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Skip to comments.The right strategy
Posted on 10/23/2012 9:31:27 PM PDT by pickrell
Bill O'Reilly, along with a good number of other pundits, seems exasperated that Governor Romney didn't hammer away at Obama about the Libyan scandal, during the debate.
Bill O'Reilly obviously hasn't taken the time over the years to understand the psychology of scandals. If he had, he would realize that Mitt Romney is either:
A.. much smarter that Karl Rove and a good many other former Republican consultants, or
B.. has hired a few very smart advisers.
When a scandal breaks, a candidate can approach things in one of 2 ways.
One way is to immediately attack his opponent with the revelations which have surfaced. This is satisfying, enthuses the base, but is short-sighted. As he attacks his opponent, he immediately puts a gaggle of press persons on defense, by, in effect, tearing into "their guy". Rather than the emerging facts being the "accuser"... instead the Republican now "becomes" the accuser. The press will instantly work to associate the accusations against his opponent, with him. Credibility of the accusations can be overcome by orchestrated disdain for the accuser, and a rally-round-the-victim effect in the press, witnessed so commonly by Americans. Soon the press, in the public perception, not only dismisses the accusations, but manages to pre-paint any future accusations that may surface as more "campaign tactics" by the candidate they oppose. Conservatives see the effect and become outraged that the bias in the media seems to be a perpetual cloak that the democrat may pull around himself and escape, or at least greatly blunt, the effects of the scandal.
The second way, and in this case the Romney way, is to allow/force the press, the actual investigative journalists, to slowly and dramatically, develop and magnify the charges, thereby removing the Republican and his campaign from any association with the accusations. This seems, at first glance, ill-advised, as the press has generally shielded the Democrat until relatively recently by simply embargoing any mention of the evidence, or painting the accusers as extremists, as was done to the "birthers" and the climate "deniers". And that is the problem. Karl Rove and his like, seem to manage to blunt every damning development, and never learn their lesson. In their blundering eagerness, they turn advantage into dismissal.
The lesson is simple. No matter what, they cannot orchestrate a rising tide of investigation, exposure and outrage in the press. The more they try- the more damage these much-ballyhooed "experts" do to the cause. It's like watching a case of "COPS" on T.V. and seeing the victim, instead of cleverly portraying a picture of serious disappointment at the extent of the crime that the POLICE are discovering... instead begins shrieking and beating on the accused! It doesn't help.... it instead paints them as the focus!
Tom Daschille was a master of the "detached" technique as he simply expressed, quietly for the cameras, his sadness, his disappointment, that such a thing was developing... in any Republican scandals.
Granted that until Fox News, Talk Radio, and the Internet came along, a monopoly was easily enforceable by the leftist media. But our candidates must now realize, if they are to win and thus be able to further our aims, that this is a new day. And the old embargo is broken forever... at least if we are smart about it.
Let Fox increasing break, in continuing developments, the extent of the new revelations... and be amplified by the forces of talk radio and internet. If they come up with material which cannot in any way be associated with the Republican candidate or his campaign staff, then the only effective defense of the Democratic conspirators simply dissolves. They will instinctively twist and spin to try to cover up even more, and thus entangle themselves inescapably. Because the one thing that never occurs to dishonest people, is to fall back on honesty.
Romney did EXACTLY what he should have done in the middle of this hot, unraveling coverup by the administration.
He has held his fire... and watched the bleeding of the opposition increase.
Someone smart, and obviously unassociated with the McCain campaign, has been advising him. Or else we may now have a candidate smart enough on his own, and I greatly suspect this may be the case, that we can invest a few hopes in the future.
Maybe. But if, IF Romney loses, the strategy will have been a wrong one!
Romney passed the 'he can be President' test and that is what matters.