Go For The Gut

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Longtime TPM Reader JB checks in:

The scheduling issue is much ado about nothing. It is the yadda yadda yadda in the story. We will not spend one iota thinking about it over the long weekend or after some targeted leaks concerning the speech’s contents. Chris Cilliza is right, any story about process is a loser for the President. There are 100,000 people who care about this story and their 2012 votes were decided after the 2008 election.

I would like to make one other point.

I hope that the President uses some imagery in his speech. He needs to instill that this is not some dry debate about my ideas compared to their ideas. That is a loser. The jobs program versus get government out of the way is the he said, she said of Washington. Outside of the 100,000 people who actively follow the minutiae, everyone else can’t judge and will go with their gut.

In my opinion, he needs to take on the very effective meme of running the government like you run your household. That image instantly enters the mind and makes everyone think they have to cut costs. The President should appropriate the language of his opposition (like Clinton did) and use it to hit them on the head.

Something like, “My opponents like to say that the government should be run like your household. Balance your budget. Cut costs. But the truth is that we don’t run the government or our households like that. Every family with a mortgage has more debt than several years of their income. If you think of the government’s tax revenue as the country’s income, then we have the same thing. People have car loans and student loans and business loans. The government has the same thing. Americans get loans to improve their lives and are trusted to pay back these loans over time, just like our government. Right now, we need to invest in the future. We need to invest in our nation, like you need to invest in yourselves and homes. Let’s get people back to work, increase their skills, increase their value to employers, improve the economy. My opponents want to balance the books right now. Just like the banks who want to foreclose right now. We need to act now to improve our future. I see America rising higher than it ever has because we are the dynamic people on the planet. Let’s get our people back to work, let’s invest in ourselves. Let’s increase the mortgage to improve our house, our nation.”

This imagery works really well with other programs to cut, like, “Cuts to NOAA or FEMA are like getting rid of your home or car insurance. It’s a great deal until the hurricane comes.”

One man’s opinion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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