Michigan GOP Is Setting the Bar High

Want the latest news from the GOP's rules committee meeting in Minnesota? Your best bet is Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, who posted about 40 updates today on Twitter.

Embracing Twitter was a no-brainer for Anuzis. For years the Michigan GOP chairman has bypassed the mainstream media to communicate directly with people through a personal e-mail list that has swelled to 4,000. The list includes some of the most influential politicos and reporters in Michigan as well as national bloggers and conservative leaders.

What makes Anuzis' daily e-mail so effective is its authenticity. It's written each day by Anuzis in a conversational tone with the occasional typo. (You can read it on his blog or RedState.) The strategy isn't rocket science, but it's worked brilliantly for the Michigan GOP to communicate more effectively.

"We get more earned media off of Saul's e-mail commentary than we do in our traditional media relations efforts," says Bill Nowling, communications director for the state party. Nowling told me Anuzis' e-mails are simply more appealing to reporters and bloggers who cover politics -- even if Anuzis is saying the same thing the party would in a press release.

Several Michigan bloggers chat with Anuzis on Instant Messenger. If you send him an e-mail, you're likely to get an quick response. The chairman regularly responds to 200 to 300 per day.

Think Anuzis is a busy guy. No doubt about it. And we've just scratched the surface.

The team he's assembled in Lansing has been hard at work to make the state competitive for John McCain. Anuzis often says all is takes to win is money and everything else. If he's out raising the money, his staff back at party headquarters is doing everything else.

Nowling and Executive Director Jeff Timmer are key to building the infrastructure. Under their direction, the state party has rebuilt its website to provide more information to volunteers about their local party organization. More importantly, they've deployed an eLeader Program that allows volunteers to e-mail their friends and contacts. The party benefits by tracking the information in a database. After only a couple months, 225 activists are using it to raise money.

Michigan was the first state party to embrace the GOP Toolbar, which funnels a few pennies to the state GOP every time users type a Yahoo-based search in their browser. The toolbar was the work of former McCain adviser John Weaver. Nowling said it brings in about $1,000 per month to the Michigan Republican Party.

From a messaging standpoint, the state GOP is experimenting with Facebook to reach supporters. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Ann Arbor to sell her new book prompted Anuzis to quickly organize a protest that drew about 50 people on a rainy night. Anuzis created an event on Facebook just 24 hours earlier and e-mailed his 1,500 friends.

Nowling acknowledged that Anuzis catches flak from detractors and even other GOP leaders, but he shows no sign of slowing down. Anuzis recently spoke to the National Conference of State Legislators in New Orleans about staying ahead of the curve. He regularly prods his fellow Republicans to do so as well.

"We're successful because Saul is invested," Nowling said. "When technology advanced so he could do this kind of political activity online, he just rode the wave."

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Once again, Republican hacks impressed with gimmicks

Once again, someone is impressed with internet gimmciks and believes that it can compesate for the lack of leadership, ability, and thinking in the Reublican Party. 

Organzing would probably not take so much effort is not for the imcomptence of the Bush Administration destroying the Repubican name.  Internet gimmicks would be less important is the Bush Administration and the Repubicans in Congress had not waste six years of control with pork barrel politics and an overwhelming sense of entitlement.

Is there an internet gimmcik and will get Repubicans to think about deficits, immigration, quality leaders and good value government.  Or will internet gimmicks just create more jobs for young republicans who want to toady the failed leadership of the party and will create more pork to be enjoyed by those in power?

When the repubilcans have a solid vision for America, maybe internet gimmicks will mean something, But to be used by the leader of a state party that cannot unseat some of the most incompetent Democrats in office today says everything about how important internet gimmicks really are.

Once again, a case of being stuck on Bush

I'm sorry I don't like to call people out, unless I feel its needed.  Yes the republican brand has been severly diminshed. Yes the party could of made some phenomenal legislation in the true conservative mold. It was a once of lifetime moment and the party blew it to put it softly.  Thats why we are outside looking in, why we will be "pinching are  noses" in November because we are absolutely horrified what an Obama presidency could do to the US.

Thats why this is The Next Right.  Some how from Reagan to "The Contract With American" republicans, the torch got dropped.  Were here trying to pick it up.  I wish my local republican party was as active as the Michigan party.  Here it was accepted that we would always vote republican so we got a lazy party structure (now were a swing state in part because of that).  Leadership has been diminished significantly.  For example do you think UT needs good leadership to get a republican elected.  No as a democratic official in that state once said "This state would elect a monkey if you put an (r) next to his name". ( I do congratulate the republican challenger who beat Rep. Cannon in the primary in UT)

So I praise those trying to get the ball rolling and if the gimmick creates unity and allows for heatlhy discourse of our ideas, then I'm cool with it. 

Gimmicks create failure

The reason why Gimmicks need to be a minor issue is that too many Republicans believe that gimmicks is all that is needed as a politicians.

I have not heard of any gimmicks that will regain credibility of fiscal issues, personal freedom issues, education, crime, transportation, immigration.  It seems like as long as the Karl Rove wannabes talk about gimmicks, they have a reason to avoid policy discussions.

When the Republicans decide that they either want to be a conservative party or the me too big government party, then they use gimmicks to get people elected.  Until political leaders decide what their vision is for America, leave the gimmicks at home and put in the work in defining what needs to be done.



Maybe Merriam-Webster can help out here

Main Entry:


1gim·mick Listen to the pronunciation of 1gimmick
origin unknown


1 a: a mechanical device for secretly and dishonestly controlling gambling apparatus b: an ingenious or novel mechanical device : gadget2 a: an important feature that is not immediately apparent : catch b: an ingenious and usually new scheme or angle c: a trick or device used to attract business or attention <a marketing gimmick>

thanks merriam http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gimmick


I really don't see how using a gop toolbar to increase local funding is a bad thing, but it could be construed as a gimmick.

As for knocking on doors, showing up at meetings, and/or using the internet to network its still hard work.  It sounds like to me that Anuzis is working hard and not gimmicking the party forward.  I think hardwork is essential to good leadership and Anuzis is doing his part to get the ball rolling.  We as conservative all need to roll up our sleeves and get the ball rolling.

I congratulate Rob Bluey for taking the time to highlight to us this example of hardwork.  I also felt it was a well written article; and I hope other such articles will be written to help inspire us to use new technology to get conservatives to be more active in politics.

what the point of gimmicks

What too many Karl Rove wannbes seem to believe is that social networking or internet organizing can make up for Ted Stevens being a crook or for Mitch McConnel for being a big time pork barreler or for most of the Republican leadership being devoid of leadership ability.

What is the point of having a great sells plan if the party has nothing worth selling.  Internet gimmicks just seem to give all of the pundit/Karl Rove wannabes something to sell instead of working on a coherent political view and sells itself.

As long as people are amazed with gimmicks, the hardwork is put off again.