Monday, September 20, 2004

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a slogan

After months of struggling to find a theme to capture the essence of his candidacy, Sen. John F. Kerry has settled on one: The election, he says, boils down to a decision between four more years of "wrong choices" or a "new direction."

Seeing that Kerry changes direction every 20 minutes, which way is he going to go?
To some Democrats unnerved by President Bush's recent surge in the polls, Kerry's adoption of a clearly defined theme to draw contrasts with the Republican incumbent offers a measure of hope.

It only took him until Labor day to come up with a theme. how long do you think it will take before he actually defines his agenda?
The question for Kerry is whether this new approach to framing the election comes too late to matter.

"He's shifting the game plan in the fourth quarter here," said Joe Tuman, a San Francisco State University political communications professor. "It's coming very late, and that doesn't speak well for how they're managing their campaign."

It also doesn't speak well for how he will run the country.
One of the most visible results is the change in rhetoric. Earlier attempts by the Massachusetts senator at clarifying his message — among his slogans were "Let America Be America Again" and "Stronger at Home, Respected in the World" — had little effect, analysts say.

"You had a lot of mush," said Tim Hibbitts, an independent Oregon pollster.

With the election a little more than six weeks away and debates looming as the last predictable milestone of the race, he added, "they don't have a lot more time to try out new themes."

Actually, they're out of time.

We have a change in slogans, a change in theme, a change in operatives and a a change of mind, every 20 minutes. Kerry needs to get it together quickly and hope it isn't too late.