It is becoming increasingly apparent that Todd Akin is unlikely to withdraw from the race in Missouri. I’m thinking if he isn’t out by the convention it pretty much is it.
So if you are Todd Akin’s campaign manager the problem is to win. You have the GOP unwilling to back you, the left using you as a poster boy for their cause and Claire McCasKill now the only person in the Democrat party that actually has a reason for optimism. The problem is message money and volunteers. Here is what I would do if I was running this campaign:
Plan A: Right to Life on steroids:
Since you can’t avoid the issue be THE man on abortion. Talk about the potential of each child and give examples of those who have achieved. Be the most anti-abortion candidate you can be, and challenge Claire McCaskill on it:
1. Challenge her, since Abortion is disproportionately pushed in the minority communities ask her why? Tie abortion to the whole picking winners and losers business.
2. As her about sex selective abortion, call it the real war on women and ask her if she believes in it or would support it?
3. Ask her about if she would support abortion based on sexual preference
4. Point to the difference in solutions Obama & McCaskill abortion abortion abortion and contrast that with solutions like Visitation House (or the equivalent in Missouri)
5. Challenge her to answer when live begins, point out Obama said it was above his pay grade, as her if it is above hers.
To the pregnant mother Obama & McCaskill say of your child: No you can’t get out of poverty, no you can’t get a good education, no you can’t grade in college and no you can’t make you can’t grow up be educated but I say Yes you can!
This plan serves two purposes, it makes the best of the Abortion issues and will also energize right to life people nationwide both in terms of the pocketbook and in terms of volunteers.
The tag line should be: “Barack Obama and Claire McCaskill are picking winners and losers on the economy, with Obamacare they are picking winners and losers on healthcare and with their radical pro-abortion agenda they are even picking winners and losers on life itself.”
Plan B: Pound McCaskill on the Economy & Obama
For all of the grief you have gotten none of the underlying issues that were a problem for McCaskill are still there. The economy, Obamacare, unemployment the lot. Push this message and deliver it in a way the media can’t separate their questions on abortion from your answer. To wit:
1. I’ve apologized my ill advised words, will Claire McCaskill apologize for her ill advised votes for Obama’s stimilus
2. I’ve renounced my statements, will Claire McCaskill renounce her vote on Obamacare?
3. I’ve agreed my words were based on bad information. When will Claire McCaskill agree her votes for Obama’s Economic programs were based on bad info.
At every turn contrast your poor words with her poor actions. And make sure it’s impossible to pull one line from the other.
Your tag line should be: “I’ve apologized to the people of Missouri for my words which hurt feelings, when will Claire McCaskill apologize to the people of Missouri for the votes that she cast that have hurt their pocketbooks?”
Plan C: Free Media & Debates
Since you are going to be low on money the thing to do is be everywhere on free media. You are an interview that a lot of people want and every single member of hte media is looking to trip you up. Go on ALL OF THEM. Use Plan B and make every question asked about Abortion answered by an attack on McCaskill. And challenge Claire McCaskill to debates EVERY SINGLE DAY. The last things she wants is a debate on her record. And if she ducks (and she will) play that up.
Your tag line should be: “Claire McCaskill urged me to stay in the race, yet she won’t show up for it.”
Plan D: Onward Huckabee/Christian/Profile soldiers
Plans a-c all involve campaigning, the other problem is manpower and money.
The GOP can’t and won’t give to you, but that doesn’t stop the grass roots. Here is are the people you should tap.
1. Cultivate Right to life Remind them that McCasKill’s vote is a vote to confirm justices who will support Abortion. They know the stakes and also know that the media can’t treat them much worse then they already do.
2. Huckabee: Mike Huckabee has been one of the few members of the GOP to publicly support the Akin campaign. Turn to him whole hog both publicly and privately. Point out that his evangelical pro-life base is your base. If he can bring you over the finish line it will be HIS win, not the GOP’s. That is going to have some appeal.
3. SuperPac: Since no GOP candidate associated with the party can give you time or money and none of the mainline superpacs will donate, you will need to form one of your own , a 501c(4) along the lines of Patriot Majority on the left.
I’m not personally a fan of non-disclosure but in this case it’s the only way to draw on the money out there. And there WILL be the money with the senate at stake.
The tag line is: “What will cost you more. A few dollars of your money or six years of Claire McCaskill in the senate.?”
Plan E: Obama’s economy + Clinton socially = Claire McCaskill
The DNC has decided to go whole hog against you in their convention. Well go whole hog on them back.
1. When they claim you are part of a war on women ask them, what is worse for womem? The words you’ve already apologized for or the policies Barack Obama & Claire McCaskill have pushed and promise to continue?
2. When they claim you treat rape lightly ask them what is worse, the words you’ve apologized for or the actions of Bill Clinton, their keynote speaker.
3. Point out that Claire McCaskill has said the following about Bill Clinton:
“I think he’s been a great leader but I don’t want my daughter near him.”
Call on both McCaskill and the DNC to dis-invite Bill Clinton from the Democrat convention and if they don’t play that up.
Your tagline should be: “Claire McCaskill & the DNC talk the ‘War on women’. The Real war on Women are the policies of Barack Obama and the actions of Bill Clinton”
Can these tactics win the day? I don’t know, but they are the best cards Akin has and if he doesn’t pull out of the race, they are the ones he should play.
Update: While even with my plan for Akin it would be a tough slog I feel much better about Mitt chances in the show me state, this poll not withstanding:
While Missouri is always a tough state for both parties in presidential elections, until recently Mitt Romney didn’t have much to worry about. Rasmussen’s series of polls gave him a significant-if-not-quite-comfortable six-point margin in the Show Me State … at least until Todd Akin shared his views on the legitimacy of rape claims from pregnant victims. In today’s Rasmussen poll, Romney now slightly trails Obama, 47/46:
Ed is exactly right, once the initial hit passes the race for the white house fundamentals will re-assert themselves.
Update 2: Should have included this bit from Ed’s:
When the storm passes, as it will with the convention, the fundamentals of the candidates will once again take hold and push the race back to the pre-Akin status quo — a movement that would be enhanced by Akin’s departure, of course.
Update 3: Garbeled sentence fixed