Skip to main content

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz solved a 2012 election mystery on Wednesday, by featuring the man who shot the infamous Willard Mitt Romney “47% video” in a one-on-one interview. What made the video by bartender Scott Prouty so devastating to Romney’s presidential campaign was that Romney’s controversial “47%” remarks, as well as other statements, such as those regarding a brutal Chinese sweatshop that Romney visited with the purpose of purchasing for Bain Capital, fed into a narrative that already existed about Romney as:

--“Mr. Moneybags” and “Mr. 1%;”

--an out-of-touch multimillionaire with several mansions, one with a car elevator for his and his wife’s multiple cars;

--having offshore bank accounts in Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands;

--being part of Bain Capital which has helped send many American jobs overseas;

--having a dressage horse that gave Romney and his wife a huge tax writeoff.

The Obama campaign was extremely clever in shaping this elitist Romney narrative very early on in the 2012 election season. But once the Obama team put the Romney narrative out there, in many cases, it was Romney (or his wife Ann, or his campaign staffers) who fed the narrative, doing the Democrats’ work for them.

A similar thing happened during the 1988 presidential campaign. George H.W. Bush‘s campaign attempted early on to define Bush’s opponent, Michael Dukakis, as weak on defense. So when Dukakis took that fateful ride in the army tank, grinning and looking like a kid wearing his older brother’s oversized football helmet, the Bush campaign and the media pounced on Dukakis, who never quite recovered.

Most of the time, you won’t be so lucky to have your opponents hand you such obvious gifts. However, American voters love a good, simple story or stereotype that defines a politician, political party or group. So make sure you help craft a true but negative story about your opponents' ideas, actions or positions, and then look for statements or actions by them that you can point to as reinforcing that narrative.

[Originally published at Messaging Matters]

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site