, I feel a new theme coming on. It makes me shudder.

Goodbye, Straight Talk Express. Hello, American Heroes.

Republican Heroes — McCain the war hero. Giuliani the 9/11 hero. Schwarzenegger the American dream hero.

Americans love heroes. Give us a good story and we’ll follow you just about anywhere. And if the GOP finds one that works, they’re going to stick with it until November. Until we all know it be heart as we walk into the voting booth.

So, while Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were back to making nice in the last debate before Super Tuesday, they’d better be working on the story that’s going to trump “Heroes.” And they don’t have a lot of time.

My suggestion? Now that John Edwards has “suspended” his campaign, take a page from his book and create a story around this election not being about you, but being about us, the voters. I didn’t hear much about us in the celebrity-studded, pre-Super Tuesday debate.

As someone recently told me about writing and messages, we are hard-wired to connect and relate to stories. I think PunditGirl is getting more information about growing up from her American Girl books and Lemony Snicket than from any parental admonitions.

So, Hillary and Barack, have your people start working on the story thing.

And just remember you heard the “Heroes” thing here first. ;)

Think this whole political dilemma is just for grown-ups? Think again. Stop by PunditMom’s Spin Cycle to get a peek into what your kids are thinking about this election!

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9 Responses to “I See the GOP Freight Train Coming”

  1. Amy S. Says:

    Oh, god. Scary!

  2. Mauigirl Says:

    I agree – the GOP is always really good about coming up with a strong mantra and sticking to it while the Democrats get tripped up in their shoelaces. Let’s hope once we decide on the nominee that we can go ahead and do the same kind of focusing as they do. The message you are suggesting sounds like Obama’s, and I hope that is the case, as I think he is best able to hammer that message home.

  3. Mom101 Says:

    Very astute. I can only hope it’s a heroes theme, because the American people are polling consistently with the economy as the #1 concern. A war “hero” candidate on the record as not understanding economics would be a godsend.

  4. Jennifer James Says:

    You’re right about this. I just hope their collective heroism is trumped by the reality of the war in Iraq.

    I think Barack has a much better chance of winning against the GOP than Hillary does. He’s not bringing in any baggage, plus everyone knows his stance on the war — which is a huge selling point for him.

    I believe if America sees Barack — young, vibrant, smart vs. McCain — old, bent on war, and not liked by his OWN party — then Barack has a great chance of winning this thing.

  5. Staci Schoff Says:

    Republicans and conservatives in general (like pro-lifers, for instance) are really really good at getting into people’s heads emotionally. Really good at it.

    Democrats are rarely as good, though I think Obama gives them a run for their money in the “speeches that make one weep” department.

  6. Mary Magee Says:

    You are so right. I see the “Heroes” theme rearing it’s ugly head. The Democrats should counter with “Dream Ticket,” a certain one, two punch to the GOP.

  7. Mamma Says:

    I just hope that we don’t blow it…again!

  8. lildb Says:

    Lemony Snicket is awesome.

    Also, you’re brilliant, and right, and oh my GOD I hope you’re right.

    It would just make the whole thing that much more pathetically obvious, re: the insane level of out-of-touch-ness that is the GOP.

    gah. it makes my gag reflex quiver to even mention them.

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