Here a quiz:
1) What’s worse from a messaging perspective, “the public option” or “cap-and-trade”?
2) Tell me in one sentence what team Obama says is the benefit of passing a health care reform bill.
3) Tell me in one sentence what team Obama says happens if we fail to pass the climate and clean energy bill.
On health care, no simple, repeated core message exists, so the whole effort is a muddle. Obama needs to delete and reboot. Let’s hope he does so Wednesday night.
On climate, at least we have one positive message: clean energy jobs, jobs, jobs. That is a key reason public support has held firm even in the face of a multimillion dollar campaign of fraud and disinformation by the fossil-fuel-funded right wing (see Yet another major poll finds “broad support” for clean energy and climate bill: “Support for the plan among independents has increased slightly” and Swing state poll finds 60% “would be more likely to vote for their senator if he or she supported the bill” and Independents support the bill 2-to-1).
Normally, however, a winning campaign has four messages, as I discussed in this post from a year ago, “Can Obama win with half a messaging strategy?“ Since team Obama got its messaging act together pretty fast after its near-fatal lameness of August 2008, I’m hopeful they will do the same after the near-fatal lameness of August 2009, since I don’t think they can deliver health security and energy security with half a message (or less).
Let me repeat what I consider to be Messaging 101, which apparently has been lost again by team Obama and progressive leaders.