What’s with these rules, man?
By Jay Kirell
Tuesday morning, Redstate.com came out with a column listing 73 rules Republican candidates for president should adhere to in 2016. The writer claimed these were gleamed from the experience of past presidential campaigns and that most were “common sense.”
Here’s a few of the rules. You be the judge at how many of these sound like “common sense.”
3- If you don’t like Republican voters, don’t run.
I heard the author describe this as the “Huntsman” rule, after John Huntsman, the moderate GOP candidate who fizzled early in 2012. From all Democrats I know, he was the one candidate they didn’t want the GOP running. I doubt very seriously Huntsman didn’t like GOP voters, he probably didn’t like the lack of seriousness in what interests the GOP base.
5-If you’ve never won an election before, go win one first. This won’t be the first one you win.
Tell that to Dwight Eisenhower.
10-You will be called a racist, regardless of your actual life history, behavior, beliefs or platform. Any effort to deny that you’re a racist will be taken as proof that you are one. Accept it as the price of admission.
Yes, don’t try to change perceptions of you or your party, just put the asbestos suit on and ignore all talk about how many people you’ve offended recently. Remember, criticism is only legitimate if you believe it is.
14-Run as who you are, not who you think the voters want. There’s no substitute for authenticity.
Like how George W. Bush was a compassionate conservative who didn’t want to do nation building.
24-Being a consistent conservative will help you more than pandering to nuts on the Right. If you can’t tell the difference between the two, don’t run.
And if you look around the room and you can’t tell who the nut is…
27-Be ready and able to explain how your plans benefit individual voters. Self-interest is a powerful thing in a democracy.
Sounds like Socialism to me, bub. Isn’t the GOP the DIY party?
28-If you haven’t worked out the necessary details of a policy, don’t be rushed into releasing it just because Ezra Klein thinks you don’t have a plan. Nobody will care that you didn’t have a new tax plan ready 14 months before Election Day.
Because nothing screams ‘ready to lead’ like “give me another two weeks on my homework.”
31-When in doubt, go on the attack against the Democratic frontrunner rather than your primary opponents. Never forget that you are auditioning to run the general election against the Democrat, not just trying to be the least-bad Republican.
Because nothing proves you’re not the least-bad Republican like deflecting your lack of knowledge off on Hillary.
38-Hecklers are an opportunity, not a nuisance. If you can’t win an exchange with a heckler, how are you going to win one with a presidential candidate? If you’re not sure how it’s done, go watch some of Chris Christie’s YouTube collection.
And then a few hours later you can stop watching and wonder why people want four years of someone yelling at them.
44-Voters do not like obviously insincere pandering, but you cannot win an election by refusing on principle to meet the voters where they are. That includes, yes, addressing Hispanic and other identity groups with a plan for sustained outreach and an explanation of how they benefit from your agenda. Build your outreach team, including liaisons and advertising in Spanish-language media, early and stay engaged as if this was the only way to reach the voters. For some voters, it is.
But remember they think you’re racist, so just make sure not to mention your immigration plan.
[special 3-part fact]
47-If you’re not making enemies among liberals, you’re doing it wrong.
48- If you don’t have a plausible strategy for winning conservative support, you’re in the wrong party’s primary.
49-The goal is to win the election, not just the primary. Never box yourself in to win a primary in a way that will cause you to lose the election.
Oh the conundrum. A GOP candidate has to pander so hard to the right that he makes enemies of any liberals observing them, but not soooo hard that they make enemies of the general electorate. It’s like Darth Vader using the dark side of the force just enough to force-choke someone, but not enough to kill them. Quite the tightrope.
54-If you’re not prepared for a debate, don’t go. Nobody ever had their campaign sunk by skipping a primary debate. But looking unprepared for a debate can, as Rick Perry learned, create a bad impression that even a decade-long record can’t overcome.
Or the other piece of advice that might work – make sure you’re prepared for all debates.
63-Don’t plan to match the Democrats’ operations and technology, because then you’re just trying to win the last election. Plan to beat it.
But first…double check that it’s functioning.
66-This is the 21st century. If you wouldn’t want it in a TV ad, don’t put it in a robocall or a mailer. Nothing’s under the radar anymore.
ie – don’t let the public know how ignorant you and your supporters really might be.