1. The Request for Repudiation
Has become one of the most popular tactics employed in election cycles.
You undermine your opponent by associating them with an unpopular position or statement made by one of their close political allies or, sometimes, simply by a member of their party.
The charge is typically accompanied by a demand that your competitor publicly repudiate what their ally or fellow party member has said.
If a repudiation is not forthcoming, you can usually issue at least two more demands for one while the matter is still the subject of media attention.
Extensive use of the tactic is usually sufficient to keep a small army of researchers employed during any campaign season.
Promises to be widely employed in the 2012 Virginia Senate Race.
2. Allen’s Calls for Kaine’s Take
On President Obama’s Israel speech this week.
This is an excellent example of how the tactic can be skillfully employed.
The President advocated peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians grounded in the pre-1967 borders, a position that not only angered many Israeli political leaders, but drew sharp criticism from those who believe that Obama’s position does not adequately recognize the precariousness of the Israeli state.
Virginia Congressmen Eric Cantor and Randy Forbes were especially outspoken in their ciriticsm.
The Allen campaign not only criticized Obama, but immediately demanded that Tim Kaine explain whether or not he agreed with the President’s statement.
As former head of the Democratic National Committee, look for this to be the first of dozens of explanations and repudiations that Kaine will be asked to provide during the next 17 months.
3. What’s Good for the Goose…
Expect Virginia Democrats to be generous in returning the favor.
One major unknown for the Allen campaign is that it doesn’t really know who he’ll be running with at the top of the GOP ticket next fall.
The Dems will surely pepper the former Governor/Senator with requests to repudiate any and all controversial statements and policies advocated by the candidates in the GOP field during the next 17 months..
RomneyCare, Medicare reform, and, of course, almost anything Sarah Palin might say if she enters the fray.
4. The Pre-Emptive Repudiation
Occurs when political figures and elected officials repudiate the position taken by a candidate of their own party before the media or their opponents even have time to make the request.
This week’s statement by Newt Gingrich that conservative hero Paul Ryan’s budget plan smacked of right-wing social engineering had prominent members of the GOP sending out blast email repudiations before the former Speaker had even gotten off the set of Meet the Press.
The repudiation was so ferocious that Gingrich was compelled to perform a public act of contrition in the scant hope of salvaging a campaign that was apparently dead on arrival.
5. Author, Author!
Barnie Day, considered by many to be the best political writer in Virginia, is now writing novels.
His first book, The Last Pahvant, is available in ebook format. You can access an extended passage (and purchase if you so choose) at http://cheap-reads.com/sample/60679/the-last-pahvant.
Let’s congratulate Barnie on his accomplishment and hope that there’s more to come in the ensuing years.