’22 Is Different

In the 4th Century BC, Sun Tzu wrote that, “Most battles are won before they are fought”. Almost without exception I believe that and it has been a guiding light in my many endeavors. Historically it also plays a prominent role in the advice I give political candidates. In 2022 I am modifying that advice.

We are in the fairly early stages of the 2022 campaigns. If candidates have opposition in their Party they are concentrating on securing the nomination and will worry about the general when they qualify for that race. My standard advice to candidates is to go one step at a time. You have to secure the ballot line before you take on your general election opponent and that is where almost all of your resources should be expended. Because of a combination of a gift the RNC gave Democrats and the stranglehold Trump has on Republican primary electorate 2022 is different.

The RNC has labeled the events of January 6th as, “Legitimate political discourse”. If you intend to win as a Democrat in anything other than a tailor made for you district this is a gift!

Normally I advise steering clear of the Republican primary. Simply let them beat up on each other. Then see if you can use anything from it that fell into your lap against them in the general. In 2022 you have to make sure that you can exploit this glaring weakness.
In the primary you need to have your operatives at any event where a Republican contender is speaking. (That very much includes a Q&A or debate.) Get them on the record (and record the exchange) as to whether they agree with the RNC statement about, “Legitimate political discourse”. By doing so you put them in a box. If they say “No” or hedge they risk alienating the pro-Trump element that dominates Republican primaries. Few, if any, will be willing to do that. If they say “Yes” you have a talking point with which to haunt them all the way to Election Day should they somehow survive the primary.

They are more vulnerable in the primary where they are trying to please the pro-Trump element. In the general they assume they already have them in their pocket and will do some political double speak if confronted with that same question.

The Republicans are perceived as the law and order party. (Which is just code for racist). Unfortunately, many in law enforcement identify with them and foolishly believe they are pro-police. I’m not saying every Republican is a racist but if you are you will certainly fit right in.

Your ads, regardless of medium, will simply juxtapose the events of 1/6 where police officers were attacked, injured and in some cases killed with the nod to, “Legitimate political discourse”. Keep pounding away at that phrase! At the least you have defined the debate and they will have to expend resources disputing your assertion. Remember most Americans have a political attention span of about 30 seconds (the length of most political TV and radio ads) and they certainly don’t follow up enough to hear rebuttals.

This will entail a bit more front end work than normal but your election may be one that can be won in an upset before the “battle date”. 2022 is different.

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