By David Kamioner | December 18, 2019
Republican Ronald Reagan and many other politicians have campaigned against incumbent presidents.
It is a natural impulse, in such campaigns, to focus on the negative in the ads — since you’re asking voters to throw someone out of office.
But Reagan and his team were much smarter than that.
They knew that voters also must vote for something, not just against something.
With that in mind, Reagan’s 1980 campaign resounded with optimistic themes of renewal and patriotism.
He beat incumbent President Jimmy Carter — who warned of the dire fate of America if Reagan won — in a landslide.
When the Dems tried to go “hard negative” again in 1984, President Reagan’s “Morning in America” ad effort perfectly captured the confident and forward-looking mood of the nation. He won 49 out of 50 states.
Support Conservative Voices!
Sign up to receive the latest political news, insight, and commentary delivered directly to your inbox.
Candidate Donald Trump understood this — and while he went after Democrat Hillary Clinton where he needed to, his “Make America Great Again” slogan again spoke of renewal and improvement.
We know what happened in the 2016 election.
So with these examples as guide stars, you’d think candidates would avoid the pitfall of completely negative campaigning.
Apparently, however, like other verbal pitfalls he’s been prone to (again and again), this is not the case with former Vice President Joe Biden, still the current frontrunner for the 2020 Dem nomination at this early point.
His campaign released a spot on Tuesday of this week that uses this ad copy: “If Donald Trump is re-elected, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.”
Biden can be heard saying those words as images of Trump supporters are shown — followed by video of men parading with torches and Confederate flags.
“We can’t. And I will not let this man be re-elected president of the United States of America,” Biden then says.
As a former political consultant who has produced many political spots on radio and television, I don’t know where to begin.
This ad is so bad.
Former President Barack Obama in 2008 promised to do just what Biden warns against — fundamentally change the nation.
His running mate in both that election and the next one?
You know the answer.
What about the images of Trump voters and then marching men and rebel flags, designed to portray scary comparisons to the Third Reich and southern racism?
Is it smart for a candidate who will need many Trump voters to cross over and vote for him — some of them from the South — to implicitly call them Nazis?
It is reminiscent of the poor reasoning behind the “deplorables” term.
And the last line sounds positively megalomaniacal: “And I will not let this man be re-elected.”
And “will not let…?”
Does Joe Biden have the personal power to disallow the election of a U.S. president?
Some of us must have missed those lines in the Constitution.
We were under the impression that the right was reserved for the American people through their votes and the Electoral College.
It isn’t just this analyst who thinks this way.
Bradley Blakeman, who teaches public policy and international affairs at Georgetown University and is also a former member of the senior staff of President George W. Bush, had this to say about it on Fox News’ “Deep Dive”: “Hating somebody? That’s not the way you win the presidency. You win the presidency by being hopeful. And there’s always a future and something to aspire to. You can’t ‘hate’ Donald Trump out of office.”
This ad is yet another example of the spiteful corrosion at the heart of the modern Democratic Party.
A campaign based on personal destruction has not served the party well in the past.
But in this regard, it seems the Democrats have learned nothing.
This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
Read more at LifeZette:
Schumer Asks McConnell for Special Treatment in Trump’s Senate Trial
Jerry Nadler Spins Possible Jump by Democrat Van Drew to the Republican Side
Prediction About Pro-Impeachment House Democrats: 12 or More Could Lose Their Seats
Read this Next on ThePoliticalInsider.comFlashback: Schumer Worked ‘To Explore Every Possible Way To Avoid A Trial’ For Clinton Impeachment
The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Political Insider.