- The Washington Times - Friday, May 20, 2011

We’re now just 18 months away from Election Day. To voters, that might seem like an eternity, but it’s an excruciatingly short amount of time to those running political campaigns.

President Obama will be a formidable opponent in 2012, but he certainly can be beaten. Here’s the strategy.

It will be necessary to develop “mind share” in the general public. You must be able to show the status quo is no longer tolerable and demonstrate you can rectify the problems. In other words, you must push not only the president’s weaknesses, but your strengths as well. Fortunately, the president has made enough mistakes that have caused the country to become disgruntled with his performance. You must go further in the media and in personal appearances to foster an image of his incompetency. Be adamant and unapologetic about the fact that it is time to reverse course from his policies. You must not only discredit him; you must attack his ideology and anyone subscribing to it, particularly the cronies in his administration and those in Congress seeking re-election.

You must apply this full-court press early in the campaign in order to convince the public you are correct. Repetitive slogans and talking points said excessively leave impressions in voters’ minds. Never let the president elude his record.

If this all sounds familiar, it should; it comes from Mr. Obama’s 2008 playbook. His attacks on George W. Bush were legendary, and linking him to the Republican Party caused John McCain to be seen as just another Bush wannabe. The difference now is the president will no longer be attacking the status quo as much as he will be defending it. Blaming Mr. Bush will cause him to lose points in the polls. The status quo is his Achilles’ heel. You must use it to the same degree he did in 2008.

In contrast, the subjects you must embrace include the economy, immigration, moral values, patriotism and the Constitution. You also must make voters understand that some hard decisions will have to be made in order for the country to survive. If they recognize the severity of the problem, they will support you.

You also must come up with a way to appeal to the youth of the country. Don’t look for MTV or “Saturday Night Live” to help you. Instead, your volunteers must stay focused on school boards and officials and hold them responsible for the actions of teachers and questionable curriculums presented in schools. Get your volunteers active at the grass-roots level.

It should come as no surprise to learn the mainstream media are your enemy and are working to undermine your election. Be forthright, honest and direct with them, but do not allow them to misrepresent a policy or position you have taken. Hold them accountable for any inaccurate reporting of your position and publish it on the Internet for all to read. Never play defense with the press or your opponent. Take the offense. Whoever is forced to play defense in the next election will undoubtedly lose.

TIM BRYCE

Palm Harbor, Fla.