Tag Archive: messaging

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse holds Google hangout on climate change

Retreating Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska

Retreating Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska

Last Thursday, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) held a Google hangout video conference sponsored by the League of Conservation Voters. Also on hand for the video chat were Gene Karpinski, President of LCV, and LCV’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, Tiernan Sittenfeld. Senator Whitehouse is perhaps the leading Senator on climate change issues, and has given a “Time to Wake Up” environmental speech on the Senate floor every week for the past 100 weeks that the Senate has been in session, i.e., over the past three years. Whitehouse also took questions from the Google hangout audience, and worked with LCV to use the Twitter hashtags #TimeToWakeUp and #100Reasons to further the interaction with the audience. Here are some highlights from the video conference:

Republicans being sent to messaging school to talk to women

Amid their electoral defeats at the hands of women during their War on Women, Republicans are now being sent to school for “messaging against women.”  This type of Republican message outreach hasn’t worked so well for the GOP in the past.

Karl Rove Wants to Send Republicans to Messaging “War College” on Medicare

In the wake of numerous polls showing that American voters hate the Republicans’ plan to kill Medicare as we know it and replace it with a private voucher system, Republicans are doing the only sensible thing. No, they’re not backing off their Medicare-killing policy contained in GOP Rep. Paul Ryan‘s budget plan, they’re trying to change their messaging about it.  In particular, Republican Party guru Karl Rove recently suggested that “Congressional Republicans—especially in the House—need a political war college that schools incumbents and challengers in the best way to explain, defend and attack on the issue of Medicare reform.”

You have to hand it to the Republicans — when they see their message failing, they often stick to their policy and simply make efforts to rewrite the message. Moreover, as Rove’s Wall Street Journal op-ed indicates, Republicans often treat political messaging as a “war”. It is, and at least the Republicans put up a fight rather than quickly caving.

Of course, there is a limit to the amount of lipstick that can be put on a pig, and it’s quite possible that no amount of ingenious messaging will save the Republicans from their highly unpopular Medicare-killing plan.  Nevertheless, the Republicans are going to try, and a messaging “war college” sounds like a good idea. Once again, Democrats can take some tactical political messaging lessons from the Republicans.

Anthony Weiner’s Messaging Fail

By now, most of us are  familiar with Anthony Weiner‘s personal behavioral lapses in his Twitter sex scandal. However, Weiner’s public messaging failures in this case were also epic. Weiner adopted a strange strategy of denying part of the story, i.e., that he had sent photos of his underwear-clad crotch to a woman via Twitter, but then saying that he could not state “with certitude” whether the picture in question was of him. This vague answer struck many reporters as suspicious, and they continued their media feeding frenzy that, within a few days, led to Weiner’s press conference where he did an about-face and admitted that the picture in question was of him, that he sent the photo, and that he had sent similar photos and/or had similar online exchanges with approximately six other women. Now Weiner’s political career hangs by a thread.

So what could, and should, Weiner have done differently, messaging-wise, once the initial stories about him were publicized?