GOP platform

McCain Shoutout ... AND Engagement

As the Wall Street Journal reports, there's a noticeable difference at Camp McCain since Steve Schmidt took the reins.  

I think some of the recent initiatives, what some might call gimmicks, out of the RNC and Team McCain are results of the campaign power shift, and they mark a positive difference. Although it's possible that I'm being overly optimistic, or too engaged in the day-to-day war games of the presidential race.  (I'd love to hear your thoughts)

 1. Just yesterday, the McCain campaign launched a video, make that two nearly identical videos, highlighting the media's love affair with Barack Obama.  Using real media footage of the media expressing their profound love and adoration of Obama, the campaign video(s) send a strong message.  

They could have stopped there, and the videos would likely have received average media coverage.  However, what makes the effort standout is the reason for the two videos -- two distinct audio tracks with a request for folks to vote on their favorite (after they provide their email address of course).

What makes this more than a gimmick is that by prompting a vote on the favorite audio track, folks are motivated to watch the video not once, but twice.  Two impressions of a message are always better than one.  Schmidt's reputation for hammering a message home through repetition is well-earned. 

Event Alert: Whither the GOP

The New America Foundation is hosting an event called Whither The GOP:

This event will begin with a discussion by Reihan Salam of the GOP's inability to consolidate their periodic gains among working class voters and a new social model under which they might do so. Salam's first book (co-authored with Ross Douthat), Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream, has received enthusiastic praise from influential columnists on the right, including David Brooks and Michael Barone. Following this, a panel of journalists and political observers will discuss the points raised by Salam and Douthat, and the feasibility of crafting a Republican working class agenda.

I am mid way through their book and I am finding it to be an excellent analysis. I plan to finish it tonight and then attend the panel tomorrow. I will blog the highlights here when it is finished.


Pick Our GOP Platform

For almost two months on the Next Right, we've dicussed -- often debated -- a new Republican party platform.  Now via a new website, the Republican National Committee is giving us the chance to weigh in to the platform that will be adopted at the 2008 GOP Convention in September.

Barack Obama's campaign has waged a similar effort, asking for input into the platform on the community blogs on his website.  Yet, the RNC's site is a more blatant, direct call for platform ideas via text and video submissions.

Kudos to our eCampaign friends at the RNC for getting this effort through the traps and launching it in reasonable advance of the convention.  Let's give them the benefit of confidence and assume that the collective suggestions on the site will make their way into the real platform. Who knows? The platform committee may find some of these ideas valuable.

I'll admit that the introduction videos are a bit too contrived for my taste and the signup process smells of a heavy-handed vetting process for submissions.  However, this effort has the potential to be much more than a gimmick; it's entirely sensical to limit Republican Party platform suggestions to Republicans (and those who vote that way). 

I plan to pull what I believe are the best articulated platform ideas from this site and others and submit them.  I'd encourage you to do the same.   

UPDATE: The RNC hasn't rolled this out in a big way yet. 

For this to be a serious, valuable effort, and to maximize the number of subissions, all cylinders of the RNC and Convention staff should promote it -- in TV, radio and blog interviews, to state party leaders, to grassroots and volunteers.  They'll know it's successful when considerable numbers of community and peer groups take this seriously and make an effort to collaborate on their submissions.

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