CNN to Obama: We’d like to offer you some mid-term election advice

Awww, isn’t this so touching:

(CNN) – President Obama is facing criticism that his message has gone off track at a crucial time for his party and administration. With the midterm elections just 10 weeks away, the president’s approval ratings are at their lowest. Analysts are predicting big wins for Republicans in November.

Ten weeks is an eternity in politics, and Republican and Democratic strategists say there are some key things Obama can do in the final stretch to restore the confidence of the American people and minimize expected losses for his party.

1. Simplify the message

Candidate Obama inspired voters in the 2008 election with a simple message of hope and change. Halfway through his term, the president now faces the complex reality of governing.

Despite the administration’s full plate, strategists say Obama needs to return to the focus and discipline that helped him win the presidency.

“That means less Professor Obama, more President Obama. It means fewer distinctions and shorter paragraphs,” said David Morey, a communications expert who advised Obama’s 2008 campaign.

“What should the message be? There should be three messages: Jobs, jobs, jobs,” he added.

Christopher Arterton, professor of political management at George Washington University, advised Obama to drop the soaring rhetoric and focus on more low-level policy stops.

“It’s a question of every day doing something on the economy and making sure that the news headlines are related to that,” he said.

2. Channel Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan, known as the “great communicator,” put communications front-and-center, Morey said.

“He focused and simplified the message. He communicated it. He built a consensus. He defined America’s role in the world, and that’s the challenge here,” he said.

Once Obama has honed his message, he should take it directly to the people in news conferences, said Morey, vice chairman of the Core Strategy Group.

“Nobody was better at that. I’m not sure why somebody with that intellect and those communications talents should be so tightly scripted.”

3. Propagandize the truth

“There is a great hunger for leaders who can rise above the political pettiness and tell the truth,” Morey said, pointing to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as an example.

Christie, a Republican, defeated Democrat Gov. Jon Corzine last year, becoming the first Republican governor of the state since 1997.

Since then, Christie has slashed the state’s budget and proved he doesn’t answer to his party alone. So far, the voters like him for it. A Quinnipiac survey released last week shows 61 percent of independents approve of how he’s handling his job.


“Jobs, jobs jobs”? What jobs? There might be a reason he’s not focused on any “jobs, jobs, jobs” message – because there aren’t any. His “stimulus” plan isn’t working. His health care “reform” plan and penchant for raising taxes/fees/penalties has scared off investors who are currently sitting on cash.

As far as “propaganda” – yeah, he’s really good at propagandizing. Unfortunately his speciality is propagandizing lies.

And “channeling Ronald Reagan” and BO “honing” a message? BO is a “great communicator” – as long as a teleprompter is present. But beyond that, who says he’s not “focused” on the message? The issue for BO is that not many people outside of the diehards are buying what he’s selling anymore.

CNN’s Obama mid-term election tip sheet sort of reminds me of when CBS was caught coaching Kerry on how to say something “usable” back in 2004:

In Ohio the other day, he was trying to attack Bush’s economic policy for the benefit of the television crews and staggered through three minutes of puffy incoherence. At the end, the CBS guy said none of what he’d droned was usable and would he mind trying again. Eventually, they coached the Senator into a soundbite: “It’s the biggest say-one-thing-do-another administration in the history of the country.” He likes this so much he now uses it all the time.

These folks just never quit.

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