Food for thought from the WSJ’s Daniel Henninger:
Smarting from defeat by Barack Obama’s made-in-Silicon-Valley messaging network, congressional Republicans in Washington are getting tutorials to bring them into a Twitterized world. I have a simpler idea: First join the 20th-century communication revolution by creating an office of chief party spokesman. One for the House and one for the Senate. …
The fiscal cliff was a big moment, but there came a point when surely John Boehner understood that his public statements became counterproductive. With the president giving him nothing and his leverage minimal, Mr. Boehner drained off his stature, and his party’s, by being the out-front face dealing with the president’s knuckleballs. A prominent but unelected spokesman could press the party’s point of view at less political cost to the leadership.
Here’s another way to think about it: What if the only two faces speaking for the entire Democratic Party were Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)? That could be half the reason they lost the House in 2010.
Messaging is a major and increasingly insurmountable problem in the GOP. The White house and media run circles around us as our leaders flail, give up, or just plain-old blow it.
We not only need people on point to speak for the congressional GOP, we need another half-dozen or so grown-ups to swarm the news shows.
During George W. Bush’s reelection campaign Terry Holt (pictured) was everywhere, and he was absolutely fantastic. Holt was ready for anything, never argumentative, and impossible to rattle. Better still, unlike John Sununu and others who regularly plagued both the Romney and McCain campaigns, Holt never allowed himself to become the story.
Right now, the GOP’s messaging problem is an existential threat to the party, and therefore the country. If Terry Holt isn’t available, we’d better start looking around for a few good men and women who are just as talented, prepped, charismatic, and mature.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC