LuntzWatch 2: When Sleeping Dogs Lie

Any political strategist worth his weight in polls should know when to let dying stories just die. Yet nearly a month after Frank Luntz got served by the Think Progress Team, the influential conservative strategist came back swinging. Painting himself as just a “pollster and wordsmith” who happens to “have a particular interest in language,” Luntz defends himself against the bullies in the blogosphere who questioned his quest “to use words to brighten a debate that has been darkened.” Frank, we really didn’t want to have to do this but….

Luntz asks, “What words do people understand? What’s the clear, common-sense way to say what you mean? And how can politicians best educate and express their ideas?” When it comes to the deficit, Luntz gives his simple answer — exploit a tragedy — in his playbook: “September 11 changed everything. So start with 9/11….Without the context of 9/11, you will be blamed for the deficit….The trick then is to contextualize the deficit inside of 9/11.