You have been figured out by the Democrats. It has been a strange thing to see these past few years. You have had the ability to steer the conversation however you wanted it to go. By taking to Twitter, you could get the entire media herd to chase in the direction you wanted, keep them discombobulated, and make their reporting incoherent. Often, you led them into mistaken reporting in their rush to be first instead of right and then used their bad reporting to discredit them. It has been something to watch.
But somewhere along the way, in these past few months of COVID-19, etc. the press turned this on you. Now, they are able to direct you where they want you to go and they want you to go nowhere. You are literally throwing punches in so many directions that your messaging is incoherent and you are off-balance.
You’ve also settled on some outdated messaging. “Law & Order President” has been done before. For the younger of the two presidential candidates, your branding right now is the most dated with a message like that.
Here’s the thing — the Mattis piece, the riots, the protests, the polling, etc. they are all distractions. Every single thing right now is a distraction and the press is using those distractions to distract you. You have the pieces of a compelling message, but the distractions are preventing you from being consistent.
I have a suggestion.
The last time a President won the election while losing the popular vote and then riding to a popular election mandate for a second term, George W. Bush had consistent messaging and was laser-focused on that message. In 2000, it was “help is on the way.” If anyone asked him a question, he’d always give a variation of “help is on the way.” It was impressive message discipline. It worked in 2000 and he repackaged it in 2004 for more success coupling it with portraying John Kerry as a flip-flopper.
The thing that is frustrating a lot of Republicans right now is that your message seems to change on a near-daily basis. Nobody can keep up. Some have given up. But there is a way for you to get out your “law and order” message while also being able to use it against Biden.
Dive into the polling and the underlying concern is the same. Over 70% of Americans are worried about the economy. They want the guy who can get the economy rebooted to be the guy who wins. The polling also shows most of them think you have a better shot at it than Biden. But you’re team is too distracted in messaging. So focus on this. Be the President who will “keep people safe and get them back to work.”
When the press asks you what to do in the George Floyd situation, you respond that it was terrible and Joe Biden backed the policies that caused that situation, but you’re working to keep people safe and get them back to work.
When the press asks you about your response to the riots, you tell them local Democrats are failing to keep people safe and put them back to work, but you are going to keep them safe and put them back to work.
When the press asks you about the viral spread, you point out Democrats didn’t want people going to church, but let them into the streets to spread the virus because they know an economic rebound will help you. They don’t want to keep people safe or send them back to work, but you do.
Every single message can go back to that — you will keep people safe and get them back to work.
You need a focused message. This one contrasts perfectly with Joe Biden.
Biden spent 40 years in Washington and helped write the laws the police have used to destroy the black community. You will keep the black community safe and get them back to work. Joe Biden was Vice President for eight years and never did anything to really help the black community. You’ll keep them safe and put them back to work.
The Democrats don’t want to end shelter-in-place but will let Antifa destroy businesses. You want to put people back to work and you want to keep them safe. It is an easy message to apply to any situation.
China? We are too dependent on drugs and goods from China. You want to keep people safe and put them back to work in America, so you want to advocate policies to make us less dependent on China in ways that create manufacturing jobs in America.
Keep your eye on the prize, Mr. President. Americans are ready to get back to work. You need to be advocating policies that do what? Keep people safe and put them back to work.
Focus, Mr. President. You know and I know the American people do not have a long attention span. We are in June. The election is not till November. You get the economy going again and keep people safe and you will win re-election. If you keep fighting in every direction, throwing undisciplined punches, and responding to every provocation and the Democrats are going to keep you off balance and usher you out of office.
Everything right now is a distraction. The economy is the focus. Those voters in the suburbs who don’t like you? They love their 401(K) and if you get it growing, they don’t have to like you, but they’ll vote for you because you kept them safe and got them back to work.