Tag Archive: Joe Biden

Messaging Maxim #6: Keep it Stupidly Simple

 

A friend forwarded the above sound clip, featuring President George W. Bush announcing his Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in 2006. The point of the clip was to show that Bush and the Republicans were all for extending deadlines for health insurance programs until President Barack Obama extended the March 31, 2014 Affordable Care Act signup deadline. But what was perhaps more striking about the Bush clip was its almost childlike simplicity of the language and delivery:

The average premium that seniors pay is a third less than had been expected, just $25 per month instead of $37 per month.

Thanks to this new coverage, America’s seniors are now getting the modern medicine they need at prices they can afford.

During George W. Bush’s presidency, Democrats made plenty of fun of Bush’s “Bartles and Jaymes” simplicity of speech. Before that, Democrats mocked the simplicity of presidential candidate and then President Ronald Reagan. But such simplicity often works. Indeed, Reagan became known as “The Great Communicator.” For these reasons, we now list Messaging Maxim #6: Keep it Stupidly Simple.

Four debate pointers for President Obama

With the second Presidential debate between Barack Obama and Willard Mitt Romney around the corner and the third debate just six days later, President Obama should follow these four time-tested principles of successful political communication to gain the debate advantage:

Joe Biden Comes Up with the Bumper Sticker of the Year

Vice President Joe Biden, at a speech in New York City today, came up with the political bumper sticker of the year. He even told us that it could be used as a bumper sticker. Said the Veep:

“If you are looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it’s pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.

In fact, The Daily Kos liked Biden’s idea so much that they immediately created the very bumper sticker that Biden had suggested.

Biden’s bumper sticker becomes doubly effective when one recalls that Willard M. Romney both said “[i]t’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch” bin Laden AND suggested that Americans “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”. That’s why Biden twisted the knife by adding: “You have to ask yourself … if Governor Romney were president, would he have used the same slogan in reverse?” Ouch!

Biden’s speech today serves as a reminder that good policy decisions or merely reciting facts and reasonable arguments likely will not be enough to win the Obama-Biden team reelection against a Republican candidate backed by a corporate army that will wage an air war of false tv ads. Messaging matters, and that Democratic messaging must include catchy, hard-hitting phrases that fit on bumper stickers. Vice President Biden proved today that, so far, his team is up to the task.