Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Rove to Everyone: The Next Step


Thank you so much for your support for Kerry's Karl Rove. Thanks to your viewership and propogation of our campaign tips, I believe we made a difference.

We're on to something here, and we're not going to stop just because Kerry narrowly lost the election.

Moving forward, we will be posting political tips to Our Karl Rove -


Our Karl Rove will be dedicated to two functions:

1. Help Develop "The Story": Help translate the values of Kerry/anti-Bush supporters into an alternative, compelling story that an opposition party can share with America.

2. Attack the Unjust: To provide strategic messaging to the opposition parties to help highlight the unjust acts of the ruling party.

The "story" will evolve through a series of posts that build on one another, whereas the "attacks" will be event-driven to support the immediate needs of the opposition.

We who supported Kerry are not the minority opinion -- we are the less organized opinion. Let's organize our thoughts and speak from a consistent voice. Let's develop our story of how America should proceed. Let's make sure Americans know our values through our active critiquing of unjust decisions and policies.

Let's make our light shine brighter.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Rove to Everyone: Stay Tuned, Transformation's a Comin'


Honestly, this site was not developed for your enjoyment. This was about John Kerry's campaign getting strategic with their messaging, and being as aggressive with their rhetoric as was needed to win.

It's a shame that most of the insight and advice dispensed here was not used by the Kerry campaign. What can I say? At least "W" has the discipline to trust and defer to this chief strategists unflinchingly.

That said, the popular response to our insight and messaging savvy was remarkably positive!

Wonkette.com (http://wonkette.com) recognized us and put one of our quotes on her homepage, which created quite a flurry of activity. Media outlets from US News to Slate, to the New York Times have visited, and organizations from the House of Representatives to the Library of Congress also paid visits. In fact, we had a 100% positive feedback rate. It's remarkable that so many people know a good thing when they see it, yet the head of the Democratic Ticket could not.

No wonder the co-editors of this site refuse to be Democrats.

It's been a week since the election, and we're already working on transformational messaging for the opposition party. Stay tuned, because if you thought Kerry's Karl Rove was thought provoking, insightful, and worthy of Kerry's campaign, then you ain't seen nothing yet.

I urge you to navigate to the right of the page and sign up so that you get an email notification when tips are published. Tips won't come daily, weekly, or monthly. They will come with the rhythm of the political ecosystem.

Stay tuned, and remember: While "W" may think he has a man-date, there are now 11 less states that support this kind of extracurricular activity.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Rove to Kerry: This Just In -- Bin Laden Wants Bush to Win


October surprises have been working to our favor in the last week. We had "W" on the run, responding to all kinds of allegations for almost the entire week. The poll numbers tracked to this reality, and it looked like you were going to win.

But the real October surprise was one that I don't think anyone (even the Bush campaign) could have guessed: that Bin Laden himself is campaigning as a fourth party candidate. Bin Laden unveiled another surprise attack on America -- an attack without violence may influence the outcome of this election.

Does Bin Laden really want Bush to win? Who knows, and frankly, who cares. But he will have the same effect that Nader did on Gore in 2000.

Nader has been neutralized as a third party spoiler thanks to the heat of the election, but Bin Laden just gave his stump speech and told Americans directly that neither you nor "W" would do the job of fighting terror as well as he would. His policies, he says, are the only policies that will stop terror attacks.

But, just like Nader ripped votes away from Gore in 2000, Bin Laden will have the exact same effect on your campaign. Why? Simple: People trust W's toughness on terror more than they trust you. This makes sense because they've seen him launch two wars, and they've seen the same man accuse you of being weak on defense (and offense).

John, please listen carefully: Your current campaign strategy of ducking the Bin Laden issue will not work. You need to de-politicize the Bin Laden tape, and at the same time use it as a differentiator, or else you will lose the election by default.

People will see this ducking as a preface for how you'll deal with him as President. You see, people intuitively know that behaviors transcend situations. If your behavior is to duck and cover now, they can only assume this is a preface to your presidency.

In all of your final rally speeches, you need to bring America together as you would as President, but also make a pointed differentiation between you and "W":

"When I am sworn into office, I will be taking an oath: an oath to protect and defend this nation, and to ensure that I will do everything in my power to keep Americans safe.

Every President takes this oath, and every President is bound by this promise. I can promise you that no matter who you vote for this Tuesday, they will be aggressively fighting terrorism.

But I'm running for President because I know I will do a better job at defending America. The difference between me and President Bush is: Bin Laden is still out there scheming because this President is fighting terrorism more broadly by including countries like Iraq. That was his decision, and he's sticking to it.

My administration will focus on the heart of terror first -- Bin Laden and his network of terrorists -- because as a soldier and commander in the armed forces, I know how to find, seek, and destroy the heart of the enemy. As President, I will take Bin Laden and his network out. This President has had three years to remove Bin Laden from power, and he's still out there. Bin Laden is the guy behind 9/11, and he's the guy I'm going after starting Day One.

Yes, we dethroned Saddam under President Bush's leadership, but we will destroy Al Q'aida under mine."

You need to start sounding presidential now. Take a strong stance on this, John. If you don't take a defining stance now, you may never be given the chance.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Rove to Kerry: Tell Them Why You're Running, and This Time, Give Them Your Heart


It's time to shift the focus from attacks to rallying the nation around you as our new leader. In your stump speeches, you need to remain on the positive (of course, with good jabs at "W" intermittently), and get people excited and emotional about your future presidency.

Throughout these appearances, it will do you good to have a single speech that you repeat nearly verbatim at every event. And this line should be about -- ready for this? -- why you're running for President. You know, it's been an awful long time since you've told America why you decided to dedicate two years of your life to run for President. Now it's time to remind them.

For this one, John, you need to look down deep for the real reason you're spending all of this time and energy to become President. I can't do this for you, but here's an idea of what we're looking for:

(keep this very personal, so present this as if you're saying it to your wife -- not to millions of people)

"Do you know why I'm running for President? I'm running because I honestly believe I can do a much better job for the American people. I believe I will keep our country safer. I firmly believe that our troops overseas will be better prepared and better protected when I'm their Commander-in-Chief. I will guide America back to a better economy, with more jobs and lower healthcare costs. I will grow the middle class dramatically during my term. And I am convinced that, as President, I will help restore America's reputation that so many former Presidents have worked so long and so hard to uphold.

You know, I love this country. And I really want to make it a better place for my children, and really, for everybody's children."

Tell them why you're running, and why you're better. But this time, tell them from your heart. Don't make it a stump speech. Make it a love letter. People are really looking for a reason to vote The Abuser out of office. Let's surprise them and give them a heart-felt appeal.

And if it comes off really well, we can turn it into an ad campaign. TV and Radio. From now 'til Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Rove to Kerry: Tell Them Your Story, With a Little Help From The Boss


It's time to break out the big guns and create the required energy to get those all-important new voters, independent voters, and undecided voters to the polls on November 2.

You know how it's going to work: If traditional voters come out in record numbers, Bush wins. If we see a surge in new and independent voters, you win.

Let the Music Tell Your Story

Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen is so committed to the cause that he's actively campaigning with you. We need to tap this precious American Icon even further.

We need to ask him to write a song -- an upbeat, "The Boss"-style optimistic anthem that creates and captures the enthusiasm of a nation ready for change. Ask him to write a mini-anthem along the lines of Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up" that will inspire people to get up off their butts to vote in droves on election day.

The Kerry Story: Making The Ad

People are very close to the details right now. And scandals are rocking the Bush administration as we speak. Let's give America one more chance to look at you as they saw you in the debates: a competent, confident, experienced leader. Let's do this with music and images in a TV ad. Think of it as a Kerry recap.

The Boss's song should be the focus of the ad, and should be played while showing voters a video montage of images from your life -- your unique story. The John Kerry Story needs to be the story that Americans connect with their hopes and dreams. Show them images from your career as a soldier, protecting America...images with you as a Senator with former Presidents...images of you and John McCain working together to close the books on missing Vietnam Vets...and inspiring images from your campaign for President. The "slide show" story needs to be as inspiring as the soundtrack. The Boss's lyrics will convey the required emotion, and the images will reinforce your candidacy with this emotion.

End the ad with a female voiceover and large, white text:
"On Tuesday, November 2, You Will Have the Power to Shape America's Future. Please Use Your Power Wisely."

This final tagline is going to be effective because "shaping America's future" means "change." And Change=Kerry. Yes, it's a bit risky to be indirect, but you'll be appealing to the cynical voters who will appreciate your appeal to the American tradition and belief that voting is the cornerstone of our society. And these are the people who we need to vote -- the people who think their vote doesn't matter.

Music is a very powerful carrier of emotion, and Bruce is a very powerful artist and icon. Attaching your unique story to Bruce's music, hope, and optimism will be a powerful message. And ending the ad with an inspiring, yet seemingly non-partisan final statement about voting will allow people to see you as a true uniter. Actions speak louder than words, and an ad of this nature will speak volumes about you, your campaign, your character, and your story. It will make "W" seem petty in comparison.

People tend to vote for the best story -- a story that inspires them and gives them hope. Give them that story, John. It's not too late.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Rove to Kerry: Bush is Not a Phony


As the campaign comes to a close, it's time to close the deal, and lock in the conventional wisdom (CW). As I said earlier, we need to capture the hearts and minds of voters as they head to the booth. "W" is a natural in the heart department, so most of our work should be attacking his advantage hard.

Nothing helps lock in CW like a catchy phrase, an alliteration, a rhyme, or a twist on a famous saying that resonates with national feelings.

In my last tip, we started talking about all the faults of "W" beginning to fit nicely into the catch-all phrase of a "one-trick pony." Let's expand on this, using rhyme, simple phrases, combined with a "this is very obvious" tone:

"President Bush went into Iraq, but failed to decapitate Al Q'aida like he promised.

President Bush went into Iraq, but the stock market stumbled.

President Bush went into Iraq, but created unease, which raised gas prices and reduced salaries.

President Bush went into Iraq, but forgot about everyday Americans and their daily challenges and struggles.

President Bush went into Iraq, but forgot that we had long-standing allies.

President Bush went into Iraq, but forgot the promises he made in 2000.

You know what this tells me?

President Bush isn't a phony, he's a one-trick pony.

America not only needs a President who can focus on terror like only a former soldier can, but a President who can also do the rest of his job, too. Now that things are more complex in the world, now that things aren't going as well as this administration planned, America needs a President who can do more than one thing at a time -- America needs a President who can do it all."

Monday, October 25, 2004

Rove to Kerry: You Must Define the Supreme Court Issue Before They Do


This campaign tip preempts other tips I have in the hopper because this is a classic Rovian opportunity that needs to be addressed now.

The Real Rove will jump on the news of Justice Rehnquist's cancer like, well, cancer. Rove will invade and infect the debate about Supreme Court replacements and transform it into a cultural debate defined by issues in which the Conservatives currently have the popular advantage. In addition, he will try to paint you as a born-again hippy that will adhere to a litmus test for "radical liberal judges like the ones from the Senator's home state of Massachusetts."

The thing is, John, it's not their advantage. It's our advantage, and we need to ensure it's our advantage by defining the issue first, and then preemptively attacking their ability to be trusted to appoint new justices.

You must ask the rhetorical questions that bring all of the trust issues to the forefront:

"Can we really trust an administration that mislead America into war with the responsibility for appointing new Supreme Court justices?

Can we really trust an administration that cannot admit to mistakes with the responsibility for appointing new Supreme Court justices?

Can we really trust an administration that hides behind lawsuits to cover up secret meetings with the energy industry to appoint new Supreme Court justices?

Can we really trust an administration that has leaked information about two CIA operatives -- and are currently under investigation for these petrifying lapses in judgment -- to appoint new Supreme Court justices?

Can we really trust an administration that has had its policies struck down by the current Supreme Court multiple times to be the people responsible for appointing new Supreme Court justices?

This administration made a long-lasting decision to invade and take over Iraq. Now we can all see how good they are at making long-lasting decisions. Do we really want them making any more long-lasting decisions? And this time, on our soil, with our laws?

Americans that are still undecided about who to vote for next week should think long and hard about giving the current administration any more opportunities to make more long-lasting decisions for America. I know they've done their best, but I think they've proven that their best just isn't good enough.

I have dedicated my entire working life to America, from soldier to senator. I want you to know that you can put your trust in me to pick justices from the highest standard to serve our nation with pride, honor, and dignity."