If you are a student of American politics you have heard of the Rose Garden Strategy. With the current coronavirus situation presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is following what I’ll call the Basement Strategy; basically he is running his campaign out of the basement of his Delaware home. If he wanted my ideas I assume we would “meet” in his basement via Facetime or Zoom. With that in mind let’s explore what my advice to him would be.
If you want to skip the rest of the article my basic advice would be: “Attack, attack, attack and then attack some more.” For my reasoning you’ll have to continue reading. (Please do.)
In order to win an election your voters have to show up and cast ballots. That is a simple concept that is very difficult to achieve. All close elections come down to voter turnout and because we are so polarized 2020 will be close. The challenge then is how to motivate the motivatables and persuade the persuadables.
This brings me to two of my basic conclusions about the modern American electorate. With very few exceptions, Americans vote against not for candidates. If you want people to show up, piss them off. (Opps, PG violation but I needed to emphasis a point). Let’s look at those in order.
If you want other than his base (which will die with him) to cast ballot against Trump simply use his own words and actions against him. The material is almost infinite as I rediscover every time I sit down to write this column. The commercials and speeches almost write themselves. The best ad to date was run by The Lincoln Project and entitled Mourning in America. While aimed at the electorate at large it is specifically poignant with traditional conservative Republicans (not the Tea Party/Trumpublican fakes). I suggest that is because it is run and funded by traditional conservative Republicans including George Conway, Steve Schmidt and Rick Wilson.
If you see a lot of citizens at a School Board meeting it is not to compliment the District Superintendent. Pissing off a lot of voters about Trump should be relatively easy. Trump does it many times every day.
Today’s is a rather short article as are most good strategies. Tactics are another matter. One thing I advise Vice President Biden to do is stay in his basement until it is medically prudent to leave. Biden is a people person (sometimes almost to a fault) and it is difficult for an inherently warm politician not to press the flesh. However by staying in his basement his staff can stage him and in the process minimize the gaffes which are part of Joe being Joe. Also by self-isolating you promote the needed social distancing behavior among the population and emphasize one of Trump’s greatest failures.
Remember: attack, attack, attack and then attack some more. Oh, by the way, spend as little time as possible responding to the right wing and foreign attacks that will continue coming. You want to dictate the conversation and you can only do that when you are on offense.
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