Thursday, October 16, 2008

Laura Berman: Political fear not so scary these days

Laura Berman speaks to the fact that political fear is losing its punch in this year's political campaigns. Joe Knollenberg is slipping in the polls and will suffer the same fate as John McGrumpy (McCain).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

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.

But in Michigan, 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.

'Extreme' goes both ways

In Oakland County, incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, once indomitable, is slipping in polls to challenger Gary Peters.

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.

"When Gary says 'change,' you better watch out. Gary Peters' plan for change is too 'extreme' and 'wrong' for Michigan's families," warned Knollenberg's campaign manager, Mike Brownfield, in a campaign piece this week.

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.

1 comment:

MIKE said...

I'm tired of the same old policies of favor to Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. Knollenberg represents the elite - the wealthy - the privledged. Knollenberg still believes in tickle down economics. Time for us middle class to get a break. Time for change.