Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

When Santorum's Consultant Talks, People Bristle

At least I do. I bristle at the unending logorrhea that emanates from the mouth and mind of John Brainbender. Here's his latest on Ricky Boy, as quoted in today's Philly Inquirer;

"We do have to surprise people about Rick Santorum," said his media consultant, John Brabender. "And people have to learn the truth about Bob Casey."

Brilliant stuff there. The surprise he refers to will be encapsulated in TV, radio and print ads which will position Santorum as everything he isn't.

- He'll be positioned as a friend to the poor despite his unrelenting support of Bush's moronic tax cuts which are doing nothing to power the economy, but everything to make the rich richer.

- He'll be positioned as a thoughtful legislator who has "touched you and people you know." Hogwash. Santorum's legislative record is defined by its paucity and by its focus on fringe issues which serve mostly to please the Senator's radical religious supporters.

- He'll be positioned as a friend to small business and the regular folks of PA. BS. This guy masquerades (and he isn't alone in this!) as a regular guy, while, at the same time, acting as a high-end power broker on K Street, currying favor with the multi-national corporations who are, in many way, driving our national policies.

- And he'll be positioned as a loving family man. Can't argue there. He has a family. And, I suppose he loves them all. Goody, goody. That and a buck-83 will get you a latte at Starbucks -- just like all the rest of the non-profit people who socialize there.

But let's get back to Brainbender for a moment. His "you'll learn the truth about Bob Casey," is a decent bit of wordsmithing, at least in the world of political consulting where, anyone can tell you, the standards aren't too high. It's essentially the AA farm team system of real creative people.. What Brainbender is trying to conjure is a sense that there is something horrible and scary and secret about Casey that will disgust and revolt you ONCE YOUR LEARN THE TRUTH. This is, of course, just a load. Bob Casey is as scary as Regis Philbin. Brabender is also relying on the tried-and-true trick of, "distraction." If you haven't got much to say about your guy, change the subject and make voters vaguely wary of the "unknown."

This is what we're going to see over the next few months. It'll be glossy and gossamer. Rick and his kids will romp endlessly. The Boy Senator with the wimpy handshake will preen and joke...and, at times, act REALLY SERIOUS AND SMART. But, in the end, Rick's whacked out years in the Senate, are coming to an end.