Monday, April 25, 2011

Where's the compelling narrative for 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls?

One of those things you hear said about electoral politics, particularly about presidential elections, is that people like to vote for candidates who have a clear vision for the country, who speak in terms of hope and of better things to come. Ronald Reagan's famous "Morning in America" motif is often identified as this kind of successful messaging.

More or less on that point, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (R) said on Monday that she is displeased with what she is hearing from GOP hopefuls who have been coming to her state to woo potential voters.

Here is what Haley had to say:

A lot of what bothers me with where the presidential politics is right now is that I don't want to hear about how awful President Obama is right now. I want to hear what they are going to do different.

And then:

There is a group that has come through South Carolina. They are trying to tell me how they are going to win. I don't care how they are going to win. I want to know how they are going to fix our country. 

Governor Haley seems to understand that you can energize the base by attacking Obama but you will have a very hard time winning independents unless you can articulate a vision for the country that isn't simply based on the fact that you dislike the guy who currently holds the office. Without those independents, it would be very hard, as Haley knows, to win the White House.

I don't think it's inconceivable that the right Republican candidate could construct a narrative that would be attractive for a majority of Americans. But what we do know is that we have not yet seen that candidate nor have we even begun to hear the outline of a vision.

To be fair, we have heard a narrative of sorts, but it's hardly compelling, and it doesn't paint a particularly pretty picture. It can be described, as was done at FDL, as "more tax cuts for rich people and corporations, less regulation, less spending on the poor, deporting the Mexicans, protecting traditional marriage and teaching Intelligent Design in public schools."

It's going to be hard for anyone to make that into beautifully crafted political ads and a vision that attracts enough voters. Maybe "It's Morning on Wall Street."

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home