Opinion

Electability

JedediahVia Jedediah Bila at Breitbart News

It’s November 13, 2013, right? Just making sure, because I’m already getting emails about who is/isn’t electable with respect to 2016. Really, I am.

I’m already seeing “He’s too conservative!” or “Not another RINO moderate!” or “He’s too libertarian!” So, I thought I’d share a few thoughts nice and early.

First off, electability isn’t just about where you fall on the conservative vs. moderate spectrum. I was told repeatedly that Romney and McCain were electable because of their moderate approach to the issues. They lost. Now that’s not to say that a moderate Republican can’t win. It’s also not to say that a solid conservative can’t win. The truth is that where you stand on the issues is a small piece of the very big puzzle of electability.

Here are a few reminders about what really makes someone electable. Let’s put the issues aside for a moment.

1) Charisma. Like it or not, you have to capture people’s attention. You have to be able to make people listen. You have to be able to pack events and inspire. And for those of you saying that you like your politicians boring, that’s fine. But most Americans don’t. And guess what? Most Americans don’t vote for boring, either.

2) Presentation. You can have the best policy ideas in the world, but if you can’t sell them well, you won’t get the chance to put them into action. Yes, a good politician–one who wins–is also a good salesman.

3) People need to believe that you believe what you’re selling. When Obama told people that he wanted to usher in transparency, hope, and change, people believed that he meant it. When he talked about wealth redistribution, left-wing activists believed that he was passionate enough about it to make it happen. If you’re running on a GOP ticket and talking conservatism like it’s your third or fourth language, you’re probably not going to win.

4) Likability. People–especially young people–like politicians they’d want to have lunch with. It’s just the truth. You can ignore the truth and keep losing elections, or acknowledge it and start winning. You don’t have to like reality, but you have to live in it if you want to succeed.

So, it’s not just about how moderate or conservative a candidate is. Sure, policy plays a role. But these politicians are people. They’re just people. And when most Americans look at them, they don’t just see policy. They see a woman or man they do or don’t believe, they do or don’t like, and they do or don’t feel inspired to pay attention to.

I hear someone say every day that Ronald Reagan wouldn’t win an election today. Sure he would. You know why? Because he would charm us. And make us laugh. And yes, we would want to get to know him. Sure, he’d know his policy. But he would also understand that people aren’t just voting for the message; they’re voting for the messenger.

If we’re going to start talking electability this early, fine. But let’s keep it multi-dimensional. Because this cookie has layers, my friends.

Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila

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Peter Kondos
7 years ago

No more RINO’S. We must rid the Republican Party of those who eat from the Government Trough. Northern Virginia is the richest part of the United States. The homes of the Bureaucrats increased in value while homes all over the U.S.A. lost value after the economic melt down in 2008. This includes the K Street crowd of Lobbyist’s. The top 1% of wealth resides in Northern Virginia. We must get the word out that this country is heading for a great fall and it is directly related to those that have created the greatest debt deficit that any country in the world has ever faced. Seventeen Trillion Dollars of debt. I want any rational person to defend any country that prints one trillion dallars every year to pay ongoing costs without any way to pay down the debt. Please look at Greece and Argentina if you want to see where America is heading. The Tea Party led the way in 2010 by taking back the House of representatives. If you think that things are bad now, where would we be if Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker of the house? We must tie the attack on the tea party to the IRS and those in the White House who directed the IRS to take down the Tea Party. Those in the IRS and in the White House must go to jail. Do not believe the moderates in the Republican Party. They want the Gravy train to continue. THE ONLY HOPE WE HAVE IS GREAT ACTIVIST EMOTION THAT ONLY THE TEA PARTY CAN DELIVER.

George Washington
7 years ago

ARRRRGGGGHHHH! President Lincoln had ZERO of the above four points mentioned by the author. PRINCIPLE! PRINCIPLE! PRINCIPLE! ABOVE ALL ELSE! In case you have not noticed, our nation is rapidly headed down the crapper. As Lincoln said: “It is either the ballot or the bullet”. Folks, we are well past the point of pandering. Either stick to Constitutional principles (which excludes Democrats) or expect violent revolution. “The tree of liberty is best watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” – Thomas Jefferson.

Richard Slate
7 years ago

Well written article, I agree with jedediah one hundred percent

Josephine Bass
7 years ago

Ted Cruz fits the bill and would be the best of all on the menu; I like Ryan and Rand too but Ted has the smarts obama never had and the looks, and common sense obama is too selfish to ever have. That crazy ole mccain should go home.

Marie
7 years ago

All of this talk about who the ‘Republican Party’ is going to pick to run. It’s time we inundate Reince Priebus with protests of ‘moderates’ the party thinks can win. Also, McConnell and Boehner are the first we need to replace. McConnell has a challenger, Matt Bevin, who can only win with enough money to beat out McConnell. Here’s a short article about him. http://www.glennbeck.com/2013/10/18/sen-mitch-mcconnells-primary-challenger-matt-bevin-speaks-out-about-the-kentucky-kickback/ We must learn about him and if we like him, support him. We need to get all conservatives on the same page. It’s the only way we can beat the Republican Party’s moderate candidates. The current group of moderates get a lot of money. We can only challenge them money. They have to be able to fight back. When we choose our candidates, we must send $5.00 to $1000 dollars based on our ability to give. I am not from KY but that doesn’t mean I can’t support someone there. The Senate Conservatives pick good candidates and I trust them right now. Freedom Works, Glenn Beck, and other groups also make sound choices. Make this your New Year’s resolution. At least it will be one you can keep!

Robert R.
7 years ago

Many good comments of wide birth. One thing missing folks, the clandestine media backing anyone against America.
Because of the media’s support of Obama’s liberal and socialistic stance, the Congress of these United States turned
socialist failed to impeach Obama time and again. Excellent article reflects a former standard of what it took to win virtually anything we use to call the “Brass Ring.” That was the days when we had honest Journalism and a still-honest
country of elected legislators. All “water under the bridge.” Only the sudden appearance of a strong, courageous,
capable leader, with the character delineated in the article, borne of American faith and belief in this nation, vocalizing
his (or her) willingness to cast hie (or her) shadow across this nation come “hell or high water” can stand an iota of a
chance to make people take notice and follow. Nothing less than such a person can make a ripple in a healthy change
“back” from whence we came via Obama and his stealthy crew determined to change this nation for all time. That
“someone leader” needs to be able to knock out the forthcoming casting of H. Clinton that is going on.
The task we are in and face ahead of us is clearly insurmountable. We all need to appeal to a higher providential power, for we, as a nation, have proven ourselves incapable of accomplishing anything worthwhile because we have denuded ourselves and lost our 237 year old Christian identity. We must have an honest-to-goodness, God-fearing leader to soon stand tall, or we will have forever lost our two-party system and continue to develop a one-party dictatorship with enslavement of the people – at the same time burying our precious Constitution. No one should take our present national predicament lightly as half the citizens of this country have been bought with freebies by those presently in office at the expense of those who uphold American life through incentives and honest labor. God bless America and all who believe in her!

Arthur
7 years ago

The deciding factor is always who can lie the best. The masses never have been and never will be interested in the truth. Pretty lies are much more alluring than ugly truths and telling the truth is the surest way to lose an election. It’s been that way since Eden.

CAPT Smith
7 years ago

I have a few observations that I believe are true and apply here:

1. In recent years, Republicans have run for office as conservatives, but governed as moderates once elected. Democrats run as centrists, then govern as liberals. We haven’t had a true social and fiscal conservative governing since Ronald Reagan….and even he was led astray at times by liberal Democrats and Moderate Republicans.

2. I knew Mitt Romney would be the Republican from a long way off. How? The way all other Republican candidates were, one by one, ripped to shreds by the mainstream media while Romney was generally left alone or praised as a great Republican choice. Once the more conservative Republicans were destroyed as candidates, the media then turned its venom machine on Romney. Who is the mainstream media saying would be an electable, likeable, moderate Republican now? Why, Chris Christie of course. And who is being demonized? Ted Cruz. Which of these two do you believe the media and Democrats fear the most?

bill
7 years ago
Reply to  CAPT Smith

…you nailed it my friend !

the last one they want to see in the run is Cruz.

KarenFaye
7 years ago
Reply to  bill

They were afraid of Herman Cain, too — and they made sure to dig up a false slur to get him out of the running. Anyone who poses a threat will be severely tested – they’ll be slandered, threatened, made fools of, and only the purest and strongest will survive. The Democrat mafia often proves stronger than the honest, well meaning person.

Dave
7 years ago
Reply to  bill

Bill, No The LAST One They Want To See Running Is Sarah Palin!!! Have You Seen The Huge Crowds She Has Drawn In The Past, And The Huge Enthusiastic Numbers She Is Drawing On Her Current Book Signing Tour? She Loves America, She Really Connects With REAL Republicans, (Not RINO’s) Democrats, Independents, People Of All Ages And Backgrounds! People Recognize Her Honesty, Integrity, Common Sense, Her Steel Spine, And Her Proven Record As Governor In Alaska! (90% Approval Rating At One Time) NO Other Presidential Candidate Even Comes Close To Her Charisma!!! She Will Win If All The Voter Fraud Is Eliminated!!! And America NEEDS HER!!! She’s The ONLY One That Can Get Us Out Of This Mess!!!

Junk Bin
7 years ago

While campaigning remember R.Reagan,” Never speak ill of another Republican.” Unity is one of the biggest problems with Republicans. Do not start with the chain saws in the primaries. Or after. Sniveling is a liberal democrat thing.

W. Buckley, ” Elect the most conservative person you can in the primary that can win the general election.” All you gung ho firebrand types take note, it took the progressives 100 years to get here. The current crop of elected Democrat leaders started 40 years ago jockeying for power.
If you want change, than you have to do a long term steady push that shows real everyday progress and long term stability at the same time
Put away your I will never vote for??? narrow minded self righteous bigotry and get off your arse. This is time to get out the word that there is another course other than complete government control of our lives.

Remember that elections have consequences and being a snotty brat will cause large consequences, such as the Democrats keeping the house, senate and presidency. also apply this to your state, county, and city.
taking out the garbage will take years of steady effort

Ivan Berry
7 years ago
Reply to  Junk Bin

I know I’m late getting to this but after reading your entry, I couldn’t resist. Voting for the lesser evil is still evil. Voting for the most conservative electable candidate is kinda what got us to this point. McCain and Romney were neither conservative nor electable. Geo. W. sure as hell wasn’t conservative. His admin. empowered the NSA to spy on everyone. He got his “No Child Left Behind” that has helped spawn Common Core. He made war in Iraq that anyone who knew anything about the east should have known would result in a Shiit take over and alignment with Iran whether the voting there was done by ballots or bullets. And Saddam didn’t pose a threat to the U.S. By the way.Geo.’s daddy wasn’t conservative or constitutionalist either. I’m pretty sure any Bush on the horizon won’t be, unless it’s a burning bush. And Christy? For Christy’s sake let’s not even go there…..

PaulE
7 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Very accurate assessment Ivan.

DrJCA1
7 years ago

Conservatism is on a losing battleground simply because of the fanatics in our though process taking the reins. When you equate being moderate with “unpatriotic”, “RINO”, “communist” and other absurd terms, you push away those of us who see no problems with cooperation, compromise, and intelligence used in the running of this nation. Just because you yell and scream “god is on our side” does NOT make you right. All religious nutjobs throughout history have blathered the same message, including the terrorists nowadays. There’s nothing wrong with looking at all the issues from a moderate standpoint. If both sides did that, we would have a terrific government by now. Since the extremists on both sides wave the flag of “I’m right and you’re wrong”, nothing of good comes from the slime in DC. Sorry to burst your holier-than-thou bubbles, howling about “we’re Christians so we are good and pure and right” does NOT make it so. Get off your high horses of so-called decency and come down to Earth. Maybe then we can start to win back some power in the congress and the white house.

CAPT Smith
7 years ago
Reply to  DrJCA1

It’s interesting that you equate “moderation” with getting things done. You forget the most recent example of Democrat “moderation” when Obama and Reid refused to compromise ONE INCH in Obamacare over some very reasonable Republican concerns….extend the individual mandate for a year….make Congress live under the same rules of Obamacare as the rest of us. Sounds very cooperative, compromising and intelligent to me…only the Democrats would have none of it. Bet they wish they had taken that deal now.

Also, I take umbrage to those you call “fanatics” and “religious nutjobs”. Sounds like liberalspeak for those who expect our government to actually follow the Constitution and who have faith in a loving Creator as our forefathers did. Yours, sir, is of the same skewed belief that continues to keep us in this mess. Conservatism is on a losing battleground only because the GOP has abandoned many if not most of its conservative ideals and joined the Democrats who have abandoned almost all of theirs.

Ivan Berry
7 years ago
Reply to  CAPT Smith

The Capt. makes sense. The Constitution was supposed to be the law of the land. What happened?
Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marko Rubio all got elected despite the establishment republicans going at them tooth and nail. What conventional wisdom represents an establshment party made of RINOS, neocons and moderates? The wisdom of a Speaker of the House, Boner (mis-spelling intended). A minority leader in the senate that goes along to get along. How about a McCain or Romney for President? It won’t end with compromise except to compromise all our liberties and freedoms. We cannot even choose our own healthcare anymore. The Nanny’s and Big Brothers are in charge and telling us peasants (or pissants) what we can and can’t do. Don’t you think the limits placed on the central government by the Constitution should be insisted upon by the voters. That’s were I refuse to compromise.

PaulE
7 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Ivan,

The problem is too many Americans don’t even know or understand what’s in the Constitution of the United States. To them it’s just some meaningless document that people keep talking about on the Sunday talk shows. So how can these ignorant voters (I’m being very, very polite here) be expected to demand that the people they elect live up to a legal standard that they themselves don’t understand or appreciate?

This is where we are as a country at this point. Yes I know it’s sad and totally unacceptable, but it is none the less the reality we have today. The majority of voters don’t have a clue about any of the many serious issues facing this country today. Obamacare is merely the most visible issue, but it is by no means the only transformational and ultimately destructive law in place right now. It is also quite evident that the majority of voters don’t care to learn about them either. The results of the 2012 national elections and many of the recent 2013 elections bear that out.

BobL.
7 years ago

From what I am seeing, the GOP is still cowering and surrendering to the Democrats. There is nothing but talk from all but a very few GOP members on the Hill with no real action. Obama is not the only one “governing from behind”, the GOP leadership is just as bad at letting Harry Reid set the agenda and keep them on the defensive. If this is how the GOP is going to run a campaign for not only the 2014, but the 2016 elections as well, the GOP will be finished.

We are staring full blown Socialism/Globalism right in the face and unless there is a strong reversal in direction, our nation and it’s Founding Principles are also finished. As of now, the GOP leadership isn’t showing the gonads or desire to challenge the current direction we are headed, all they are offering is more appeasement and band aids. Not only does a majority of the Progressives and outright Socialist running Washington need to get thrown out, a lot of cowardly and Progressive Republicans need to go as well – yes, that means the likes of John McCain too. Real Conservatives would be welcome, but real Constitutionalists are what’s needed.

John
7 years ago

I think that Obama believed in the products he was selling and he filled the rest of the charisma requirements . . .he
simply neglected honesty and underlying motives of destroying our freedom by rule of the constitution. It’s all going
his way

Rita Brunell
7 years ago

Dr. Ben Carson and Ted Cruz are both brilliant and would be the best for the mess this country is in. The republicans that are against Ted Cruz are jealous spineless scum who are upset that he knew he would not get help from the old RHINO’s and did it with the people who believe in this country like he does! I McCain is a leech! We need term limits and then we would career politicians like old hag d .frankstien who is 81 and has insider traded that has made her and her husband worth millions from nothing! Any one over 75 right now should resign or we the people euthanize them . I’m in my 70’s!!! Term limits , not career politicians! We have a million patriots who can fill their shoes for two terms!!!Euthanize old harry and polossi also!!!!

Keith B.
7 years ago

The question should not be, “Could Ronald Reagan win?” but “Could Calvin Coolidge win?” We don’t need more Reagans! The Reagans, Bushes, and McCains of the GOP are too comfortable with letting the Progressives/Statists/Leftists trash our 10th Amendment and let the federal government expand to the point of taking on powers that were not enumerated as belonging to it.
Jimmy Carter started the Department of Education. Did Reagan shut it down? Did he even try? This power grab and many others like it were made perennials instead of being pulled out of the ground.
The GOP is “conservative” only in the sense of conserving whatever the Progressives have illegitimately foisted on a lazy and constitutionally-illiterate people!

John Galanoudis
7 years ago

Jedediah, as a Wagner alumnus, I say ” You’re good enough for me ” ! ( Beautiful upon a hill……, right ? )

William Dunn
7 years ago

Great article!

I wish the rest of the Republican\Conservative group had your viewpoint. Until they do we won’t win another election unless the competition is an obvious idiot.

glop
7 years ago
Reply to  William Dunn

Well, we already have that “obvious” one, don’t we?

PaulE
7 years ago

Excellent article, but I would add a fifth requirement:

The candidate must actually believe in what he is selling.

This may seem obvious, but just look at the string of so-called conservative candidates that the RNC has designated as the “only electable candidate that has a chance of winning” and therefore MUST be our “only choice” for the nominee. Not one has been a true Reagan-style conservative. All have been merely moderates or liberals who were given conservative talking points to mouth during the primaries. Then after winning the GOP nomination, they all pivot to the so-called center and offer squishy, vague solutions that sound remarkably similar to the Democrat’s proposed solutions. These nominees can’t defend the conservative positions they took during the primaries during the general election phase, because they don’t really believe in any of the positions they were mouthing. All they can do is either offer up a canned answer they can’t defend in any detail or stare blankly into the TV camera while smiling hoping the moment will pass.

Thus all the public gets to choose from is the Democrat candidate, who actually believes in the Progressive (Socialist) vision he or she is espousing or the RNC approved Democrat-lite alternative calling himself a Republican. Is it any wonder why we keep loosing elections? That lack of confidence in what you’re selling comes across every time. We’re not offering up a true alternative that stands in stark contrast to the Progressive (Socialist) vision being espoused by the Democrats. So how can we expect to win by any means other than dumb luck?

The RNC continues to think that this is a winning strategy, even after losing time and time again. GW won the first time only because of the Supreme Court made the right call or we would have had Gore (Mr. global warming or now called climate change since there is no actual global warming) sitting in the White on 9/11. A Gore presidency would have had us either apologizing to the terrorists or stuck in a Jimmy Carter-like malaise for 8 years, before Obama’s ascendency to the throne.

The short list of names the RNC is putting forth for 2016, as the only electable choices we should be focusing on, reads like they haven’t learned a thing. They are all moderates or closet liberals, who would run the same losing strategy the RNC and its consultants have put forth for years. The mainstream media will of course go along in advancing this RNC strategy, as they always do, until one of them is chosen. Then the mainstream media will highlight every inconsistency in their public record or private actions from what they’re running on. They will tear this individual apart and make him or her the new public enemy number one to the public. While at the same time hiding or glossing over every flaw of the Democrat candidate.

Do we really want to play this losing game yet again? Especially with the country moving faster and faster towards becoming a mirror image of the Socialist vision the Progressive movement in this country has been advancing for over a 100 years. It’s time to ignore the pronouncements of the RNC, as to who is the “only electable candidate” we all have to get behind, and back a true Reagan-style conservative for 2016. None of the names on the current RNC list meet that requirement. Anything less is putting the final nail in the coffin of what is left of America.

Daniel Murray
7 years ago

Cruz / Carson for 8 years followed by Carson / new guy for 8 years
That’s a plan.

LARRY PUCKETT
7 years ago

I HAVE BEEN AROUND THE POLITICAL ARENA SINCE 195051, AND THE McCARTHY HEARINGS! I HAVE WATCHED MANY POLITICIANS GET ELECTED ON NOTHING, AND NOT ELECTED, EVEN THOUGH THEY HAD THE
RIGHT MESSAGE! BARRY GOLDWATER HAD THE MESSAGE, BUT THE CHARISMA OF A GILA MONSTER!
THE COMMUNIST MUCKSLIME IN THE WHITE HOUSE HAD CHARISMA, AND THE MESSAGE, (ACCORDING
TO DEMONCRATS) AND GOT ELECTED FOR WHAT REASON, I HAVEN’T A CLUE, OTHER THAN CHRISTIANS VOTED FOR HIM BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD SPEED UP THE 2ND COMING OF CHRIST! IF THAT GOT HIM ELECTED, I BLAME MY FELLOW CHRISTIANS, SHAME ON YOU FOR BEING SO UN-PATRIOTIC!!
I TAUGHT HISTORY AND GOVERNMENT FOR 43 YEARS, SO KNOW AS LITTLE ABOUT ALL OF THIS AS JUST ABOUT ANYONE, (PUN INTENDED) ROMNEY HAD THE MESSAGE, AND THE CHARISMA OF A BANKER, BUT LOST ON HIS RELIGION, (OF THAT I AM POSITIVE)
BUT, THERE IS ANOTHER FACTOR THAT JEDEDIAH, DID NOT INCLUDE!! CORRUPTION!!!! WHEN YOU HAVE AN OUT AND OUT COMMUNIST WHO CONTROLS THE BALLOT MACHINES, COMMUNISTS AND DEMONCRATS WILL GET ELECTED, I GUARANTEE IT!!! CARTER WAS THE MOST NOTHING PERSON I EVER SAW, (GRINNING JIMMY) AS I CALLED HIM DID MORE HARM TO THIS COUNTRY THAN ANYBODY BUT MAOBAMA, THE “SPAWN OF SATAN”!! HE SET UP THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNIST EDUCATION, AND THEY HAVE CONTROL OF OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM EVER SINCE!! NOW THEY HAVE SPED UP THE MOVE TO COMMUNISM WITH THE ( COMMON CORE CURRICULUM) STRAIGHT OUT OF THE COMMUNIST HANDBOOK, (WRITTEN BY A MARXIST) AS A MATTER OF FACT!!!

SO, WHAT HAVE WE REALLY GOT? ANYBODY (MAOBAMA) CAN GET ELECTED, AS LONG AS YOU STUFF THE BALLOT BOX!! AND SOMEONE, (WHO I BELIEVE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE CLOSEST THING TO REAGAN, ROMNEY) WAS BALLOT BOXED OUT! THERE IS AN OLD SAYING, (YOU PAYS YOUR $$$ AND YOU TAKES YOUR CHANCES)!!! HAVE A GOOD DAY ALL!!

Disruptive Element
7 years ago

Yes people quit nit-picking -If you can do better get out there. This time around there is one rule -get rid of the communists aka the new democratic party.

wild thang
7 years ago

I will not vote for another lessor of two evils just so I can say I voted against the Democrats.

No more Republican establishment milque toast Democrat lites.

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