Monday, August 18, 2008

Avoiding the "Toughness" Lure

We've seen it happen before. It's a common Republican tactic. Focus on issue around security, war, terrorism and the like and lure the ever-willing Democrat into your territory.

Lately though the model hasn't worked that well. At least not in the more regional races. Republican incumbents have been defeated recently in strongholds were Democrats could not have imagined winning just several years ago.

However, it is still a question as whether this strategy will or will not work on a national level. After all, the president is commander in chief. Maybe it's just the fact that the Democrats have a tendency of letting themselves be lured into these traps that is perceived as a weakness.

John McCain is noticeably stepping up talk about his Vietnam war experiences and I expect that he and the RNC will keep "toughness" and "tough guy" issues as the theme of the election, trying to keep the economy and other matters off the table.

What are the predictable responses to the Republican moves? Select a tough 'good ol' boy' VP running mate, appear often in public with military flag officers, hold more security forums; basically do everything to help the Republicans turn the election into what will simply be a referendum on who is the more conservative candidate. Guess who would win that kind of race!

Barack in Reno

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