Former-House Speaker Newt Gingrich met with a group of Republican Senate staffers yesterday where he distributed the memo below forwarded to The Washington Examiner by a a Senate Republican leadership aide. Some comments are below the memo:
THE CURRENT SITUATION: FEBRUARY 28,2013
Someone playing chess will always beat someone playing tic tac toe.
Strategy beats tactics.
THE OBAMA STRATEGY FOR 2014 and 2016
It is clear President Obama has decided that he can win a decisive realignment in 2014
and then consolidate his party in power in 2016.
To achieve that he will implement six specific strategies:
1. There will be a permanent 24/7 campaign to dominate the media
2. There will be a constant issue focus shifting to topics which isolate Republicans and
arouse the President’s allies at the grassroots
3. Relentless cynicism will characterize the manipulation of facts, the choice of
issues and the willingness to harm the American people and American institutions
( “maximum pain for political gain” is the underlying system)
4. The entire coalition of left wing allies will be mobilized over and over to overmatch
the Republicans ( think Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club, unions, gay rights groups,
5. The Republican Party will be relentlessly attacked and defined in extremist language
(anti-immigrant, homophobic, racist, waging war on women, etc) so the collapse
and isolation of the brand makes candidates unacceptable and unelected with no
regard for their personal characteristics
6. The 2012 turnout mechanisms will be modernized, improved and strengthened to try
to make 2014 turnout resemble 2012 rather than 2010.
FACED WITH THIS REALITY THE CURRENT GOP IS HOPELESSLY
1. The GOP has to admit that it is currently incapable of moving at the speed and
intensity of the Obama system, with the scale of the Obama system, or with
the strategic depth and technological capabilities of the Obama system. Until
Republicans understand how big the gap is they will continue to lose ground.
2. A new model Republican doctrine and system has to be developed capable of
matching the Obama strategy and system.
3. Virtually every element of the GOP, party leaders, incumbents, staffs, candidates,
consultants, pollsters, need to be trained into the 21st century new model GOP.
4. Metrics have to be developed for measuring performance.
SOME KEY PRINCIPLES
1. The system of planning has to be
2. There has to be a vision focusing on a better American future not on an anti-Obama
3. There is no red and blue. There are 311,000,000 Americans who deserve a better life
than the Obama big government redistributionist model can give them. This will require
an even bigger, better data system than the Obama machine built.
4. The GOP has to match or surpass the combination of data and behavioral science
which the Democrats have developed since 2004.
5. Republicans have to build a system for a permanent campaign with a 24/7 strategy
and media capability.
6. If you aren’t on offense you are on defense. There are no time outs. Every morning
you know your status. If you aren’t on offense you are on defense. If you don’t win the
argument you won’t win the vote( a Margaret Thatcher rule).
7. Republicans simply must learn to communicate effectively, emotionally and in a
compelling human way.
8. Republicans have to learn to compete in the entire media culture including
entertainment media and Internet based media. Republicans have to go where the
1. Gingrich is right about Obama’s game plan. Blame GOP for everything, win in 2014, solidify his legacy with Dem majorities in 2015 and another Democratic president in 2016.
2. Gingrich correctly identifies Obama’s best tool for accomplishing his goals: by defining the GOP as “anti-immigrant, homophobic, racist, waging war on women, etc.” Everything on Obama’s 2013 legislative agenda reflects this goal: VAWA, amnesty, gun control, etc. are all designed to make Republicans look intolerant. None of these agenda items has anything to do with the economy. That is not an accident.
3. The rest of the memo seems entirely too vague. New messaging and a permanent 24/7 rapid response effort are not going to do the trick. Republicans are going to have to identify entirely new approaches to hot button issues that Democrats are currently exploiting. Personally, I believe the answer lies on a more libertarian direction on most issues. I could be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time. Unfortunately, reading this memo I can’t tell if Newt agrees or not. That is part of the GOP’s problem.