As regular readers know, I’m not the biggest fan of the Pod Save Whatevs boys (someone described them as NPR with swears and that seems about right), but sometimes they really nail an analysis. This is one of those times.
Most of the conversation around Democratic messaging is about why we suck so bad. Democratic activists and donors look longingly at Republican messaging and fall in love with former Republican action committees like the Lincoln Project. A feeling of messaging inadequacy is almost the price of admission for being a Democrat. I havewritten about why this narrative is incorrect — or at least more nuanced than “Repubs good, Dems bad.” However, there is an exception to this rule, and that exception has a shaved head, prefers gym shorts to suits, and once flew a ‘Legalize Marijuana’ flag on a state building. Every Democrat I speak with is blown away by Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman’s communications chops. I hear from Democrats of all stripes and at all levels about the need for more Fettermans. There is no question John Fetterman and his campaign are putting on a messaging masterclass. Fetterman is a uniquely talented messenger running against a uniquely vulnerable opponent. Not every Democrat can do what he does, but some of his approach is broadly applicable. If we want more Fettermans, it’s worth understanding what John Fetterman is doing right.
And that’s a pretty strong lede to what is pretty solid analysis; this is the opening salvo of what Fetterman is doing right and that all Dems could do:
Modern politics is a battle for attention. Therefore, campaigns need to communicate 24-7 and aim to dominate the political conversation. The Fetterman Campaign is always on offense. They are constantly putting out content that amplifies their message and puts Dr. Oz on the defensive. They never let up. Every day brings more videos, ads, and social media posts hammering Oz and amplifying the positive Fetterman message. When political news breaks, the campaign treats it as an opportunity to communicate on his terms.
The section on synergy is worth studying in detail. It is not exactly like the ol’ Gartner Magic Quadrant, but it is not exactly not.
It’s a great piece, I highly recommend reading it in full and bookmarking it; I’ve had it open for a couple of days. Yes it is a sub stack, and no, you don’t have to pay to read it.