Monday, January 23, 2012

Newt the Policy Wonk

Policy Wonk-in-Chief

Newt Gingrich won in South Carolina, and has jumped to the top of the polls based on his attacks on the mainstream media and his fellow Republicans.

He might well be the Republican nominee if this trend continues.

And if he is the chosen as the nominee, we will certainly lose to Barack Obama.


Here is a short quote from his South Carolina victory speech:

"One of the key issues is the growing anti-religious bigotry of our elites, and if you go to, my campaign site there’s a 54-page paper there on the balance of power"

Really??  A 54- page paper?!?!  Golly, Newt!!

The vast majority of Americans don't even know basic civics facts like the name of their Congressmen.  Most Americans have never visited any political website, never mind studying the issues and poring through policy papers.  The sad fact is most people get their information from headlines, snippets, and sound bites.

Newt's big inspirational victory message is 'go read my policy paper'.

This is the message of a policy wonk, not a real leader.

Jefferson: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance"
Roosevelt: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"
Reagan: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Newt: "Download my 54-page policy paper!"

People would be more likely to go read it if he said 'I have a 54 word policy paper'.

Newt should have said:

One of the defining issues of this election is the growing anti-religious bigotry in this country.  We have the media and the judiciary relentlessly attacking religious freedom.   As an example, we have a judge in Texas threatening to throw people in jail if they pray, or even take a moment of silence during a graduation ceremony.  This has got to stop.  As your President, I will restore the balance of power that the Constitution intended, and protect your fundamental rights from over zealous judges.

This is the kind of 'get the government off my back' message that will appeal to Americans.

This streak of wonkish-ness will sink him in the general election.   You cannot communicate with the average voter through policy papers.

54-page policy papers are like a Star Trek costume.  You might have one, and it might appeal to a small group of nerds.  But no, you don't talk about them in public.

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