Politicians master the art of framing | Rich Elfers’ Politics in Focus

In order to win big stakes elections in America, it’s necessary to frame your opponent in an unfavorable light. Your opponent tries to do the same thing to you. Whoever is more successful in framing their opponent will win the election.

What political strategy did President Obama use to win re-election?

In order to win big stakes elections in America, it’s necessary to frame your opponent in an unfavorable light. Your opponent tries to do the same thing to you. Whoever is more successful in framing their opponent will win the election.

Of course, there are other factors like having enough money to do that. While it should be obvious to all after this election that money can’t always buy enough votes to win, without money a candidate can’t get his/her message out to the public.

President Obama was very effective in framing Gov. Romney as an elitist rich guy who had no understanding or concern for the poor and middle class. The governor had to also overcome his 47 percent of the population paying-no-taxes remark, which made it even more difficult. Obama portrayed Romney as another George W. Bush. These were very effective techniques, whether they were accurate or not.

Additionally, Obama was masterful in pointing out how Romney said one thing to win the conservative base during the Republican primaries and then had to switch over to win the moderates and independents in the general election.

Obama did not have that problem because there was no real Democratic primary. He portrayed Romney as a flip-flopper – a framing label that Republicans usually use against Democrats.

The attempts by the Republicans to portray Obama as a socialist tax-and-spend radical who got us into this recession was not as effective because most people knew Obama inherited an $8 trillion financial mess when he took office. Based on the results of the election they were willing to cut him some slack and give him another term.

America is really center-right politically. The candidate who can successfully focus on that demographic will win the national election. Obama spent his whole time focusing on that group. Romney really was never able to until the first debate.

In the presidential election, facts don’t matter much except to the political junkies who know the truth. What wins elections is how effectively the candidate frames himself and his opponent. Whoever is more effective in doing that will win.

The lesson we citizens should get from these elections is that we need to look behind the framing to understand who the candidates really are. That requires a willingness to ignore the negative political ads and to look more deeply for the things that really matter. Does that candidate have integrity? Does he have the skills and experience? Can she be trusted to do the job? Does that candidate really care about the citizens or is this really an attempt to aggrandize and serve themselves? Usually, candidates are both concerned about the public and also want to serve themselves.

These questions are not easy to answer. They require political sophistication and a willingness to look beyond the superficial. Yet, without that sophistication, we are doomed to rely upon luck to find the best candidate and to have good government.

An educated electorate serves democracy better than voters who are ignorant about the use of framing. It’s time for all Americans to become discerning voters.

More in Opinion

Even with postage paid, voters couldn’t send ballots on time

While those ballots don’t get counted, taxpayers still must pay the Postal Service for delivering them.

Spotting outsiders in our little city

There’s always a way to tell who’s new and who’s ‘in-the-know’ in Enumclaw.

We must move away from identity politics

Mr. Trump recognized the legitimate concerns of the “working class” and socio-economic middle class which have born a disproportionate negative impact from many of Washington’s policies.

Polarizing politics works to squash the moderate middle

The definition of identity politics: “Political attitudes or positions that focus on… Continue reading

Enumclaw VFW cites long list of community service

Our post, although one of the smallest in the state, consistently ranks near the top of all state VFW posts in the amount of community service we provide.

A victory they didn’t want means a fight they worked to avoid

De-Escalate Washington needs to restart the machinery of a campaign to pass I-940.

Windows over Cole Street

Some of you have probably seen me early in the afternoon sitting in storefront windows of The Local Coffee House or Ann’s Bakery or, my favorite perch, the corner windows in Jackson’s.

Deeply held religious beliefs do good in the world

It is truly disheartening to see the eagerness with which people jump on the bandwagon to Christian bash.

Economy rises and falls, regardless of who’s in the Oval Office

History from the time of Harry Truman teaches us that presidents have very little influence on the economy.

Most Read