"Remember November" — the RGA Gets It

The new advertising campaign from the Republican Governors Assocation, called Remember November, astonishes me for one simple reason: At long, long, long last, it appears that some in the Republican Party finally get it.
The two major Web ads released so far have been breathtakingly good; they feel like a movie trailer, and I actually had an emotional response to them. The juxtaposition of imagery, background music and iconic imagery is both powerful and well-done.  It’s not often I’m impressed by political marketing, but Remember November does make my head nod in respectful appreciation.
A few comments on the RN campaign:

  • The mix of “V-for-Victory” and Guy Hawkes imagery is powerful, even for those whose knowledge of English history is a wee bit deficient. I suspect that the suggestiveness — the provocativeness — of the ads was a deliberate, first-rate example of call-and-response.  By giving the Left something to get upset about in eminently predictable fashion, the RGA is in a position to anticipate the blowback and thereby control the message.  This is smart.
  • The effort by the RGA is an implicit repudiation, I think, of the debacle that is Michael Steele’s RNC.  Kudos to the RGA for having the balls to get in the game and avoid the RNC’s shameful dithering.
  • The above point notwithstanding, it’s curious that the RGA is mounting a significant campaign that isn’t specifically geared toward gubernatorial races, and it’s simultaneously heartening that the campaign’s message is an unambiguous call-to-arms against big-gummint liberalism.
  • RN represents the first stirrings that some on the Right are willing to embrace modes of communication that resonate outside the typical country-club market that so much Republican advertising seems to favor.  RN is a shot in the arm for countless YAF and College Republican groups, who finally can point to an official party message that can appeal to younger voters. In 2006 and 2008, the Dems had the “cool” factor in spades, which may be one reason that so many college students — who profess a liberalism whose implications so few can clearly articulate — gravitated to Obama. Like it or not, a trendy countercultural message resonates with students much more strongly than a litany of policy points will.
  • The campaign seems to get that the most salient sociopolitical issue in the U.S. in 2010 isn’t health care or the environment or Afghanistan, but rather the proper relationship between government and the people.  The litany of talking points against the Democrats in Washington has been so oft recounted that another exposition merely belabors the point.  America is a center-right country, and the antics of the Obama regime seems to have re-awakened a long-dormant disaffection with government overreach and incompetence at all levels.  How this disaffection plays out at the ballot box this fall will be a talking point for pundits for a generation.

So.  I’m going to Remember November.  Will you?

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