Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Obama released his latest budget and true to form, the GOP is screwing up the response.
As any good marketer knows, a message has to be written in a way that resonates with the target audience. Screw this up and it doesn't matter how clever your ad is, it is not going to work.
As critics have claimed, Obama's budget is more of a political document than a genuine proposal. For all the thousand or so pages, all Obama wanted was a couple of talking points to repeat over and over again in targeting the voters whose support is critical this fall.
And how does the GOP respond? With hyper-technical critiques of spending levels and tax levels and so on.
How does one say boring?
The public doesn't care about the budget per se. They aren't into analyzing the thousands of line items. All they care about is whether they can imagine the budget helping them.
Note that Obama's talking points - tax hikes for the wealthy and more spending - don't offer the promise of making anybody's life better.
And that is the weakness of Obama's budget. He hasn't come up with talking points that promise a rosy future. And this weakness is where the GOP needs to attack.
The GOP needs to launch its own sound-bite attack. The message?
Raising taxes won't help lower the unemployment rate. Wasting more money on silly programs won't help lower the cost of a gallon of gas. They won't make health care any more affordable. Nor will they help stop the decline in home values.
By attacking - and undercutting - what Obama believes to be the strength of his budget, the GOP can score some major points.
America needs a President who is more concerned with increasing the number of people with jobs than going after those who have jobs. We need a President who knows it isn't smart to keep wasting money on the same things he wasted the last trillion or so dollars on.
Think of the impact we could have with commercials featuring regular folks (NOT politicians) who talk about how Obama's budget isn't going to get them to spend any more money, that it isn't going to lead them to hiring any more people, that they are afraid their houses will only continue to drop in value.
This is the message the GOP should be pushing. Sadly, they're not.