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View Diary: VA-Gov: Defining Terry McAuliffe (38 comments)

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  •  Good discussion ... (3+ / 0-)

    a framing angle: often better to put things in the positive / truthful frame before dealing with debunking:

    Terry is thus ...

    A Businessman Who Recognizes That Business Thrives in a Functioning Society:  Terry McAuliffe is a millionaire. Unlike Mitt Romney and his minions, McAuliffe recognizes that he was able to build his wealth because of regulations that enable a working marketplace, because of the strength of American society, because of governmental investment in infrastructure like the internet and roads.

    A Modern Day Virginian:  Terry McAuliffe is a Virginian -- a VA drivers' license carrying and VA registered voter for decades. America is defined by social, economic, and geographic mobility. Yes, Terry McAuliffe wasn't born in Virginia.  Neither, by the way, was New Jersey-born Cuccinelli.

    A Serious Player:  Whether in politics or business or society, Terry McAuliffe is serious and successful. He knows how to get things done and has done so.  Like someone hiding his intelligence and capability behind an 'good old boy' routine, Terry McAuliffe is sociable and engaging in a way that, for some, masks the intelligence and capability behind those sparkling eyes.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 05:34:57 AM PST

    •  Still, no track record in elected office . . . (1+ / 0-)
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      A Siegel

      His main skills have been raising money and dealing in the transactional side of federal politics (e.g. lobbying for personal enrichment).  He served as DNC chair during what was arguably the least succesful five year period of the DNC's operation from 2000-2005.

      His business career has been almost entirely entertwined with federal politics -- e.g. the questionable activity at Federal City National Bank, and/or lobbying on behalf of corporate clients seeking favors.  This isn't a guy who launched a new industry, or a business in the traditional sense.  McAuliffe's professional resume will be a huge gift to oppo researchers.  This isn't Mark Warner redux.

      McAuliffe is also a tireless campaigner and, if matched up against Cuccinelli, his liabilities are likely to count for a lot less than Cuccinelli's extremism.  But as part of looking at his candidacy with eyes wide open, it's one of those cases where this is a candidate who I can support, but with some serious reservations.  Incidentally, he's been a bit cagey, but on the natural gas issue, it sounds like he and the GOP are basically on the same page about drilling off the Virginia coast.  However, he may be more open to other greener forms of energy generation.

      •  Couple things ... (1+ / 0-)
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        1.  We aren't necessarily far apart.

        2.  The rewrite was a suggestion to diarist about how to deal with framing -- putting the negative frame as the 'lede' reinforces, in the end, the negative more than boosting the positive w/significant portion of audience.  My 'three' were a rewrite of diaries three following that point -- an 'intellectual exercise' whether I agree / disagree. See Debunking Handbook

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:27:18 AM PST

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        •  Makes sense . . . (1+ / 0-)
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          A Siegel

          this is consistent with the idea that George Lakoff put forward in his book about framing: "Don't think of an elephant", whicn is also illustrated in Nixon's infamous "I am not a crook" -- which of course reinforces the frame, rather than debunks it.

          On the other hand, I think this is one of those things that is generally true, but not universally so.  

          e.g. an exception is the Domino's Pizza marketing campaign from two years ago, which boiled down to: "You say our pizza sucks.  We agree.  Here's what we've done about it."  There was no way that Domino's could really avoid the issue.  A huge swath of potential customers had stopped buying the product because they thought it sucked.  So rather than trying to persuade people that they were wrong, there was some ownership of the problem.  I think that customers appreciated the approach and it made them receptive to giving the product another shot.  

          Much of this depends on the audience and the messenger and the degree to which a person is invested in a perception.  

          In the context of a party primary, it's important to acknowledge concerns that people have upfront.  It's the proverbial elephant in the room with Terry (e.g. the mercenary "used car salesman" quality that I think is a common perception of him on the part of many rank and file Dems -- it's something that has to be overcome, not simply reframed).  

          If you engage it, I think people are more open to hearing the argument, because it's an acknowledgement that people are approaching the "problem" at the start from a shared frame-work.  It's not a move to tell people that their perception is necessarily wrong.  The initial perception may be right, but it may be incomplete.  So you start with an existing framework in the attempt to establish a more nuanced framework.

          For the purposes of this diary, and this readership of this site, I think the diarists approach is exactly the way to go.  For the purposes of reaching a broader audience, it probably isn't.   Most general election voters probably haven't even heard of McAuliffe, or at a minium, don't have a settled opinion about him.  Selling his candidacy doesn't require overturning an existing negative perception, so it makes more sense to start from a frame in a general election that sells the strengths and puts the best foot forward.

          •  Thanks for thoughtful response ... (0+ / 0-)

            There is no 'perfect rule' on this.

            The Domino's example is a bit different, imo, since this is a case of 'we've changed' -- you helped identify a problem, we've acted, problem doesn't exist anymore, try us out ...

            From what I've read on this, the 'negative bolded' still has the negative feedback problem discussed in the Debunking Handbook.  Even in an audience like DKos, there is a reinforcing of that negative among some significant share of the readership.  

            To be clear, what I wrote above was not suggested as the 'end all, be all' of the discussion by a few sentences for examples on a different structuring of the argument in the diary.

            I do think the 'positive' approach takes people's misgivings/concerns directly on in part because it would be (in this situation) discordant with the the opinions/thinkings of those holding the negative opinion. It would jump out and challenge from first words and spark a more thoughtful engagement.

            However, while I have some knowledge of the issue(s) and have thought about it a little, I don't claim Lakoff-like expertise and your comments have me thinking about this.

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:18:04 AM PST

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          •  PS ... (0+ / 0-)

            The Debunking Handbook is a quick (under 10 pages) and interesting read.

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:19:12 AM PST

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