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UPDATE: Why GOP Branding Isn’t Working

by admin on August 30, 2012

This is an update to the article featured on CNN.com on August 29,2012

Update: Last night continued the brand confusion of the GOP.  Condi Rice gave a foreign-policy speech that brought back memories of her old boss, George Bush, who exited the White House with his loving dog Barney and an un-loving 34% approval rating.  She was exceptional, as even Chris Matthews agreed, although he found a way to turn his praise into an ambush question about the birthers.

But from Condi to Mike Huckabee is a journey from Bach to barbeque.  He was clearly there to froth up the base, and bestow an evangelical blessing on Mormonism.  Then there was Susan Martinez, the only female Latina governor, who was given prime time for obvious demographic reasons.  She was worth it. She has the plainspoken directness of Chris Christie – with a better personal narrative – and without his barely-controlled, full-body seething.  (Paul Ryan’s favorite band is “Rage Against the Machine”; Christie is a machine of rage.)

The lynchpin of the evening was Paul Ryan, who tried to focus the action on the economy and on his Austrian-economics world view, perhaps best captured in this line:

” None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.”

If you read the text of all the speeches – an exercise I could not in good conscience advise – you’d find a lack of brand coherence, other than the argument that we have a well-intentioned, big-spending, socialist flop in the White House.  But this election is all about the persuadables, as I discuss in my piece, and a well-managed brand would refract everything through  the clarity of that lens.  Needlessly inflammatory rhetoric – like  Mike Huckabee declaring that the president “believes that human life is disposable and expendable at any time in the womb or even beyond the womb” – is Kryptonite to the persuadables.  (Note to spell check: Add “Kryptonite” immediately.)

Yes, red meat may thrill the carnivores in the room.  But a well-managed brand keeps the end in mind, and the cover-every-base diffusion we’re seeing in Tampa reveals a lack of control.  We’ll see if Romney pulls it all together, later today.

You can read the original article here>>.

 

One comment

Interesting that past GOP candidates (other than W) Romney, McCain, Dole, GHW Bush, Reagan…all looked backwards to a ‘better America’ rather then forwards (Obama, Clinton looked forward). I wonder when the demographics of the party and country change enough that everyone needs to look forward rather then backward? Btw, if Romney does want to take us back to the 1950’s we should remind him of the top tax rate of 91% for earnings over $200,000 as well.

by J Cohen on August 30, 2012 at 6:40 pm. Reply #

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