Anatomy of an Election

I was listening to Bill Bennett’s Morning in America and the level of call-ins that included self-flagellation and dissection over election results.  Clearly there is a segment of our population that is not happy this morning.  This blog has nothing to do with content or principles of the GOP or Republican/Conservative party that runs the gamut of extreme right through to moderates, independents and even includes just-left-of-centers like me.

The question is what didn’t work, what wasn’t said, who didn’t hear us, why didn’t we win?  WHAT WENT WRONG?

More than six months ago, when the conservative talk radio was asking “what does the Republican Party need to do to be successful.  I said the Republican Party needs to control the message.  They need to use social media and all medias to engage the population.  There is a “lesson learned” here, and I hope someone of influence reads this and takes it forward.

I am not going to say what the GOP did wrong.  I am going to say what the Obama Campaign did RIGHT.  THEY CONTROLLED THE CONVERSATION.

They used every source of medium available.  They took their *candidate* and made him a *Personality* that many in the right of center felt was un-Presidential.  On the other hand, conservative talk radio would continue to ask “what is missing… what is that *thing* that isn’t being communicated?”


Empty chair, empty suit?  Yeah – but he wasn’t selling anything other than his re-election.  He was selling his personality, his likability, his appeal.  The campaign used the corresponding medias that would reach the targeted audiences.  This isn’t rocket science… this is marketing 101.

They put Obama on the late night circuit so it would be a positive image the last thing at night, since many people use Letterman, Leno, etc., to fall asleep.
Then also had him on the early morning talk circuit to be one of the first positive images and conversation as people got ready for work.  These weren’t interviews, guys.  These were stumps.  They controlled the imagery, the packaging, the delivery, the content, the depth and the conversation.  The segment they were talking are not cable news sycophants of CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc.  They use late shows to drift off, and the morning shows to get local coverage, weather and a touch of world news as they ready for work.

There are countless examples of what can be used for *lessons learned* … but if the GOP and future candidates want to excel and succeed — they need to control the conversation – and they need to get better at understanding the new rules of marketing.  Until they do…

2 thoughts on “Anatomy of an Election

  1. Michele Lewis

    Interesting take away. I think if the GOP wishes to succeed they need to deal with the racism and classism that were fairly blatant in the campaign. Sadly, this country has a long way to go in acknowledging the race and class issues faced. Yes I am an Obama supporter – not because I believe he has done everything right but because I believe that he has the best interest of most people at heart. I also believe that taxes must go up because you can not balance a budget on the backs of poor people. I really don’t believe that Mitt Romney was the best man for the job. He clearly said what he thought would get him elected (I agree, that’s what politicians do), even if it contradicted what he said before, and many people felt that – and didn’t know what he was going to do at all. I also believe that if a better candidate had been brought forth the GOP may have had a better shot. Take for instance, the promise of 12 million jobs. If one listened closely, those jobs would come over a 10 year period. The business cycle will take care of that so while it may have sounded good, it was b.s. Unemployment is, and has always been, a lagging indicator so the expectation that the unemployment rate will go down 4 percentage points in a 4 year period is unrealistic – on both sides. And yep, when you are on your way to recovery, unemployment initially rises then falls. I’ve had some very interesting conversations with people regarding “entitlements” and deficits and have found that too many people don’t have the facts but have listened to the talking points and outright lies. For example, the work requirement for “welfare” has changed. Not true. I work with those who collect “welfare” regularly. The work requirement has not changed. And the amount that you get is $236 monthly – whether you have 1 child or 5 children – and that amount is temporary. I have “welfare” in quotes because it is no longer welfare – the myth of the queen is dead – it is TANF – temporary assistance to needy families – but if you listen to what’s being said you will never hear this. Many of my friends, both black and white, have been saddened by the overt and covert racism that has leaked out of people. As a black female, Obama’s presidency has brought the undercover racists right out of the closet and for that, I am grateful. You see, I love knowing that the “snake is in the grass” instead of being surprised when I’m bitten.

    That being said, we have a long way to go and my hope is that those in power work together. The obstinance and childlishness of the past 4 years must go – but that requires a willingness that I haven’t seen thus far but I will….keep hope alive.

  2. ritaglynnsmith Post author

    Mich – Thank you for commenting. We will be able to visit this conversation in 4 years – and hopefully we will be in a better place across the board. I can’t speak to racism – because if I ever witnessed it I would inject myself in the moment. I do know I would not turn my back and ignore. So whether we’re talking human or other… I am pretty confident that I would intervene in the mistreatment of most creatures on planet earth. That being said, *humans* are not my focus… and you know that. It’s animals and environment … and right now there are individuals in this administration that are serious problems IMHO. I also believe that the truth of what is true lies somewhere in the middle — that tender place that so few seem to occupy. You know the cliche about 3 sides to the truth. It hasn’t changed. That aside… there is something not right about Benghazi … and I hope now that the campaigns are over .. we can revisit this subject. Then again, if the Mayans are correct … we won’t.


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