It's been such a busy New Year that I haven't got around to a 2014 blog post until now. Laura and I just got back from New Jersey - where we did a seminar, and then New York City where we took a few days to unwind. Among the highlights was when we took in the new Broadway play, 'All the Way' about the first year of Lyndon Baines Johnson's presidency as he pushes the Civil Rights Bill through Congress.
Playing LBJ was the multi-talented Bryan Cranston whose tour-de-force performance brought the Neil Simon Theater audience to its feet. We had a chance to meet him after the show, and I was impressed by his great attitude and patience with all the fans. The Breaking Bad star told me how he loved working in Canada, and rhymed off all the cities where he had worked - Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver. There wasn't a hint of Walter White that emerged!
Gov. Christie Tries to Recover His Brand
Maureen Dowd pretty well sums up his challenges. Which probably means...Jeb Bush will be testing the waters in a serious way.
Doubling Down....and out?
Double Down, their account of the 2012 Presidential election campaign. It's the follow-up book to their smash hit, Game Change, which was a brilliant chronicle of the 2008 Presidential campaign. Double down can be defined as, adopting a high-risk, high-reward strategy. Romney deployed it increasingly throughout the primaries and then in the Fall campaign - to increasingly disastrous results.
As the Romney campaign 'doubled down' on his Republican base, and President Obama did the same with his Democrat base [which is wider], some lessons can be learned that apply elsewhere.
5 Reasons why Doubling Down Won't Work
1. The public is increasingly fed up with 'politics as usual'. Although this has been a long time in coming, any political party or leader who smacks of playing the same old partisan games is offside with the voter. When people are looking for signs of principle and character, such games are a major turn-off.
2. It makes it hard to reach the uncommitted voter. Although it's vitally important to keep a political party's base onside the name of the game is the middle class voter who is worried about jobs and the economy. Doubling down on the base makes no effort to 'cross the chasm' to reach the uncommitted voter who is not politically invested.
3. The political zeitgeist is undergoing a profound change. Personal attacks and cheap shots have lost their 'appeal'. Although they can gain headlines, getting personal is reminiscent of school yard bullies. Although it doesn't automatically show up in polls, when the public sees someone who represents change, not only in policies, but in vision and tone, they leap to it. Witness Obama in 2008 and - for a limited time in 2012-13 - Gov. Chris Christie. North of the border, Justin Trudeau is betting that his 'non-partisan' messaging and actions such as his Senate initiative will position him as less partisan and more in tune with the political zeitgeist.
Award for Communications Excellence. The Awards Ceremony will be held on April 7th and I will proudly be there along with her.
On a final note.....Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people...
Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, with the events unfolding in Kiev leading to the removal of the President by the Ukrainian Parliament and the ordering of an election, I couldn't help but think back about five years when Laura and I were in Kiev and conducted three seminars for the three main courts of Ukraine. Hopefully, part of the new revolution will ensure that the rule of law will prevail, with an independent judiciary. Our thoughts and best wishes are for the Ukrainian people as they go through this historic revolution.
So for now, it's off to Saskatchewan - where it's a dry cold - and we will see you all soon!
Until next time....