Newt’s No Strategy Stragey Is Playing Right In To His Rivals Hands

Bookmark and Share   As I have said over and over again, I am fully prepared to enthusiastically get behind Mitt Romney as our nominee, but when given the choice between Mitt’s meager tweaking of policies that steer things slightly more to the right of the liberal establishment, and Newt’s bold solutions that rewrite and reform policies, I am supporting Newt.  I believe that in this election, Republicans are at a crossroads.  We either commit ourselves to being like Democrats and affirm ourselves as being defenders of the status quo or we establish ourselves as the Party of reform.

In a race between Newt and Mitt, for me the issue is not so much which man is more conservative but which man is more representative of the status quo and the establishment and which one is more representative of reform and the anti-establishment sentiments that gave birth to a whole movement that was based in part on a an extraordinary anti-establishment sentiment.  Of the two, given that criteria, Newt wins hands down.  Which is why I have become so utterly disappointed in  Newt Gingrich’s campaign.

While I understand how much pride Newt takes in running an untradition campaign that does not focus on fundraising and consultant rich decision making that forces one to produce poll driven policy positions, I am incredibly frustrated by Newt’s unwillingness to accept the fact that any effective campaign requires a degree of proper planning and strategizing.  It does not necessarily have to be traditional planning and strategizing but it has to be at least a semi coordinated effort that covers some of the most basic aspects of the purpose behind any campaign.  One such purpose is that of delivering a message.

What is Newt’s message?

Well he has had quite a few and most all of them have been good.  But when asked that question, voters should not have to decide what a candidate’s message is.  They should clearly know one carefully crafted message that is clear and immediately resonates.  Unfortunately,  Newt’s message has not been clear.  For that to happen, Gingrich needs to strike a theme or a string of theme’s that easily tie together to form one message.  A smart campaign will use themes that creates a message which not only advance the candidate’s cause, but also takes the sting out of their rivals attacks.  In Newt’s case a perfect string of theme’s that create just the right message for him would consist of his being a reform minded, anti-establishment, leader.

Let’s look at each of these areas individually:

Leadership;

As Speaker of the House, Newt established himself as a true leader and America is yearning for one that can take them in the right direction.  Do they want the type of leader who can create a Contract With America that led America in to a Republican revolution that changed the way Congress does business and led to some of the most conservative reforms in generations while working with Democrats?  Or do they want the type of leadership that worked with Democrats to  create such things as RomneyCare and ObamaCare?

That is a theme not only works for Newt, it works against Mitt Romney?

Reform;

Here again, one can turn one of Romney’s weaknesses in to a Gingrich strength.

Do we we want the type of Gingrich reforms which led to the greatest reform of the last 30 years…..welfare reform, or do they want the type of Romney reforms which created Romney and Obama style government-centric healthcare?

This theme is probably the most fertile for Gingrich.

It allows him to remind people that when Newt became Speaker, he reformed the House and made many changes that forced its members to live by the same rules they create for others.  The scandal which saw members of Congress involved The House banking scandal when it was revealed that the United States House of Representatives allowed members to overdraw their House checking accounts without any penalties, prompted Newt to enforce rules that made it harder for legislators to live above the law.

But there is much more to point to when it comes to Gingrich’s proven record of reform.  Some of the most dramatic include:

All of these major changes offer Newt a wealth of issues to introduce in  to the election and provide all the evidence people need to establish just how reform driven he is and each one of them strike chords among the electorate that are just as important and topical today as they were yesterday and will be tomorrow.

The Anti-Establishment Candidate;

In this anti-establishment, TEA movement environment, the status quo is out and the defenders of the status quo are the enemy.  People do not trust the establishment of either Party.  They believe that each Party has betrayed the ideologies they represent and have forgotten that the people are in charge in government and not the government which is in charge of the people. At this point in time, it seems that the people are having to answer to government, far more than government does to the people.

Meanwhile scores of establishment Governors, Senators, Congressman are coming out and endorsing Mitt Romney.  They are making it clear that the Mitt Romney is the establishment candidate………the defender of the status quo.  Meanwhile those members of the establishment are attacking Newt.  From Bob Dole on down, the establishment has soundly rejected Newt and if that is not enough to convince anti-establishment voters that Newt is one of them, than nothing is.

Add to that Newt’s willingness to stray from Party orthodoxy on occasion, and his instinctual desire to question traditional political thinking and approaches to problems and what you have is a candidate who represents anything but the status quo.

Combined together, all three of these qualities could provide Gingrich with the keys to the Republican presidential nomination.  In many cases,  despite poor messaging by Gingrich’s campaign, they have already been responsible for what success Gingrich has had.  But until and unless he can run a campaign that reinforces these themes with clear, consistent messages, the opportunity to exploit them will be lost.  And right now, Newt is losing.

In his desire to be unconventional, Newt is unwilling to be scripted.  And while there is a degree of political attractiveness to that, it also makes it impossible for Newt to stay on message and drive it home and the result is sometimes disastrous.

It is what led to his hurting himself a few weeks ago when he offended supporters of capitalism by going to far with an improper assault on Mitt Romney for his work as a venture capitalist.  It is also what led to Newt’s most recent blunder, claiming that he could not focus because the audience in the most recent debate was a distraction.

That off-the-cuff remark was so wrong on so many levels that it could very well cost him the winner-take-all, victory in Florida’s Primary.

That statement allowed Mitt Romney to undermine Newt by him seem week and it also allowed Romney to undermine Newt’s greatest strength, his superb debating skills.

Such results are bound to happen when a candidate is unwilling to stay on message and when they fail to settle upon a winning theme that they can build on.

Whatever the result in Florida, if Newt intends to remain in this contest to win, he better get his act together and admit to himself that he needs a competent organization that coordinates his ground game, and does things such as spearhead an aggressive absentee ballot operation in key states, and he must succumb to the fact that if he wants to win, he needs to focus on developing a winning strategy.

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Gingrich Announces that He Will Be the Republican Nominee

Bookmark and Share   Moments ago, Newt Gingrich told ABC News that given the polls, it is clear he will be the Republican nominee.

But his remarks did not end their and they essentially amounted to an opportunity to add that, his campaign will not be going negative and will focus on defeating President Obama while running a substantive campaign on the issues.

While the remarks, may sound cocky, they are actually a smart strategic move designed to build upon Newt’s momentum and the praise he has been afforded by refusing to attack his fellow Republicans.  They were words designed to also help Newt raise money.

Now that Newt’s campaign has a pulse, and has some popular support, his campaign is in desperate need of the money that can help him keep and build on that support.

Gingrich’s remarks come on a day that that the insignificant campaign of perennial presidential candidate Ron Paul, released a relentlessly negative attack ad against Gingrich.  The ad called “Serial Hypocrisy” spends two and a half minutes attacking Newt on an environmental ad he was in with Nancy Pelosi ad, calling Paul Ryan’s reforms “right wing, social engineering”,  his ties to Freddie Mac, and a fuzzy past position on individual healthcare mandates.  The ad is quite ugly and while it is based on some of the most underhanded political distortions and tactics imaginable, it won’t help the Gingrich cause.

Or will it?

The Ron Paul ad is so over the line that it could just emphasize the positive campaign that Newt has been trying to wage and which many have been crediting him for.  Which brings us back to his recent declaration.

In light of Ron Paul’s ad, and in light of information that indicates Mitt Romney is preparing to get negative on Newt,  Gingrich just helped to inoculate himself from future attacks,  to a degree.  He has also now  created an environment whereby those who seek to be aggressively negative, do so at the risk of a voter backlash. 

By stating that he is confident that he will be the nominee, Newt has officially taken hold of frontrunner status and ensured that the focus remains on him.  He also begins to instil some confidence in those who have been hesitant to open up their wallets to his campaign.  And he has done so in a way that makes any brutally negative ads against him a risky proposition for those who put them out.

Newt is taking the high road and providing voters with a chance to choose substance over slander, and issues over innuendo.  He just put the ball in our court.

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