Feb. 23rd, 2014

yesthattom: (happy)
When Barbara Buono ran against Chris Christie for governor of New Jersey her campaign was slow to react to the negative onslaught that Christie had prepared. The moment she announced her running make, the Christie campaign had an immediate reply so that the very same news cycle would be filled not with why she's a good running-made but with Christie's attacks and the fact that the Buono campaign hasn't replied yet.

If you remember when Dukakis ran for president he refused to respond to any attacks on the theory that it just gives them credibility. As a result, he looked like an idiot. In this 24/7 news cycle, if you don't have an immediate response, cable TV news has 24 hours of nothing to say but to repeat the attack.

Four years after Dukakis, a Democratic candidate surprised the world by actually fighting back. He set up a "war room" and made sure that every attack was responded to immediately. They used a "flood the field" technique so that each attack received 100 responses. Did it work? Well, that candidate was your husband, Bill Clinton, and he won that election against all odds.

Eight years later Al Gore chose the Dukakis strategy. He didn't want to look unpresidential. As a result, one of the most honest men in politics was painted as a "compulsive liar" ("he claims the film Love Story was written about him! he says he invented the internet!"). He kind of won, but then lost at the supreme court because he figured, heck, if we are just honest the good and honest courts will follow the law and how could we possibly lose. Meanwhile Cheney right away saw that this would be won or lost in the media and nothing else mattered. If you recall, Al Gore did not become president.

Then John Kerry followed the Dukakis/Gore strategy and lost.

Then Obama used the "war room" strategy and won. Twice. He made an interesting change to the strategy... he was never the one to respond because he didn't want to look like "the angry black man". Instead he had legions of surrogates responding so he didn't have to.

So now it is your turn. Are you going to be the unprepared Barbara Buono or the well-prepared, Clinton-esque, ready-to-fight, go-getter?

Based on who you hired to run your earlier campaign, I have zero hope. You are surrounded by "yes men" and "yes women" that are in a bubble, confusing inevitability in the primary with inevitability in election. This isn't going to be an easy win. They have 20+ years of "attack research" sitting in a warehouse just waiting to be used. Just because they didn't get to use it in 2008, doesn't mean they don't still have it.

If I see Mark Penn on your campaign staff again, or any sign that there is no war room, or that the war room is fucked up, I swear I don't know what I'm gonna do.

Sincerely,
Pissedd that Christie is still my governor.

December 2015

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