Posts Tagged ‘usa’

Playing the “card” card: Hillary defangs a beloved Republican attack line

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

There’s always a risk in trying to turn an opponent’s words back on them. You may well end up reinforcing their message.

But when the opportunity is there, you can pull it off… especially when your opponent’s message resonates with their base but not with your persuadable audience.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign did just that yesterday after Sen. Mitch McConnell accused her of asking people to vote for her because she’s a woman—and said “the gender card alone is not enough.”

If reading that phrase made you grind a few chips of your molars, welcome to the club. For the past several years, the right wing has used “the race card” and “the gender card” as a way to silence discussion of inequality and injustice.

The phrase is a masterpiece of intellectual dishonesty, conveying an accusation of manipulation and duplicity without coming out and saying so. It’s rooted in the conservative narrative that claims that oppression is actually privilege, and that—… auuuugh, don’t get me started.

The point is, that narrative is near and dear to the Republican heart. But it’s a lot less convincing to persuadable voters… and gag-inducing to the Democrats that Clinton wants to mobilize as primary season looms.

So Clinton turned that phrase on its head, with a brief but powerful message in the form of a literal “gender card”:

She followed that up with a video that flipped the “card” idea back at the Republicans:

And that helped prompt a conversation under the hashtag #gendercard that can’t be what McConnell had in mind.

When you realize your opponent is relying on an attack line that has lost its bite, you have the chance to turn it back on them. You want to do it carefully, and you need to do your homework. But done carefully, it can be devastating.

From the Bernie Sanders campaign, a scoop of e-mail inspiration

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

The U.S. presidential campaign may be ruinously expensive, hideously long and border-line parody… but it produces some truly great communications products for the rest of us to learn from.

And this one, we just loved. Here, for your enjoyment (and maybe inspiration!) is an email I received yesterday from the Bernie Sanders campaign, featuring Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of ice cream fame.

Bernie Sanders for President

Ben

Hi, I’m Ben.

Ben Cohen

And I’m Jerry.

Jerry Greenfield

Jerry
Ben

I’m a person.

Ben Cohen

And I’m a person.

Jerry Greenfield

Jerry
Ben

And together, we came up with a company called Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.

Ben Cohen

That’s a corporation.

Jerry Greenfield

Jerry
Ben

Ben, person. Jerry…

Ben Cohen

Person.

Jerry Greenfield

Jerry
Ben

Ben & Jerry’s, not a person… that’s a corporation.

Ben Cohen

They’re different.

Jerry Greenfield

Jerry
Ben

But there’s this problem. The Supreme Court decided that corporations are people, and that they’re entitled to the same rights as people are. It’s called “corporate personhood.”

Ben Cohen

That’s ridiculous. And what it means is that this presidential election, there will be a whole mess of shadowy money and corporate contributions backing candidates and causes on both sides of the aisle.

Jerry Greenfield

Jerry
Ben

Except for Bernie Sanders, of course. Bernie has led the fight to put an end to the corrupting influence of big money in our politics.

Ben Cohen

From the very beginning, Bernie’s called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United — something with which we couldn’t agree more.

Jerry Greenfield

Jerry
Ben

Sign Bernie Sanders’ petition calling for a constitutional amendment to reverse the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

Ben Cohen

People thought we were crazy when we started putting dough into our ice cream.

Jerry Greenfield

Jerry
Ben

But what’s really crazy is all the dough corporations are putting into politics.

Ben Cohen

This issue is so important because all of the money it introduces into the political process influences almost every issue Congress considers.

Jerry Greenfield

Jerry
Ben

Join us and sign Bernie Sanders’ campaign to overturn Citizens United.

Ben Cohen


Ben and Jerry

Thanks for joining us in this important effort!

–  Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield  –