Sunday, December 04, 2005

Rell's "Rose Garden" Strategy

There is a particularly warm and fuzzy article in today's Courant about the governor welcoming people to the Governor's Mansion, where she rarely is in residence, for the holiday open house. Most of it is nothing new. However, this quote is kind of interesting:

Democrats predict [Rell] will follow a template used by governors everywhere when the polls are favorable: travel the state announcing state-funded projects, act gubernatorial and refrain from acknowledging the existence of one's opponents.

"What she is going to do is bake cookies, welcome people to the mansion, rush to the scene of big fires and natural disasters and generally look well-turned-out for staged photographs for the next year," said John F. Droney Jr., who was Democratic state chairman under Gov. William A. O'Neill. "That's what I'd do."

It is a classic Rose Garden strategy, named for presidents who beef up for campaigns on a steady diet of photo opportunities and announcements from the safe confines of the White House Rose Garden.

"It's going to be terribly effective," Droney said. "If the Democrats can't lure her out of the Rose Garden and engage her in meaningful debate, they can't win." (Pazniokas)

..."Bake cookies"?

So how do Democrats plan to lure her out? So far, their strategy seems to be simply criticizing every move she makes. It hasn't worked too well, yet, as Rell's approval remains high and the state does not appear to be in any sort of immediate and visible crisis. Malloy and DeStefano hope that if they keep up the criticism, the media will start asking Rell the questions Democrats want asked, which at this point are almost all economic in nature.

I'm not holding my breath, though.


Pazniokas, Mark. "Gracious Hostess Welcomes State." Hartford Courant 4 December, 2005.


Aldon Hynes said...

Personally, I think the "bake cookies" comment by the former Democratic State Chair may reflect one strategy that makes a lot of sense.

Instead of trying to challenge her 'grandmotherly' appeal, such as one person here does when talking about the jet-ski incident, or others do when suggesting that she either knew what Rowland was doing, or should have know what Rowland was doing, a different strategy is to emphasis the 'grandmotherly' aspect.

Sure, most of us love our grandmothers. However, most of us don't want our grandmothers running a state with a budget of over $15 billion.

A similar tack that I like to take is what I think of as the Gerald Ford strategy. Sure Ford was a welcome relief after Nixon. He played that up in his political campaign. However, people soon decided that they needed a real leader, smart, hard working, down to earth, and not simply someone who could honestly say they were not a crook.

That's why I like to play up the smart, hard working, down to earth aspects of John DeStefano, and let Jodi Rell keep baking her cookies.

Anonymous said...

To compare Jodi Rell to Gerald Ford is ludicrous. Ford never ran for office with Nixon and he was honest about what went wrong and honestly worked to heal the country. Jodi Rell is blaming the legislature for Rowland being a crook and calling on them....Oh you get the point.

Anonymous said...

well, Aldon I suppose if you are comparing DeStefano to a guy who lost CT by 75,000 votes ( and beat Ford purely on regional Dixie pride re: the "New South") I can live with that

Anonymous said...

Hey, I like it .... DeStafano can give us the moral equivalent of the war on terror

Anonymous said...

Maybe once Rell does something of substance we can determine whether or not she'll be/is a good governor. Until then, we should ask for a debate and refuse to give her the office due to the simple fact that she isn't John Rowland; a feat not difficult to accomplish.