It has been fascinating and terrifying to stand in the middle of the campaign team talking about the ideal strategy in each of these campaigns. New Hampshire is the most interesting. The instinct/training/expertise of campaign types is to win. The requirement of our shop is to win because of our issue. Our issue is the corrupting influence of money in politics; nothing that doesn’t touch that is therefore fair game for our campaigns. (E.g., there’s a big push by the campaign types to hit Brown on the 2d Amendment. That might win votes among the people voting in the NH GOP primary, but winning on the 2d A doesn’t advance the cause of reform.)
But even within the domain of “fair game” issues there’s a constant argument about how best to frame them. The standard (which I’m reminded again and again is the “tried and tested”) strategy is to attack viciously — as if Scott Brown is the worst of the worst. But our argument is different from that. It’s not that Brown is the worst. It is that Brown is the norm — that’s he’s part of a system that depends upon “cronies” to fund campaigns and then must reward the cronies that fund those campaigns.
So the pitch to NH voters comes to this: We know you don’t like the system as it is. But then what are you doing about it? Because if you don’t vote for candidates committed to ending this corruption, nothing is going to change.
That’s the line in this radio ad I recorded for the race.
That’s the tone (I hope) in this letter sent today to all likely primary voters.
You can track all the content we’re producing and distribution at the Rubens’ page on Mayday.us. Eager for feedback, but please remember this: The aim of a campaign is to produce an effective mix of content in an insanely tiny frame. I can get about 150 words in a 60 second ad, and 60 seconds is the max. The way around that restriction is to imagine a mix of material, the sum of which creates the understanding we’re trying to create.
So, in particular, on TV, we’ve got a mix of ads coming. Some are meant to be playful (though serious), like this Gil Fulbright ad: