- The Washington Times - Monday, March 17, 2014

The Grand Old Party has been trying to reinvent and rebrand itself for a year, readying for combat in the 2014 midterms and beyond. The herculean effort is working. The Republican National Committee has made smart new hires in the social media and digital news realm, all tasked with lean and nimble outreaches to an increasingly anxious electorate. There are new, practical campaigns to woo minority voters, women and distinct demographics, and the committee has adopted the motto “Para Bellum,” which means “prepare for war” in Latin.

Fabulous.

The GOP has also introduced “Create Your American Dream,” a 30-second series of appealing video vignettes featuring five people explaining their political philosophy. Each looks into the camera and says “I am a Republican.” It is cheerful, straightforward and was produced to mark the one-year anniversary of the Growth and Opportunity Project — the original self-diagnosing initiative meant to up the Republican Party’s profile and prowess while protecting its founding values. The new ad will run in 14 key states “on traditional and nontraditional media to reach a diverse set of voters,” the producers say.

They seek the disenchanted, the disengaged, the leaners, the undecided and the ambivalent. They seek to convince a wide audience that maybe they’re Republicans — but just don’t know it. This campaign is off to a very good start. It is well-crafted, but not pretentious; it is not “cool” at all costs, or trivial. There is no hipster in plaid jammies, or women in scanty underthings asking “Are you covered” — all characters who once represented Obamacare. Republican creatives are now seeking authentic heartland folk to tell their own stories in the near future.

“We want to communicate our values to voters in states with target Senate races this fall. The best way to connect with voters is for them to hear from their friends and neighbors about the issues that are important to them,” declares committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

DEMOCRATS WAIT TO AMBUSH

Note to Mr. Priebus, et al: Keep your guard up. Stay sharp, now. A challenge awaits. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz reigns over a press conference Tuesday, poised to release an aggressive report detailing the “failure” of the aforementioned GOP reinvention.

“Exactly a year ago, RNC chairman Reince Priebus spoke at the National Press Club and laid out a plan to rebrand the Republican Party, and reach out to constituencies who fled the party in droves during the 2012 elections,” she says. “But a year later, all the Republican Party has gotten is a year older. No amount of outreach, staff hires, or changes to their primary calendar will change the fact that the GOP’s policy and rhetoric are just as out of step with the majority of American voters as ever.”

BOSSY HYPOCRISY

There has been much ado about the campaign to ban the word “bossy” in media and popular culture, pitched as a way to empower girls by boosting their self-esteem. Or something like that. Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, who originated the idea, has the support of Condoleezza Rice, ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer and the Girl Scouts, among many. Yet none have complained about the use of another b-word, which appears with startling regularity on prime time TV. And that is, well, “bitch” — surely more offensive then plain old “bossy”.

Last week, the meticulous Culture and Media Institute monitored popular evening programs, including “CSI” and “Twisted.” The results: The word “bitch” — an expletive, essentially — was sprinkled through the scripts with abandon by the Hollywood scribes. But the bossy ladies are mum about such things.

“The networks have been putty in the hands of the latest PC campaign. The really degrading terms, such as the other B-word, have received no attention. Just look at entertainment TV. In the past week, so-called entertainment shows aired the word ‘bitch’ 50 times. No one’s talking about that,” researcher Katie Yoder tells Inside the Beltway.

“As a conservative young woman, I’ve been called several degrading terms for my opinions and actions. When liberals attack me, the B-word they are using isn’t ‘bossy.’ Young women don’t need to be told a silly word defines them. They need to know that they have intrinsic worth — and that they can succeed despite labels,” she adds.

FOR THE LEXICON

“The personal news cycle”

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