I've been thinking a little more about the Reid/Russert exchange on Meet The Press. To repeat:
[Reid in '94] We have to all swallow a little bit of our pride and go toward the middle.
Russert: Is that still your advice to the Democrats?
I think there's no question about it. You know, we don't accomplish anything on the far right or the far left. Things are accomplished in the middle. We have to work toward the middle. And I think that that's clear. I feel no differently than I did ten years ago.
If we think of politics in purely marketing terms, then this is the sales pitch of a loser. What is the fundamental message that comes from Reid's comment? It is this:
The Democrats have nothing useful to sell you. So we are just going to sell you what the Republicans are selling, but with nicer packaging.
Gee, that's a compelling pitch isn't it?
The first step Democrats need to take before they can win is to believe they actually have something worthwhile to sell to the buyer/voter. The second step is to develop your own marketing plan to sell your product. One of the key requirements of that marketing plan is that it not adopt the opposition's talking points because those talking points have been carefully manufactured to carry the implicit message that your product sucks.
Would Coke get anywhere if it adopted the slogan, "The Better Choice of a New Generation"? Of course not! The obvious variation on Pepsi's slogan would do nothing but invoke the idea of Pepsi in the mind of the consumer. In other words, it's a slogan that would make potential Coke buyers thirsty for a Pepsi!
1. Believe what you have to sell is worth buying
2. Sell it by making people want to buy it without making reference to the other guys product ("Coke: It's the Real Thing!")