October 30, 2015

SOMEONE NEEDS TO POSITION HIMSELF FOR AFTER THE TANTRUM:

In Search of the Anti-Politician (Charlie Cook, 10/30/15, National Journal)

You can look at polls and read news ac­counts all day long, but the frus­tra­tion, des­pair--and, in some cases, rage--among a mul­ti­tude of Re­pub­lic­an voters can be lost in the num­bers. Bet­ter to let them just talk. An­ec­dot­ally, you can chat with friends, re­l­at­ives, neigh­bors, cab­drivers, and oth­er reg­u­lar folks. But the an­ti­pathy really comes through when you listen in on Re­pub­lic­an voters gathered in fo­cus groups, such as one con­vened last week in In­di­ana­pol­is by poll­ster P [...]

The com­mon de­nom­in­at­or for par­ti­cipants in the fo­cus group: a de­sire for someone who is un­tain­ted by the polit­ic­al pro­cess. They see policy ex­pert­ise and ex­per­i­ence in pub­lic of­fice as, at a min­im­um, vastly over­rated or--for some par­ti­cipants--down­right dis­qual­i­fy­ing. This is quite a switch for a polit­ic­al party that has tra­di­tion­ally gone for known com­mod­it­ies, for can­did­ates the voters felt they knew and were com­fort­able with. [...]

In what I thought was their most per­cept­ive con­clu­sion about Re­pub­lic­an voters' state of mind, Hart and Hunt ob­served: "Be­hind all of this is a sense that these people have done a bet­ter job of fig­ur­ing out what they are against rather than what they are for. Part of the chal­lenge that emerges for Re­pub­lic­ans is that there ap­pears to be noth­ing pos­it­ive around which they can unite. Much of this dis­cus­sion was spent rail­ing against what is wrong rather than search­ing for a unit­ing vis­ion of what they want in their nom­in­ee.

Once they're done emoting they'll need a leader, which is why Jeb should just ignore the rest of the candidates--the back and forth is quintessential politics as usual--and hammer home what he'll do once he's elected.  Issues, not attacks.

Posted by at October 30, 2015 3:46 PM
  

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