Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A True Story, a Possible Analogy and a Personal Theory

My mother told me that she went to a luncheon recently with twelve retired school teachers, admittedly most of them live in Jefferson Parish. One of them has always been opposed to Landrieu because "the Landrieu's" ( how about typing it as THELANDRIEUS! ?) are just too liberal. But a couple who've always liked Landrieu. are starting to have doubts because of some of the support that he's getting, not just the money, but Morial. I heard it second-hand, she may have said Morial's organization.

Possible analogy: if there's one simple thing Kerry should have done differently, it's answer the "voted for the $62B, before he voted against it" charge. There was a simple answer, that involved a mild counterattack, and Kerry never gave it. Limit to the analogy: Landrieu's simple answer would involve a stronger counterattack.

Personal theory: true undecideds are more likely to be swayed by which candidate's supporters make the better case than they are by anything else. In a conversation in a barroom, office, extended family gathering, even arguing with your conservative friend while you wait in line for a movie, you're not likely to change the mind of a decided voter. But you may well be in a position to sway undecided voters or convince soft supporters abstain from voting. Hardly original, I know. But I would suggest that, since Kerry was too lame to furnish his supporters with a key talking point, it should have been more heavily emphasized on the liberal web. Probably far fetched to think that it would have made a major difference, but I'm only aware of a few bloggers that made the point more than once. I was dismayed at how many Kerry supporters were as lame as their candidate at answering the main Republican scoffing point last election.

With that in mind, I'd urge any blogger who has a strong preference in the election to pick a couple of key talking points and emphasize them over the next couple of days. So, first, nothing wrong with a candidate accepting endorsements from almost anyone. For a white candidate promising unity to turn the endorsement of a prominent black organization, wouldn't even be noble. Bigger point, Fields and Jefferson endorse Nagin.

Main talking point, Nagin questions Landrieu's financing yet refuses to disclose all of his own. He takes money from companies that do business with the city, businesses that would seem to be seeking contracts from the city, and businesses that can't even be found in the N.O. phone book or on the internet MCCI is far from being alone in that regard. I'll try to expand on Sunday's post, but in addition to the Ohio school supply co., the landfill, sewage, disposal and scrap iron business (funny, the delay in getting all that stuff taken care of), you'll also some local names with large real estate holdings. That could be legitimate interest in the city's welfare, or it could be something else. I recognized at least three that I'd be happy to email anyone, don't want to be accused of innuendos, because their interest might be out of concern.

Simple boiled down talking point: Nagin takes money and endorsements from people who do business with the city (some of whom have received some interesting city contracts) and he refuses (in violation of campaign law) to disclose the source of the funding for his recent barrage of attack ads that question Landrieu's integrity.

Personally, I think that if Nagin is re-elected, everyone will soon wonder how he got elected and re-elected as an honest reformer. Certainly by the end of his term.

Interesting point: The two families on Nagin's families commercial, the ones that say we're real New Orleanians that don't just get together for commercials, never actually seem to get together in the commercial. That's quite the unifying message.

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