Magazine | April 19, 2010, Issue

Proposal for Consulting Contract

TO: Democratic Party November ’12 Stakeholders

FROM: MessageMakers™

RE: Midterm Positioning


We here at MessageMakers™ are excited and enthused about the midterm elections and the wonderful things in store for the Democratic party!

What’s that you say? We’re nuts?

We don’t think so.

We here at MessageMakers™ have a world-class staff of campaign-strategy and message experts — together, we’ve managed some of the biggest and most successful campaigns ever, and we’re eager to get started!

We know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “Gosh, gang at MessageMakers™, how do we get started when we’re way down in the polls and have a president with an approval in the 40s?”

This is a good question.

The traditional strategy is, go negative. Pick apart your opponent. Drive up his negative numbers. Get in there and fling some mud and some slime and some really nasty stuff to take the shine off of the pretty boy heading for your seat.

We know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “Okay, gang at MessageMakers™, please tell me who, exactly, we can go after right this moment, so early in the process.”

The truth is, we here at MessageMakers™ have done exhaustive polling and focus-grouping. We’ve gathered stats and response-types from every quartile and sub-tranche of the American electorate. We’ve polled and researched every single state and drilled down in population clusters, from edge cities to pools-and-patios suburbs to urban enclaves to working-class Old Towns.

Here’s what we found:

The American People hate you.

Do you see where we’re going with this? That’s your opponent. That’s who you’re facing in November.

So our strategy is simple.

Go negative on them. Starting now. Soften them up. Take the shine off of those “American voter” halos. Let the American voter know just how untrustworthy the American voter is.

We’re already starting this kind of quiet-phase campaign by reminding normal American voters that normal American voters are often violent, racist, and irrational. The so-called tea-party members, especially, need to hear that tea-party members, especially, are dangerous and radical and unhinged.

What we at MessageMakers™ propose is a spring/summer negative strategy that follows closely along the lines of traditional negative campaigns. Some possible examples:

GENERIC NEGATIVE #1: “What do we really know about . . . ?”

FADE IN: Grainy, out-of-focus footage of normal Americans getting in and out of minivans. Maybe some sinister-looking children. We’ll shoot some old people from underneath, to highlight their jowly, untrustworthy look.

VOICE OVER: “What do we really know about American voters? Are they racist bigots? Are they dangerous domestic terrorists? When President Obama and the Democrats in Congress tried to create jobs and save the economy, the American voter said NO! When President Obama and the Democrats in Congress offered them historic legislation that provides health care to everyone, the American voter said NO! What do we really know about the typical American voter? Not enough. It’s time for us to say NO! to the American voter.”

CUT TO: A waving flag (could be American, but could also be a stylized “neutral”-type banner) and a smiling President Obama. (Note: We could just use the flag and drop the Obama cut-in if that’s the way the testing goes.)

VOICE OVER: “Paid for by the Committee to Restore the Government.”

GENERIC NEGATIVE #2: “You just can’t trust . . .”

FADE IN: Grainy, out-of-focus footage as before. A heavier use of the “Dutch angle” technique, which is an off-kilter frame, lending the scene a bizarre, otherworldly atmosphere.

VOICE OVER: “Whom do you trust to make your most important decisions? Not the American voter. In 1919, they voted to outlaw alcohol. That’s right. Beer! In cities and towns all over America, the voter has raised taxes, cut services, and even allowed America to go to war! And now he wants us to trust the American voter to make our most sensitive and personal decisions about retirement savings and health care? Doesn’t seem like a good idea, does it? The American voter: You just can’t trust him.”

CUT TO: A sea of smiling, lab-coated doctors (of all ethnicities) shaking hands with Democratic congresspeople (we can green-screen in individual faces if you like) as a family gathers around a sick relative in a hospital bed and cheerfully shuts off the life-support machines.

VOICE OVER: “Paid for by the Committee to Restore Heath-Care Authority.”

Those are just two suggestions, literally off the top of the heads of the gang at MessageMakers™.

Conventional wisdom says that November is going to be rough for Democrats.

Ready to surprise the world? We are.

To begin implementation of this plan, please wire an initial payment into our BNP Paribas account listed on the next page. For tax purposes, we are a registered French corporation.

We look forward to working with you!


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Proposal for Consulting Contract

TO: Democratic Party November ’12 Stakeholders FROM: MessageMakers™ RE: Midterm Positioning Greetings! We here at MessageMakers™ are excited and enthused about the midterm elections and the wonderful things in store for the Democratic party! What’s ...
Politics & Policy


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