Beltway Spin Podcasts

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Political Messaging For Dummies

One of the main problems Washington democrats have had the last two years has been a total lack of messaging. Messaging is usually a short communication transmitted by words and signals, from one person or group to another. When was the last time you were watching television news and saw two democrats being interviewed convey exactly the same message on any given issue? During the last two days several democrats have been interviewed on various news and cable programs on the issue of the Bush Tax Cuts. Surprise, not one of them gave the same messaging on the tax issue. Here is a sample of some of the things stated.

New York US Senator Chuck Schumer on CBS's Face The Nation stated that there should be no tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. The income level for tax cuts should be moved from $250,000 (couple) to under $1,000,000. As I noted yesterday, I thought his plan has some merit to it because you make republicans/and or blue dog democrats have to publicly advocate for another vote on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. Schumer made a very strong and definitive case on the program.

Virginia US Senator Mark Warner appearing on Bloomberg Television's Fast Forward proposed allowing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to lapse and use the additional revenue for targeted business tax cuts to encourage companies to hire more workers.

California US Representative Loretta Sanchez appearing on MSNBC's Hardball while advocating for keeping middle class tax cuts in place, however, then proposes that capital gains tax should be kept at 15%.

See the different muddled messaging here? Yes, they all do advocate for keeping middle class tax cuts but then they digress from that simple message and then wade into their own specifics of what should be done further. Do you ever generally see republicans giving specifics? They sure never did leading up to the midterms elections the other week and won in a landslide. The correct messaging for democrats should be to focus only on the extension of middle class tax cuts only in their interviews.

Republicans, on the other hand, from every corner of the US appear on any given program and all say the exact same thing: "Cut taxes for all. This will create jobs and grow the economy."

By having a unified message, even if it is wrong, the republicans seem clear on what their principles are and a plan of action. Democrats, however, by presenting muddled messages appear to not have core principles or a clear plan of action. This difference allows republicans to win the message war every single time.

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