I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: More races are lost, not because of bad candidates, but bad campaigns.
And in my book, “Red State Blueprint: 7 Sure-Fire Ways for Republicans to Get Their Mojo Back,” I spent considerable time examining just how badly so many GOP campaigns SUCK at messaging.
Now, to paraphrase my friend and taxpayer champion Grover Norquist, no campaign is a complete waste; some simply serve as bad examples.
Which brings me to a mailer that just came across my desk yesterday from Valerie Weber, a Republican candidate in the Las Vegas City Council Ward 2 special election coming up in June.
(Disclaimer: I’m a campaign adviser to one of her opponents; so make out of that what you will.)
Valerie’s campaign slogan: “Putting Our Community First.”
Ugh. Lame-o to the extreme-o.
This slogan means nothing because it says nothing. Unless she’s trying to say her opponent(s) will NOT “put our community first.” But if that’s what she’s trying to say…she didn’t say it.
This is nothing but generic fluff. ANY candidate from either party could slap that slogan under their name and get away with it.
Wait. It gets worse…
In big bold print, the outside of the mailer declares…
Our families deserve a fighter who will…
…make our neighborhoods safer.
…work with small businesses.
….make people a priority.
Make our neighborhoods safer? How? She doesn’t say.
Work with small businesses? Can you be a little more vague? I mean, what candidate WON’T claim they’ll “work with small businesses?
Make people a priority? Seriously? Really goin’ out on a limb with that campaign promise, huh?
Valerie goes on to state that she’ll “work to improve public safety, make city government more transparent, and deliver results for small businesses.”
She doesn’t say. Pure “Nothing Burger” political rhetoric.
On the inside of the mailer, Valerie declares that she’s “committed to serving her community and addressing problems head on.”
And “we can count on her to make reducing crime a top priority so we can all feel safer in our homes and on our streets.”
Really? How? What would she do differently from what’s already being done to make us feel safer in our homes and on our streets?
She doesn’t say.
But at least we know that Valerie “will focus from day one on creating a more transparent city government that is accessible and gives residents more of a say in decisions that affect them.”
Oy. My head hurts.
I guess why be specific when you can just insult voters by burping up meaningless generalities, right?
This is a perfect example of what I wrote about in Red State Blueprint; messaging that uses a bunch of words to say absolutely nothing. Pure political pablum.
If this is the kind of messaging Valerie used in her state senate race last fall, I can understand why she lost that race she should have won.
And thus concludes today’s lesson.
BTW: If you want to learn the RIGHT way to do campaign messaging, get your FREE copy of “Red State Blueprint” by clicking here.
Dr. Chuck Muth, PsD
Professor of Psephology*
* Psephology (pronounced see-follow-gee): The study of campaigns and elections