Let’s Play a Game: Political Strategist

2009 October 3
by bc3b

Pretend you are a Republican political strategist. Not those hacks like Steve Schmidt, Mike Murphy and Kevin Madden, who have gigs with MSNBC or CNN and are anxious to serve their liberal masters, but a true political strategist that knows what he/she is doing. Put your personal biases aside.

What advise would you give to the potential 2012 GOP candidates for the next 24 months? What strengths would you play up? What weaknesses would you try to mask? How would you try to change their image? How would you advise them to handle the 2010 mid-term elections? How would you suggest they handle the media?

Here are the potential candidates that I am aware of:

  • Bobby Jindal
  • Jim DeMint
  • John Kasich
  • John Thune
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Mike Pance
  • Mitt Romney
  • Rick Perry
  • Sarah Palin
  • Tim Pawlenty
  • Add any others that you feel are potential candidates.

Let’s limit this to playing political strategist and paut everything else on Open Line Saturday.

I’ll go last.

30 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 October 3 6:30 am
    phineas gage permalink

    I will keep this at a two-word limit:

    Bobby Jindal–not yet
    Huckabee–go away
    Mitt Romney–it’s over
    Rick Perry–um, who?
    Sarah Palin–power rising
    Tim Pawlenty–McCain redux

    I would like to see Jim DeMint consider running.

  2. 2009 October 3 6:32 am

    Mike pence

    John thune

    Pete sessions

    John kasich

  3. 2009 October 3 6:38 am
    bc3b permalink

    IP –

    Don’t you mean Jeff Sessions?

  4. 2009 October 3 6:41 am
    drdog09 permalink

    How about food analogies?

    # Bobby Jindal – The temperature thingy hasn’t popped on this one. Back in the oven you go.
    # Mike Huckabee – Too long under the heat lamp. Be in tomorrows corn beef hash.
    # Mitt Romney – Freezer burn. Out with the trash.
    # Rick Perry – We serve brisket as BBQ in Texas for a reason, ya hear?
    # Sarah Palin – Mom’s, Pie Ala’Mode, just keep heaping on the patriotism as a side dish.
    # Tim Pawlenty – “Oh waiter!…”

    Sorry have not had breakfast yet 🙂

  5. 2009 October 3 6:56 am
    fedupartist permalink

    There is a Rep Pete Sessions from TX.

    Kasich is running fro Gov, I doubt he’ll throw his hat in.


    Thune could be interesting.

  6. 2009 October 3 7:06 am
    bc3b permalink

    I know Pete is the head of the House Election Finance Committee, but Jeff is much better known (at least outside of Texas).

  7. 2009 October 3 7:15 am

    There is pete & Jeff sessions, either one would be fine.

  8. 2009 October 3 7:28 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Forgetting personalities for a moment. VDH lays out what the political issues that should be addressed are — http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/change-and-hope/. See page 2. (9) I might quibble with some.

  9. 2009 October 3 8:11 am

    The term “federal investment” makes me want to grab my wallet.

  10. 2009 October 3 9:41 am
    bc3b permalink

    Bobby Jindal – Wait until 2016/20. Watch out for media traps because you’re beginning to look “RINOesque.” You’re a smart guy, but try to become a more exciting speaker. Use your wife a lot because she’s hot.

    Jim DeMint – keep doing what you are. Stay true to your base, try to become better known outside of just conservative ranks. Watch out for the media because they hate true conservatives. If you gain traction, they will attempt to “Palinize” you.

    John Kasich – try to get more personality. When Kasich had a Saturday night show, it was a real chore to watch it.

    John Thune – really not in a position to comment.

    Mike Huckabee – try to change image from that of a carnival barker. Attempt to develop a more universal appeal outside of the Evangical movement. Develop defense regarding being a big spender.

    Mike Pance – become better known outside of relative small conservative enthusiasts. Run for the governorship. It’s hard getting national exposure as a member of the House. Do everything possible to get more exposure. Again, try to avoid media traps because you’re a true conservative.

    Mitt Romney – appears to be the choice of the party’s establishment and the media in 2012. Try to gain more support from conservatives without alienating the left wing of the GOP. Try to develop a defense against flip flopping because I can hear Sarah Palin talking about how you can’t be one person as governor and another when you are seeking national office. Remember they have you on tape debating Teddy and running for governor talking about your passion for a “woman’s right to choose” and gay rights. Figure a way tro defuse RomneyCare. Try to avoid appearing as too slick. Tell your surrogates to stop bashing Palin because the “Palinestias” really hate you. Be conserned about Tim Pawlenty as he can cut into the “moderate” vote. Keep in mind that many of those who supported you as the only hope to stop McCain hate you not.

    Rick Perry – Beat Kay Barely Republican badly. Continue pushing issues related to the 10th Amendment. Develop more of a national exposure. Avoid coming across as too slick (Gov. Goodhair image).

    Sarah Palin – possibly the hottest woman over 40 in the history of the … okay, I got carried away for a minute. Keep working on developing Palin 2.0. Do everything possible to make sure the media doesn’t filter your message. Beware of neocons. Remember, there are people who will never like you, so don’t try to appeal to them. Follow up “Going Rogue” with a book on you vision for America. Avoid wearing your hair in a bun and, if you can wear contacts, switch to them. This will cut Tina Fey off at the pass. Be careful whom you personally campaign for in 2010 (avoid Charlie Crist and John McCain should they get the nomination). Develop a rationale for why you quit (I accomplished everything I told the people I would do, for the good of the state and my family, concerns about the direction the country was going, etc.) Limit personal appearances in 2009 to make the demand even greater in 2010 and beyond. Keep using the “common sense Republican” theme and mock the Ivy Leaguers who put this country in the hole. Use your base (Team Sarah, Facebook followers, etc.) effectively. Convince middle class America that you share their values. Continue to emphasize that you are an outsider fighting the DC mess.

    Tim Pawlenty – work on speaking skills, become more outgoing. You are competing for the same segment of the electorate as Romney so, unlike Mitt, don’t antagonize Palin supporters so just in case Sarah stumbles, you can be a compromise candidate.

  11. 2009 October 3 10:24 am
    MI Conservative permalink

    # Bobby Jindal-Not a prime time player and needs to be a better speaker.
    # Jim DeMint-Lots of negatives that the left media will exploit. Needs to seem less angry.
    # John Kasich-Needs to be better known outside Ohio and Fox News circles. Like his stand on issues and common sense.
    # John Thune-Ditto the one above for Kasich
    # Mike Huckabee-Says too many stupid things and damages the GOP and other candidates. Needs to be a team player. Seems to be ihn politics to be part of the show like Obama.
    # Mike Pance-Not known enough.
    # Mitt Romney-Ignore everyone and support candidates all over. Continue be a team player and ignore everyone else when they attack you. It’s going to happen. Be above the fray.
    # Rick Perry- Popular in Texas and tea parties but can’t come across as a wacko right winger across the nation.
    # Sarah Palin-Needs to overcome the bias that was installed in the American people’s mind. Stay involved but I cannot see her winning nationally. Would love to see her in a cabinet post.
    # Tim Pawlenty-Lots of unknowns to the average person.
    #bc3b-Too many Detroit connections to go anywhere nationally. Too outspoken and needs to work on attitude.
    #Justrand-Makes good sound bites but has made too many questionable friends on blogs.
    #rightwingyahoo-Too many posts that are degrading that Rev. Wright will dig up to use against him.
    #ip727-Has to change name. Reminds too many people of a nuclear bomb number.
    #drdog09-Thinks about food too much. Needs to worry about the fat man vote in the long run.
    #JustMary-She is way too computer literate. It’s above her payscale at this time.
    #phineas gage-Way too smart for people to vote for him . Needs less common sense.
    #fedupartist-Has too close of connections with questionable people. Obviously has a secret friendship with Oak Leaf which he tries to hide by putting down other bloggers who attack Oak Leaf.
    #Jan-Just too nice to go anywhere after the primary.
    #MI Conservative-ME-Perfect in every way!!!!

  12. 2009 October 3 10:28 am
    aureliusx permalink

    Can someone give me a reason to not like pawlenty? i still haven’t heard one.

    I’m not sure he needs to put on a fake “alpha-male” facade like Gore tried in 2000.

    By the time of the election Americans will be sick of flashy marxism. They will be hungry for main street midwest values.

    Pawlenty would annihilate Obama.

  13. 2009 October 3 10:33 am
    MI Conservative permalink

    Man I forgot ya-

    #aureliusx-uses way too many big words to be electable. e.g. marxism, annihilate, alpha male. Does make good use of adjectives which will help with the women vote. Maybe a VEEP candidate.

  14. 2009 October 3 10:36 am
    aureliusx permalink


    Yes, I’m OK with acronyms too.

  15. 2009 October 3 10:38 am
    MI Conservative permalink

    See-another big word-acronym. It doesn’t matter if you support acronyms, methodists or mormons. Religion shouldn’t matter.

  16. 2009 October 3 10:40 am
    aureliusx permalink

    #MI conservative- too many teachable moments, not enough followup beers.

  17. 2009 October 3 10:41 am
    MI Conservative permalink

    Yup, gotta go. be back later.

  18. 2009 October 3 10:50 am
    janzam permalink

    MI — Laughing my socks off!

    How I look at the list:

    DeMint — has been strong and consistent in the issues at hand. I like him, and think he would be a reasoned President who would not be compelled to reach across the aisle much. Popularity contests don’t impress me — being a little angry is good!

    Thune — He has been on my short list since he took the S. Dakota seat away from Daschle. He is bright, articulate, straight-forward, young, Christian. He definitely has promise.

    Pense — has been making more of a show with his support of the tea parties.

    Palin — is the “firecracker” of the party to date. She incites issues just by addressing them. But, it behoves her to maneuver the next few years with strategy, purpose and focus, choosing her venues well, so that she simply does not flame out. The potential in her is awesome, but her negatives cannot be overlooked either!

    Pawlenty — is a “dark horse, ” IMHO. He seems sincere, persistent, quietly ploughing ahead in the wasteland of politics. Some people perceive him as “boring.” I don’t. He weighs his words carefully with an even demeaner which doesn’t cause any waves in public opinion, one way or the other (like palin, for instance). For me, the jury is still out on his presidential viability. One thing, for certain though, is that he is wading forward seeking a larger platform on the national stage.

    Jindal — like fruit, needs to ripen his skills more before he can be a national player. But, I think he has latent abilities to be someone “important” in the future.

    Huckabee and Romney’s time has passed. And, the rest, are all non-starters for me.

  19. 2009 October 3 10:52 am
    drdog09 permalink

    beer run?

  20. 2009 October 3 11:57 am
    janzam permalink

    A piece augmenting Pence’s possible political position in the pre-Presidential roster.

    Pence woos conservatives Politico

  21. 2009 October 3 12:57 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    “Can someone give me a reason to not like pawlenty? i still haven’t heard one.”

    You ever heard of anyone who has accomplished anything that at some point either:

    – has a few enemies, or
    – has a few failures to note.

    Clean slates in Pols make me nervous.

  22. 2009 October 3 2:44 pm
    bc3b permalink

    “Can someone give me a reason to not like pawlenty? i still haven’t heard one.”

    Can you say Cap & Trade? His position is global warming is pretty liberal.

  23. 2009 October 3 3:00 pm
    BCL permalink

    What’s this about Palin’s co-author co-authoring a book with a neo-Nazi?

    Saw a link on PP to lgf and all the rinos over there were in a tizzy.

    I can’t stand Kasich after his stint on FOX. He was like O’Rielly who tries to come across as objective and unbiased by spewing leftist talking points. Wasn’t he pro-amnesty too?

  24. 2009 October 3 3:07 pm
    MFG permalink

    Bobby Jindal RINOesque…????????????????????

    Bobby Jindal is very very conservative, likely more conservative than Palin

  25. 2009 October 3 3:43 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Maybe MFG, but he does not endear himself to me when he says the Reps need to work with the Dims on the health care bill.

  26. 2009 October 3 5:07 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Janzam –

    It’s tough running for President as a member of the House. That’s why my advice to Pence was to seek the governor’s office. Although governors have real responsibilities, so they can’t go missing for six months at a time like Obama did.

  27. 2009 October 3 8:19 pm
    Bumr50 permalink


    Take nothing away from lgf. Charles, or whoever he is now, sees nazis everywhere. It’s a cesspool now.

    I would throw everything I had behind Duncan Hunter if he made a serious bid.

  28. 2009 October 3 8:31 pm

    # Bobby Jindal

    Set yourself up for 2016\2020, or a maybe a vp pick for 2012, till then just accumulate chits, be careful, and don’t move to the left.

    assessment: potential player

    # Jim DeMint

    Kid your well liked, don’t ruin it by running for president. Work to be majority leader.

    assessment: fail

    # John Kasich

    Stay in OH for now your still young enough for a presidential run 10\12 years from now.

    assessment: fail

    # John Thune

    If you want to be commander in chief, find your voice and start making friends in the new media.

    assessment: potential player

    # Mike Huckabee

    Son unless you want to be senator from Arkansas, your elected political career is over.

    assessment: fail\spoiler

    # Mike Pance (Pence btw)

    Focus on speaker ship or a senate seat or a governor slot, if you want a future, you can’t run for president in 2012 from the House.

    assessment: fail

    # Mitt Romney

    Focus on helping people in 10′ and building up your markers, find some way to get around your RomneyCare problem or.. just admit in retrospect it did not work out well (good luck trying to get over this). Don’t take shots, or have people take shots at other on your behalf, save that crap for the final weeks of the primaries.

    assessment: potential player

    # Rick Perry

    You can not become president of the united states, but you could become president via secession, I say go for it, just beat the living chit out of kaybay first.

    assessment: fail

    # Sarah Palin

    Keep them wanting more, build chits and make friends in 2010 especially in IA and NH, by Dec 2010 make a go/no-go decision about 2012. If a go, start laying out the vision and details of your version of conservative common sense(CCS) publicly. They will continue to bash you but, after 2009 be more selective when firing back at media types. Try to tap into the RP crowd without actually becoming RP, between those kids and the socons your coffers should stay flush with cash long enough to be heard out by everyone else. Use some of the book money for continued speech\public speaking training.

    assessment: potential player

    # Tim Pawlenty

    You could be the McCain of 2012, you have a couple of advantages over Romney that could help you during a primary, if your serious start building an organization. You will need to grow some balls, or start showing you have some backbone when you speak come 2010. Write a book about your challenges, failures and successes as gov.

    assessment: potential player

    All should answer the following question:
    Given the disaster you’ll be walking into in 2013, do you really want the job?
    If you don’t own both houses by significant margins can you really hope to address all that is needed?

  29. 2009 October 3 9:20 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Charles Johnson, the owner og LGF, has become a full-fledged nut job. I am not sure if he fell off his bike, his pony tail is too tight or what, but he’s ready to be fitted for a straight-jacket.

    I am surprised he has any followers, but then Hitler had followers too.

  30. 2009 October 3 9:30 pm

    Epiphany virus hit him.

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