Laura Berman: Commentary
Political fear not so scary these days
Even in times when there's nothing to fear but the throb of that emotion itself, you can't factor out the political value of fear.
For several election cycles, campaigns have profited by scaring voters about the dangers of change, exploiting the insecurity of Americans in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks and mounting worries about the economy.
In 2004, Americans re-elected George W. Bush, despite a hugely unpopular war, in part because the incumbent president's campaign pushed the "too scary" button so effectively.
, where we're increasingly haunted by mounting evidence of unpleasantness -- unemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosures and a collapsing national economy -- the tried-and-true scare tactics of previous campaigns are now resonating with the effectiveness of a blow-up ghost at Halloween. Michigan
'Extreme' goes both ways
, incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, once indomitable, is slipping in polls to challenger Gary Peters. Oakland County
In response, Knollenberg's campaign is painting Peters, a mainstream Democrat whose most recent position was lottery commissioner, as a liberal wild guy.
Knollenberg is using the boilerplate language that worked in the last election against Nancy Skinner.
says 'change,' you better watch out. Gary Peters' plan for change is too 'extreme' and 'wrong' for Gary 's families," warned Knollenberg's campaign manager, Mike Brownfield, in a campaign piece this week. Michigan
Democrat Bruce Fealk, in an online anti-Knollenberg blog, uses the same "too extreme" language against Knollenberg.
At this point, the words are field tested and shopworn. Click here for the rest of the story.