What Sarah And the GOP Learned From 2008

Editor’s Note: Abie Rubin has submitted some superb articles over the last few months. And now he is an official new contributor for C4P. He’s got some great political insights. Please welcome Abie and feel free to check out his blog, The Thinking Voter. Oh, and if you submit a piece to C4P, and don’t hear back, keep persisting. Sometimes emails fall through the cracks and we need reminders. We appreciate all the Reader Writers and we’re looking to expand the all-volunteer team for the campaign! – N.C.

Victory for Republicans in 2008 was not as impossible or out-of-reach as the left wished for us to believe. It was actually within our grasp and only slipped away after the wrong actions of the nominee.

In order to prevent a rerun of 2008 and to ensure that the right candidate capable of taking the necessary action will be elected as the Republican nominee, previous errors must be noted and learned from.

Defining the missteps of the 2008 campaign does not involve recreating history such as pretending that a different candidate other than McCain would’ve won the primary, or that the country’s economic situation wasn’t heading towards collapse.

Nor is it necessary to alter the fact that his campaign came after eight years of an unpopular president, George W. Bush, which created an additional new class of Republican haters.

Obama remains his Democratic rival and the then popular Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential pick.

With all of the above, John McCain could’ve won with a landslide.

Here’s how.

During the ’08 campaign, McCain clearly differentiated time and again between Obama’s opposition to the Iraqi war and his support of the war and the surge as seen in this interview on CBS with Katie Couric where he said the following:

McCain: …He (Obama) was wrong.  He said he still doesn’t agree that surge has succeeded now that everybody knows that it has succeeded.  I said at the time that I supported the surge.  I would much rather lose a campaign than lose a war.  Sen. Obama has indicated that by his failure to acknowledge the success of the surge, that he would rather lose a war than lose a campaign.

McCain’s constant defense of the war and the surge portrayed him as a man with principles whose values system remained intact.  This irked the media to no end resulting in their badgering McCain how he dared portray Obama as unpatriotic.  McCain, however, didn’t allow the media to dictate the narrative and responded calmly that he was simply putting out the facts such as Obama’s refusal to admit the surge in Iraq worked although everyone else saw it as such, allowing people to draw their own conclusions.

Ultimately, regarding the war, the nation favored McCain over Obama with a significant percentage. This brought the charismatic and cool Obama at a tie with the bland and white-haired McCain causing Obama to drop his anti-war rhetoric.  After McCain picked Sarah Palin as his vice president, his poll numbers inched upwards and a week after the Republican convention they surged a full ten points ahead of Obama amongst likely voters.

This came to a sudden halt at the “economic collapse.”

At first, when McCain was questioned about the direction of the economy, he responded in a reassuring and calm manner that although the economy is shaky the fundamentals are strong.  The media, as they’ve reacted to McCain’s support of the surge, once again mocked his reply as proof that he’s out of touch and as not living in reality.

Obama’s approach to the failing economy was to sow panic and worry in the hearts of all.  In his campaign rallies he portrayed the situation as a terrible catastrophe heading our way caused by Bush’s terrible policies (a line he still uses in almost every speech and press conference) which requires drastic actions or will lead to total economic collapse.

Shortly thereafter, McCain unwisely suspended his campaign due to the economy and flew to D.C. to join the Senate in their decision-making.  His actions threw the entire country and media into a heated debate whether McCain should or shouldn’t support the TARP bailout; an act that is now known to all was a bad decision.

McCain’s entire handling of the economy was the turning point for his campaign which caused his poll numbers to begin slipping and sliding once again and ultimately led to his defeat.

There was an alternative path McCain could’ve taken which would’ve caused him to emerge once again as the strong and presidential candidate.

It’s actually not so different from his approach regarding the Iraqi war, which successfully presented him as the stronger candidate regarding the wars.  Simply, instead of following Obama’s and the media’s narrative of fear and panic which require drastic solutions, McCain should’ve set his own narrative at a press conference where he would’ve explained his earlier statement with the following explanation (not necessarily these words):

My fellow citizens, the American people:

Yes, the economy is in a precarious situation and we will experience some, and possibly even a lot of turbulence.  Precisely in such a time it is of utmost importance to remember that because the economy of our country is rooted in capitalism and is built upon free enterprise, this difficult period will soon be history and our economy will be even stronger than it had been before hitting tough times.

I know you’re constantly hearing about how the worst is still to come and that the future has never been so bleak, but I’m telling you, that if we give the control back to the private sector and allow freedom to reign we will be out of this mess in no time as we‘ve seen repeatedly in our nation’s history.  The fundamentals of our economy are strong and we will continue to strengthen it so that no matter how strong the winds are blowing, we will remain standing strong and proud, and overcome these turbulent times.

I’ve told you earlier in the campaign that Obama is ready to have us lose the war in Iraq as long as it gets him into the oval office.  It now appears that he’s ready to do even greater damage to this nation and destroy the entire economy in order to promote his agenda.  Obama is ready to throw the entire country into turmoil and panic to benefit his campaign and help him win this election.

We’ve had greater depressions and economic failures than these times in our history, but never, no matter the crisis, have we had a leader constantly harping on the catastrophe and collapse awaiting us.

During the Great Depression, which is the darkest economic times in our history, Roosevelt came out and said words that have become famous and oft-quoted; “The only thing we have to fear is Fear itself.”

That is the proper behavior of a true leader.

I am convinced that if McCain would’ve clearly expressed the above points and repeated this message several times, a majority of citizens would recognize the truth in his words and would support him over Obama.  Obama would’ve felt compelled to abandon the panic mode just as he was forced to stop his attacks at the Iraqi war, and McCain, whose poll numbers had been 10% ahead of Obama before the economic collapse, would’ve surged further ahead and been the victorious candidate on November 4, 2008.

Why is this so important now?  It is imperative to constantly look back at history in order to see success in the future.  History is studied to avoid the repetition of previous errors and to emulate those that have made the correct choices.

Obama’s campaign focused on instilling fear into the hearts of the people, and once elected Obama continued to use panic and play with people’s emotions to push through his radical agenda.  Bailouts, Stimulus, Obamacare, and a barely failed Cap and Trade, all fit the above description.  Never satisfied, Obama has now played the same game with the debt ceiling “crisis” with the media aiding his narrative by spreading false information including Social Security checks that will be stopped if the government is forced to a freeze.

Unfortunately most Republicans played right into the leftists’ hands by fighting on Obama’s terms rather than setting their own narrative. Thanks to Palin and the Tea Party who changed the narrative from too little taxing to too much spending, Obama’s mask has been exposed. Although the deal passed is far from ideal, without the Tea Party it would’ve passed without Obama having to dirty his hands and watching his approval rating plummet to the ground in sync with the America’s credit rating.

In order to defeat Obama in 2012, instead of simply responding to the left’s attacks, Conservatives must take the topics concerning voters and explain clearly why the Democrat’s talking points are totally off tangent and what the real solutions are.

For example, the left and the media have recently focused the discussion regarding the debt ceiling on tax increases for the rich and claimed the Conservatives wanted to cut programs from the poor without shared sacrifice. In addition to responding to their false claims, the conservatives should focus on getting out the message that taxes are not the solution to solving our deficit since it’s spending that causes deficits, not insufficient taxes.

It can be explained in the following manner:

Many people earn decent incomes that can cover all their expenses but are deep in debt because of their spending habits which rack up tremendous credit card bills for items they don’t need.  It’s foolish for these people to blame their debt on their bosses or friends for not providing them with more money because credit card debt doesn’t occur if the card isn’t swiped. Each time the card is used, the balance on the bill increases, no matter what the person’s paycheck is.  The ABC’s of money management is to spend according to one’s income and to know what’s essential and what’s extra.

The Democrats — just like these shopaholics who blame others – are blaming the higher earners who already pay most of the taxes for the debt that the Democrats have spent us into. We need to go back to the basics of budgeting and decide what’s truly necessary, and what can be cut away.  It might be painful, as anyone who’s had to do it in their private lives will attest, but the alternative in the long term is downright dangerous.

Conservatives must put the left on defense by explaining how lower taxes has never caused a deficit because it’s not money coming out of the government’s pockets, it’s the other way around.  We are in debt because of reckless spending and only by curbing the addiction can the debt be cured.

Conservatives should also clarify the difference between handouts which is spending, and tax cuts which is less government taking.  When Obama claims he cut taxes thus increasing spending, that is simply not true.  It’s not money out, it’s less money in.  Taxing is therefore not the solution; higher taxes are actually part of the problem because it promotes the outsourcing of businesses thus destroying thousands of jobs.

When conservatives choose their candidate for 2012, it is imperative that the candidate should be capable of and willing to clarify Obama’s method of inducing panic in the public and the results of his policies which were able to be passed only because of his fear mongering behavior.

Barack Obama used the false fear of destruction of the world as a means to push through an economy-destroying cap & trade bill in congress that attempts to turn the clock back on modernization and civilization several hundred years.  Thankfully, Conservatives, Tea Partiers, and Palin protested and spread the truth about the bill, causing it to fall through in the Senate.

Obama also rammed through a stimulus package after warning we could not survive otherwise.

This country is in an economic slump and our credit rating was downgraded, yet Obama wants to continue and increase his spending spree.

It is time for a Conservative leader to get up to Obama and confront him;

Barack Obama, you’ve put America into panic and pushed through endless bills that no one even read, costing us trillions of dollars. YOUR Cap and Trade bill was an attempt to destroy coal mines all over the country.  When the BP oil spill occurred in the Gulf YOU put a moratorium that banned any offshore drilling even though many judges ruled it as unconstitutional.   It is clear to all how much your trillion dollar spending bills have done to better the economy, and what the real price of your healthcare bill is.  We will no longer fall for your scare tactics.

A leader is not someone who first said that Obama’s policies haven’t made the economy worse; that it only caused it to remain at the same level. Nor is it someone who speaks out against Obamneycare on a Sunday show but when comes face to face in a debate suddenly softens his tone.

A campaign against Barack Obama must educate America what his panic causing rhetoric has accomplished.  Obama claimed we have the worst health care system in the world and rammed through his 2,500 page health care in which is constantly discovered additional information he’s hidden from the public and even from many in congress who voted for the bill.

We need someone who won’t be afraid to take him up on it; someone who’s done it in the past such as terming the end of life counseling “death panels.”

We need someone who will set the tone and put Obama on the offensive, not someone who will swim along the tide created by the media and Obama.

We need someone who has proven capable of cutting unnecessary spending, created a surplus, and improved the credit rating of the state in charge of.

We need someone whose business friendly policies have increased jobs in her state and led to the creation of the largest oil pipeline in the nation’s history, succeeding in achieving in less than two years that which other couldn’t accomplish in triple the time thanks to her determination to do her utmost to benefit the people who put her into office.

We need someone who has faced corruption and opposition and has been neither fazed nor blinded by either, but successfully battled both.

We need someone who without any official title has effectively challenged the Obama administration at every step of the way, slowing and stalling his vehicle to destruction.

We need someone who has faced the hatred of the media, the left, and the beltway with her head kept high and without the slightest waver or change in ideology in order to meet their approval.

We need someone who is not a stranger to the private sector but an active and successful member of the business world.

We need someone who has not only voiced opposition to Obama’s wrongdoings but provided a plan with what the proper path of action should be.

We need an individual who understands the needs of this country, has a plan how to get there, and won’t rest until success is reached.

We need a candidate that’s ready to lead this country back onto its original path of smaller government and individual freedom.

We need a president that puts America first before any personal interest or anything else for that matter.

We need the former Governor of Alaska to become the future president of United States of America.

Abie Rubin’s blog is TheThinkingVoter.blogspot.com



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