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Posts Tagged ‘RNC’

Public perception and the dusty GOP

In Economy, history, Opinion, Politics, Uncategorized on July 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

 

DIH LOGOIt seems the republican field of presidential candidacy is bursting at the seams, not to mention getting a little ridiculous. At the time of this writing, there are a dozen GOP candidates hoping to sway voters, and the RNC, before next year’s primary season, while only four democrats have officially tossed their hats into the ring.

At this point in the game, it’s anyone’s race. Until the democratic field shakes out, it’s unlikely there will be many republican endorsements. Before that can happen, supporters need to see is how their favorite conservative candidate stands up against the opposition.

Most early candidacies are a function of money – how much they have, how much is coming in and where to spend it for the best return on the investment. Media is critical to political perception, and expensive, but, at this point many of the candidates will have to spend time doing the old grip and grin just to introduce themselves to key voters in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa. It seems old school in a world of nonstop social media, but it’s necessary.

1280px-Republican_National_ConventionThere are too many GOP candidates with little to no name recognition and that will be an obstacle. Keep in mind, most of the country had no idea who Barack Obama was until the eleventh hour and, two terms later, he has repeatedly made history. But, can the Republican National Committee change the perception of the GOP as the tired, dusty party to something more progressive?

Dem forerunner Hillary Clinton has experience, but not in the same “boots on the ground” role as Jeb Bush or one of the other candidates who have been state governors. Still, just having been a governor isn’t enough to guarantee any sort of mileage in a presidential campaign, especially when accomplishments in office have been lackluster, to say the least.

Ohio Governor John Kasich, for example, has announced that he will officially launch his 2016 White House bid in late July. To hear Kasich describe it, he’s earned his seat at the table having been single handedly responsible for Ohio’s economic recovery following the recession. But, economists have been clear that Ohio’s recuperation is consistent with the rest of the country, resulting instead from federal stimulus packages, short term interest rate reductions and bail outs.

Assuming respectable advancement in the primaries, the candidates could experience secondary problems based on their choice of running mate. While the announcement comes much later in the game, everyone is thinking about it now and those interested in the job are quietly knocking on the door behind the scenes.

Hitching a ride on Kasich’s coat tails as a running mate would most likely be Ohio’s attorney general, Mike DeWine, an obvious choice for the short list. Although he served in congress for a time, DeWine’s name recognition is relatively useless beyond the borders of the Buckeye State.

If Kasich chooses DeWine, he would probably also have to deal with conservative backlash for the AG’s many liberal-leaning policies, the least of which is gun control, including his sponsorship of legislation against assault weapons and personal firearm ownership. Though carefully kept out of any published information, DeWine is also rumored to have been a democrat before changing sides in order to make a political name for himself in Ohio’s largely conservative Greene County. If true, that could further impede any national conservative support of a Kasich-DeWine ticket.

But even if the GOP candidacy field narrows, republicans are still stuck with the public perception as a “rich white guys club,” despite the fact there are two minorities on the list; an African American, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and a woman, former business exec Carly Fiorina. Historically, the GOP has great difficulty connecting with younger voters and minorities and, so far, nothing has happened to mitigate that problem.

Republicans are largely seen by young voters as bigoted, gun-happy, greedy and stuck in the1950s. Until one of the many conservative candidates manages to offer an alternative to that perception for a mass audience, Americans might be looking at another term under a democratic administration.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com.

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Of Stuffed Shirts and Empty Chairs

In Business, Economy, Education, Jobs, Local News, National News, Opinion, Politics, sociology, State News, Uncategorized on September 8, 2012 at 8:49 am

DEER IN HEADLINES

By Gery L. Deer

Americans have a tough decision to make in November: re-elect a president with failed policies and lackluster performance or replace him with an arrogant, out-of-touch businessman who seems to hate the poor and elderly (at least that’s how Democrats portray him).

President Obama has forced the country further into debt and is still nursing an unemployment rate of more than 8-percent. His first election campaign was built on the concept of “hope and change,” but his time in office has resulted in neither.

Mudslinging ad campaigns have done nothing to inform the public of what either of these men intend to do about the economy, jobs, healthcare or any other issue. And, for all the glitz, glitter and even Hollywood infiltration at the Republican National Convention, it would be hard to argue that it was anything above unremarkable.

Mitt Romney’s predictable – no, make that inevitable – nomination by the GOP delegates held all the drama of getting part way through a mediocre novel and having someone spoil the ending. Nearly a week later, the only thing still being talked about from the event is the nearly unintelligible ramblings of actor Clint Eastwood to an empty chair.

Ridiculously long and pointless, this scene made no one’s day and served only to confuse viewers and insult senior Americans. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice helped to reverse the “Eastwood” effect, attracting both the African American and female viewer and adding class and intelligence to the stage,

Unless the Republicans can really show how he intends to change things for the better, Mitt Romney is going to have a difficult time showing Obama the door come January.  People simply aren’t responding to the lack of an obvious platform coupled with his image as a stuffed shirt corporate type who registers a big fat zero on the personality scale. Add to that the silver spoon he’s had in his mouth his entire life and it’s a combination that leaves a bad impression on struggling, middle-class voters.

Even though the Obama administration has failed to deliver most of what was promised in 2008, Conservatives seem to lack inspiration on any level and just can’t seem to get out of their own way. Republican Kevin Yoder’s skinny dipping adventure into the Sea of Galilee then trumped by Republican senate candidate Todd Akin’s offensively ignorant statements regarding rape certainly stole Mitt Romney’s spotlight for a few weeks this summer.

Unfortunately for the RNC, perception is everything in a race like this – especially since no one seems to be paying any attention to the facts. Mitt Romney comes across as the personification of the “Jones” that everyone living in a snooty, upscale neighborhood is trying to keep up with. He’s completely unaware that the people down the street are losing their home to foreclosure or that the guy next door just lost his job because his company shipped the work to China. Romney just wants to have his two Cadillacs in the garage and make sure his boat is ready for a long weekend in the Hamptons.

The main difference between the candidates is, not surprisingly, ideological. Obama is the guy who wants to care about everyone but keep his job. He still wants to hold on to his own wealth of millions – yes, he’s a millionaire just like Romney, but he wants to appear like he’s not. People think he’s a nice guy and respect his efforts while still admonishing his failures. But swing voters seem to be uncertain as to whether he should get four more years to keep trying.

As the Democratic National Convention gets underway, it will be interesting to see how the President counters one resonating quote from Mitt Romney during the RNC: “You know something’s wrong with the job [Obama’s] doing as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.” The President is still polling better that Romney in many regions, including Ohio, but poll numbers are not election returns and, right now, it’s anybody’s race.

Are Men and Women Really From Two Different Planets?

In Children and Family, Health, Opinion, psychology, sociology on August 28, 2012 at 7:03 am

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

“Honey, does this dress make me look fat?” Even typing out the words made me shiver a little at the thought of having to answer this mousetrap of a question. The inquiry is usually fired across the bow just before leaving for an evening out. Once the wrong answer is uttered by the man, the woman proceeds to make his life miserable for the remainder of the night – or longer.

Back in 1992, author John Gray decided to put an end to the ambiguity surrounding the behavior of men and women by declaring we were from different planets, at least figuratively. “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” was a runaway best seller, inspiring sequel, a board game, and television programs for years to follow.

In his book, Gray adopted the planet metaphor as the central theme, likening men and women to the classical Greek god Mars and goddess Venus as ideal types. I take issue with this since it tends to lump men and women into categories that we don’t always fit, but for our purposes here, let’s say he is correct.

In that case, what’s the right answer to the, “Do I look fat” question? Your guess is as good as mine. Most guys chicken out and go for the safe response. “Oh honey,” they squeak from behind a locked bathroom door. “You look great in anything.”

If you hide, you don’t see “the look” you’re getting from her. Guys, you all know the one I mean. Every woman has one, fire from the eyes glare reserved especially for us whenever we’ve said something unacceptable. If we hide, we’re going on the assumption that if we can’t see you, you can’t see us and therefore the reign of terror resulting from our unbelievably patronizing answer will never actually strike us.

Cowards! Why don’t you come out and say it. “Yes, it does make you look fat. You shouldn’t be wearing that skirt it looks like it was sprayed on. And don’t even get me started on that animal print blouse, could you even show more skin?”

Now, would I say that? No way. I wouldn’t say anything even close to that. At the same time, I don’t cower behind a door either. My comeback is generally something like, “How does it make you feel?”

This kind of answer is honest with the intention of getting her to admit their insecurities to herself instead of beating me up because they feel unattractive for whatever reason. After all, they don’t really want you to answer the question.

What they’re really doing is fishing for an unsolicited compliment. Don’t fall into that trap guys, if you do, you are doomed … doomed I tell you! Once the question’s out there, it’s not unsolicited anymore.  In fact, there is no right answer and even if there were, it wouldn’t be appropriate to every woman or every situation.

Ok, so now that the women in the audience are fuming, let’s turn it back on the guys for a moment. Ladies, what would you say if your husband or boyfriend came strutting from behind the bedroom door and said, “Honey, how do I look?”

You gasp when you see your balding, somewhat paunchy, 40-something husband wearing an outfit that a teenager shouldn’t even have on. What do you say to him?

That’s easy. You’d say, “Are you crazy? Take that off this minute you look ridiculous.” You don’t care that you crushed his ego, ripped the dignity from his body, threw it on the floor and stomped on it. You just don’t want to be embarrassed, and rightfully so.

The difference is that guys don’t tell women what we really think for fear of reprisal. Men rarely have anything to leverage that a woman can’t live without. Like it or not fellows, we guys might like to believe we are the superior gender but we couldn’t be more wrong about anything.

The truth is that generally women save us guys from making utter fools of ourselves in more ways than I have space to list in this column. I don’t know what planet they’re originally from, but I’m glad they landed on this one. So when she asks, tell her how beautiful she is and give her a big hug. That’s really all it takes.

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