I’ve been whining about this at home for a month now: in a race where Harry Reid should be about a zillion points behind, he and Sharron Angle are running neck and neck. Why? Because Reid has pulled out all the stops and Angle is running a weak, loser campaign that faithfully follows the mold of countless other GOP loser campaigns. Who’s her manager now, anyway? Bob Dole?
Reid’s ads have capitalized on public fears in a big way. He touts his pork projects as jobs “saved” (shifted, really, or bought with invisible federal funds, but I digress) and successfully paints Angle as a fringe freak.
Angle, for her part, plays right along. She spends her comparatively scant media dollars on ads that meekly counter Reid’s attacks, or that try to attack him on his own ground. The very worst example is the string of ads that criticize Reid for failing to fix the economy and create more jobs. Sharron! You can’t claim (rightfully) that a senator’s job isn’t to create jobs, and then criticize your opponent for failing to create jobs.
Angle has let Reid make this a campaign about Social Security and jobs, when the real issues, the ones that got her this far and that resonate with the electorate, are government size, government spending, government regulation, and the failure of the government to do the few things that it’s actually supposed to do.
The Reid campaign’s focus on Angle’s “not my job to create jobs” meme is so successful that Congresswoman Dina Titus has started using the exact same approach in her attacks against Joe Heck in their campaign. (I’m going to address the jobs issue in another post.)
If Angle wants to win, she needs to reclaim the platform that won over the exasperated Right: limited government, personal responsibility, and social conservatism. Continue to fight Reid at his own game and, Sharron, I hate to say it, but you will lose. There are a lot of scared, desperate people out there right now, and they love the easy answers being served up in Harry Reid’s ads. Desperation has a way of making people forget about his corrupt deals and their own principles. You need to remind them, and inspire us all, but it just isn’t happening. Your campaign has become the kind of staid, placid placeholder that historically promises victory to the incumbent.
This election should be in the bag, but your campaign strategy is actually going to screw it up. Fire your whole staff and go out to the people with a passion for freedom. We will wake up and support you.
But if things stay the way they are…we’re going to get six more years of Harry Reid’s machine.