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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Failed GOP Candidate Rob McKenna Tells GOP How Not to Fail so Hard in the Future

Posted by on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Failed gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna is apparently on a statewide farewell tour, talking up what he learned from the last general election:

McKenna, on a statewide farewell tour of his satellite offices and newspaper editorial boards, said Wednesday he plans to volunteer for a GOP presidential candidate who understands the national party must rebrand itself or risk being doomed to “irrelevance.”

He told the Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board the party has to find ways to broaden its appeal to communities of color, women and young voters. The party also needs to mirror the winning re-election campaign of President Barack Obama in the use of data to identify voters and mobilize to get those voters to the polls.

McKenna hasn't appeared before our editorial board—our door's always open for you, Rob!—but it's always interesting to hear a candidate talk candidly about his or her party, even in hindsight. And sure, he's talking about national party politics but clearly the same advice could be applied to his own failed campaign. If he truly has learned from his last year of flubs, fantastic! We need more enlightened Republicans acknowledging that their current trajectory is a short path to irrelevance.

But his use of the word "rebrand" troubles me here—it feels more like an acknowledgment of shitty campaigning than a proposal to fix the terrible platforms his party espouses—platforms that hurt women and the elderly and communities of color.

So if McKenna's big lesson here is the GOP needs to get better at biting their tongues—or adding a Nike swoop to the elephant's ass—he hasn't learned anything at all.

Curtsies to Patrick.


Comments (12) RSS

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sperifera 1
Crappy lawyer, crappy campaigner, crappy AG. Buhfuckinbye! Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
Posted by sperifera on December 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 2
"Rebrand" is a corporate business term, and since the GOP is largely the party of corporations and other businesses, it's not surprising to see them use it.

When a company rebrands, it doesn't exclude overhauling its business line. So maybe when the GOP rebrands, they might overhaul their platform and the policies they champion. That's not out of the question; if you get away from purely liberal blogs, there's ample evidence that the establishment of the GOP wants to jettison the teabaggers and other fringe haters now that they're dragging the party down instead of buoying it up. Given how BOTH parties have gone as far right as either can go, it makes sense that they'll both have to go back to the left. (Especially the GOP, who will not be able to survive any further steps to the right.)
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 3
I expect this means trying Rmoney's tactic of refusing to talk to the press or being pinned down on any topic. Yeah, because that worked so well for Rmoney.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
The Republicans prefer to change their image than to change their policies. Most of the people who support them are actually harmed by their policies (see: What's the Matter with Kansas?). The party has been successful getting those folks to focus on the image instead of the policies and they believe they can repeat that success with women, minorities, and young people.

But they can't. And they can't do it because what they sold their current constituents so successfully is an image that hates women, minorities and young people.
Posted by Charlie Mas on December 20, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Nice to see the usual "progressive" humility here. Hey, at least we got I-1185 passed, and took the Senate away from the "progressives." That will make you whine for the next several years, and will be all kinds of fun to watch. Couldn't happen to a nicer or more deserving group of "progressive" assholes.
Posted by Mister G on December 20, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 6

I would say we need to control our brand. You can't have a moderate republican in the northwest saying "hey, can we all just get along" and another republican in the southeast saying how "all gays are damned to hell".

So, really a set of guidelines as to who can use the GOP or Republican label when running and what they can say, support and so on.

As far as how to win elections, its pretty clear. You have to get your voters to vote by floating a lot of initiatives that cut to issues that will bring in core constituencies. Even if that initiative is essentially meaningless as far as providing real additional rights over what already in the case of the dispensary owner in Seattle now being prosecuted by the Feds.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on December 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
I think making the P in GOP pop with 3d & glitter. That or stop being evil. Either one.
Posted by DJSauvage on December 20, 2012 at 3:32 PM · Report this
Teslick 8
Well, considering less than 100,000 votes out of something like 3.1 million made all the difference in this election, just "massaging the message" may just work.
Posted by Teslick on December 20, 2012 at 6:05 PM · Report this
See how Rob Mckenna really treats women when the public is not made aware!
Mckenna, Is this part of the legacy you want to leave?
You still have not done anything about it.

Posted by Gingers strength on December 20, 2012 at 6:51 PM · Report this
See how Rob Mckenna really treats women when the public is not made aware!
Mckenna, Is this part of the legacy you want to leave?
You still have not done anything about it.

Posted by Gingers strength on December 20, 2012 at 7:00 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 11
There is a very simple, easy step that the GOP can take & still hold on to their warped, bizarre attitudes ("corporations are people", "women who have sex", "gays are ruining America").

All they have to do is embrace cannabis legalization. The stoner demographic is the largest one in America. If they can capture that one, they can pretty much run the country.

They won't, of course. Because, as John Stuart Mill once put it, 'Conservatives aren't necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.'
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on December 20, 2012 at 7:37 PM · Report this
#11, the stoner demographic is mostly young males age 18-24. Only one in 30 people over the age of 35 smokes dope.
Posted by Mister G on December 21, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this

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