Wednesday, June 27, 2007

AZ Freshmen GOP Strategy

Tucson, Arizona. One might react to the following as, "Well, duh!"

The value lies in fully exploring the implications and how the framing works. First, the simplicity of the approach. The GOP tack against both Mitchell and Giffords will be the same: the individual is not a match for the district. CD5 is X, and Harry Mitchell is Y. CD 8 is X, and Gabrielle Giffords is Y. Sure, so what? Say something we don't all know.

What is relevant and worth noting is the implementation of the message. Let's think about this a moment.

Step One. Craft the 2006 results of both districts as an anomaly that put the wrong person in office. For CD8, it could not be easier. The GOP side of that race truly was a meltdown. They have to find something for CD5.

Step Two. Refine Step One further. We have a Y where there should be an X. Create bullets and soundbites articulating how the current representative is not a match for the district.

Step Three: Craft credible points demonstrating how the GOP candidate is a better match for the people in the district.

Bullets will be crafted with spin on votes, statements, positions, affiliations, and financial contributions. Bee's hits will not involve a parking lot or whatever that was. I've already forgotten.

Also, not sure if folks know this, but Graf had a certain chivalry about him. The guy just couldn't hit a woman, not really.

I'm not saying Tim Bee is not a gentleman. I am saying he is a skilled politician. Both Mitchell and Giffords, while incumbents, will face tougher, not easier, races in 2008.

Hold me to account and blast accordingly if I am wrong, but in 2008 both races will be framed in the context of the best match for the district's sentiments. The GOP will allege, skillfully, that Mitchell and Giffords are poor fits.

The Democrats require a skillful response, and their opponents, not currently in Congress, will have the luxury of no record of votes regarding Iraq or immigration or any issue at the federal level. They will leverage this as effectively as possible.

Duly noting that every day in a certain respect is a moment of truth for our two freshmen as they work to be effective and make a difference, reducing to the simplicity of elections, for both, in your humble blogger's opinion, 2006 was not the moment of truth.

The moment of truth comes next year.


Blogger Sirocco said...

All true of course. I believe pretty strongly this is why both Giffords and Mitchell applied to be part of the Blue Dog group -- it helps defend against such framing. For Giffords, any "radical" label can be countered by pointing out her membership in a coalition associated with moderate, or even conservative, democrats.

Shouldn't that image be X != Y ? :P

6/28/2007 7:30 AM  
Blogger roger said...

I agree with both of you. That is absolutely why they applied to be Blue Dogs and it is absolutely why Giffords did not vote in this district to get us out on the first available chance. It sucks, but this is a Republican district and one with TWO military bases in it.

X4mr is right. What they plan to do is find every vote for unions, choice, environment, taxes, and yes...a vote not to suppor the a way of saying she doesn't fit. It is the exact same recipe used by Kolbe against McNulty.

Those who are bashing Giffords now from the left just make it easier in some ways for her...she looks less like a radical than she will be painted, however, it is also so important that she has this support of her base.

On Iraq, I think she honestly did not like the bill or the prospect of voting to defund troops or for timelines that would make her look more like a General than a Congresswoman. Beyond that, I think she was thinking about all that x4mr says here...and waiting for a time to cast the vote she wants to cast and at a time when there are some Republicans and many many more Democrats voting with her.

Her detractors, many of which never supported her in the last election either, will call her cowardly and calculating for it. Fine. But I have seen a change with her there already over Kolbe and so have the Republicans that are running those ads right now.

Keep that in mind those of you on the left and keep expressing your opinions. Empower her to vote with you on Iraq, because in this district and given the coming challenge, she does not feel empowered now.

6/28/2007 11:02 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Very interesting, roger. You are no longer just an ordinary apologist, you are a mind reader capable of presenting the thoughts of remote others.

6/28/2007 3:52 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...


Like Liza, I had a reaction to the "empowered" statement at the end. Are you speculating? I am not an insider, and I wouldn't lie about that. I have no idea what she is thinking or feeling. The extremes of both parties like to bash the middle.

About the left, I am unconcerned. What are they going to do? Vote for the GOP? Lefties can bash away, frankly. I am not the expert, but I were Giffords or Mitchell, the folks to the left bitching about my working the center can pound salt.

Let the lefties vote for Tim Bee instead. Let them color in the bubble before a social conservative.

I'm not arguing with you. Liberals need to take a reality check regarding the kind of candidate that can win in AZ CD5 or CD8.

Both Ralph Nadar and Ralph Reed are DOA on this turf.

6/28/2007 7:28 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

There are really only two things that Progressives can do to advance their agenda:
1. Support progressive candidates and get them elected.
2. Build popular support for a more liberal national agenda forcing representatives to enact voter mandates or risk losing their job.

First, let me be clear that I want a Democratic majority in Congress. The reasons are obvious so there's no need to go into it. And, quite frankly, I do not believe that there is any reason to believe that there won't be a Democratic majority in 2008. Therefore, the "left" does not have to support marginal Democrats at the district level, contrary to what you believe.

I realize that it is important to have support in Congress, but major social and political upheavals originate within segments of the population and expand to become movements when the time is right. The challenge for the "left" right now is building a movement.

Another thing, x4mr. I kind of doubt that I will be pounding salt in 2008. Your statements lead me to believe that you want to be first in line to devote your blog to Giffords Worship, replacing "The Data Port" from 2006. A waste, in my opinion, but it is undeniably your choice.

6/28/2007 8:24 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Oh, Liza, them's fightin' words!

I know far too much about human beings to worship any of them. I can promise you that the principles behind the SED blog have nothing to do with worshipping Giffords. Note the title. The subtitle is just as important, by the way. I will say that I support Giffords for stepping up to the plate with what it took to win.

She WON, Liza. I am interested in Democrats who WIN. I am not interested in Democrats who LOSE.

When I finish Something Else I am going to publish a position piece, probably just at the Web site, maybe an abbreviated version here, on my thoughts about all of these issues. Frankly, I think you and I are in agreement about almost everything when it comes to issues, but we'll see after I post if you are willing to respond.

I believe our thoughts are similar regarding the war, PNAC, health care, gap between rich and poor, education, global warming, energy, and so on.

I do not share your belief that Latas would have been effective in DC. I am not disagreeing with his positions, goals, or character. Time will prove me right or wrong, but until shown otherwise, I think Giffords has the savvy to play the game, as does Francine Shacter, a fabulous human being I would love to see in office.

Like your candidate, Shacter had no resources. No resources = Lose.

6/28/2007 9:24 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

When I looked at your blog this morning, I expected to see "comment deleted" and then another post from you about being "loose lipped" late at night.

I'm fairly accustomed to not being represented in the House by whoever has won the election in my district. However, I lived in Houston, Texas, for a couple of years in the late 70's and I was represented by the legendary Barbara Jordan. Thinking about her now brings tears to my eyes.

I fully understand that it takes resources to win elections, and I have also seen where the best candidates are often excluded for that very reason. Money and campaigns win elections. Say "hello" to President Hillary Clinton who proves every time she opens her mouth that she is the worst of the Democratic presidential candidates.

At some point, x4mr, we have to be concerned about who we have elected. It can't be a matter of just getting Democrats into the Senate or the House or the Presidency and hoping they will, at the end of the day, do more good than harm. We need to know what people stand for before we elect them to represent us. And we should never elect anyone who does not share our basic beliefs or who lacks the strength of character to defend them. However, it seems to me that we just increasingly accept that whoever has the money for the TV ads is the one who should win.

Indeed, time will tell. In the meantime, don't expect to see very many Barbara Jordans throw their hat in the ring.

6/29/2007 1:38 PM  
Blogger roger said...

Liza and X4mr:

Not an insider...speculating...not putting words in Rep. Giffords mouth...meant to make an argument.

I THINK...based on what i have read and frankly listening to what she said when she was asked about her vote...that these are things that have come into play in her decision. The soothsaying part...what might happen at the end of the summer, frankly, is what I predict...we shall see if I am right.

As to the empowering part, that is an argument. Her base needs to be a bit more of a help here and, yes, empower her to do the things she needs to do to be an effective Congresswoman and to keep this seat. It means being a little patient at times, even when that isn't fun, and it definitely means voicing your opinions when you think she has strayed away.

However, sometimes the criticism comes across less as disappointment and an argument for a change in a vote and more as vitriol. This is the very thing that those who support Bee are salivating over...that while she tries to remain a delegate for this district, that she will be deserted by the left.

Anyhoo...I will clarify that I am not putting words in her mouth nor that she or her staff are putting any in mine.


6/29/2007 2:22 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Voting with the majority of Democrats on HR 2237 should have been a no brainer. The majority of American people are against the occupation of Iraq. The percentage opposed will be even greater in 2008 after Bush/Cheney seals the deal to plunder the oil from the nation they destroyed in every way imaginable and prepares for permanent occupation. It was an important vote and, quite frankly, I think that the cricitism has been pretty lightweight from the "left" and not at all vitriolic.

6/29/2007 5:03 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...


I agree with you more than I think you realize. Without getting into a lengthy discussion, to fix the system we have to get in it. Giffords got in, at least for a couple years.

The anger in this country is reaching levels not seen since the 60's and Nixon.

Cheney's recent behavior is boiling blood. The man is a criminal.

We have to get people in, Liza. I don't worship Giffords, but you must recognize CD 8. Every district has an environment presenting different options. CD 8 would cut Grijalva to pieces. Bee would crucify Grijalva in CD 8.

Who would you see run against Bee in CD 8? Give me a name, Liza. Leal? Prezelski? Aboud? Downing? Valadez? Elias? Bronson?

Who beats Bee?

It's not worship, Liza, but one name and only one, comes to my mind. That name is Giffords. If you have a better name, post it.

There are the stands, and there is the field. I can promise you that the football to the quarterback, the baseball to the batter, the tennis ball screaming over the net, occurs differently to the player on the field than the fans in the stands.

Giffords is on the court. If you want her replaced, I want a name.

6/29/2007 9:53 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

That is just the same strategy being used over and over again. Hillary is using it right now with considerable success. Her campaign calls it "inevitability." She's the one with the money, the organization, and the rock star name recognition so get behind the winner.

So where are the Barbara Jordans? Where are the young, brilliant constitutional lawyers and why aren't they in Congress when we so desperately need them? Could it be that we just keep electing representatives based on their ability to raise money by whatever means necessary? We accept bumper sticker campaign slogans instead of principled stands on life and death issues because we are convinced that first and foremost, there must be money. And this is the way it will be until we, the voters, decide to do something about it.

I was listening to a speech given by actor Sean Penn recently. He stated that he supports Dennis Kucinich for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination but people just tell him that they support Kucinich too, but he can't win. Penn replies, "isn't that our choice?"

All I'm saying, x4mr, is that we have the power to change this, but for some reason we can't or we lack the will to do so. It just keeps getting worse.

6/30/2007 7:17 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...


In case it isn't already clear, I respect everything you are saying. We are on the same side wrangling with how to steer this planet from catastrophe.

Giffords had an event this evening which I attended. The group expressed your sentiments very well.

The country is furious. As I have said, as I believe you have said, and as Giffords said this evening, the Bush administration is the worst presidency in the history of this nation.

By the end of this summer serious pressure towards leaving Iraq will gain teeth. I'm not kidding. I am talking about the US being the F out of there by April, nine months from now. We're done.

The outrage against Cheney and the arrogance of BIG OIL is now escalating exponentially as the blood and dollars spurt profusely.

The GOP has put itself in deep shit.

If Tim Bee is smart, he will pass on CD8, build his base, and take Janet's place when she terms out. Tim Bee should be our next governor, not our next congressman.

Yes, money is a big deal, and today is June 30. Very soon numbers will be reported. When they are, Bee will see that the smart move is to find another neighborhood.

Tim Bee for Governor.

6/30/2007 9:19 PM  

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