QUOTE OF THE DAY – AT 9:16 A.M. ET: From Patrick Caddell, one-time Democratic pollster, but a man who has clearly become disillusioned with his party. He comments on the economic approach that he thinks is needed to win this election:
Successful Democrats believe that it’s possible--indeed, desirable--to have a compassionate government and a growing economy. And so it will be interesting to see, in Charlotte, the contrast between Bill Clinton, the champion of moderate pro-growth policies, and Obama, the champion of hard-left redistributionism. For his sake, Obama had better wake up to that message--although it’s not likely that he will.
Yet even so, the challengers have to improve their game. As we have seen, the biggest failing of Tampa was that Romney and Ryan failed to fully and forcefully articulate that sense of urgency--the foreboding, among the general public, that winter is coming, combined, of course, with a plan for avoiding that winter.
Thus the super-issue this year is the economy. And so if Republicans want to win, they need to get past longer-term issues, such as Medicare, and back onto the big prize of 2012--economic growth and a positive and transformative vision for the future.
Fifty years ago, JFK declared that it was time to “get the country moving again.” He won. Thirty years ago, Reagan made the same argument. He won, too.
And now this newest R-Team has the same opportunity, although they have yet to grasp it fully. Thus this election sits on a knife edge.
COMMENT: Caddell is right. As we've said here repeatedly, the Republican Party, and its candidates, have not yet made their case. With an economy this weak, they should be well ahead of where they are. Only their own lack of popularity is holding them down.
At times the Republican Party projects an image of darkness and anger...and pessimism. Yet, it's optimists who win elections. Reagan's theme, "It's morning in America," reflected the American spirit. So did Kennedy's dynamism. You can't just be against something. You must give the American voter a reason to be for you.
The Republicans should follow Caddell's advice.
September 4, 2012