A few days ago, Jim Geraghty posted a piece on his last exchange with Obi-Wan, his “political mentor who appeared in the closing months of the 2004 election, an individual who had been involved in the highest levels of GOP politics for longer than [he has] been alive.” This is one of those pieces which got stuck in my proverbial craw.
So, I recommend you just read the whole thing.
Let me just highlight some things that struck me, notably Obi-Wan’s advice to pay attention to ABC to get the White House line, given George Stephanopoulos’ close association with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel:
So keep an eye on ABC, especially Stephanopoulos and also First Read and Politico — they’re usually the first-wave transmitters of the White House line. Believe me, they’ve already got a pollster or two who’s ready to bend some numbers and journalists ready to write about the “sudden Democratic surge.”
Not just that, Democrats are going to try to define a narrative. He advises Republicans to be prepared:
First, predict it. Just tell the people that the White House and Democrats will try and control the media dynamic and narrative. This is what they do. They don’t really know how to govern for the public good; if they could do that, they would be in better shape. What they do know to do is use media events to hold onto power, to go on television and blab.
Second, Republicans ought to be using the words “October Surprise” endlessly. Hold a contest to see who comes up with the most creative suggestion for what the Dems might do.
So, my question is this, with the rise of the Tea Parties and the new media and the growing popular disgust with big government, will Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media be able to control the narrative this fall and thus save their party’s control of Congress?