So there you have it. Obama’s in for a full 8 years. And rivers of tears are flowing in conservative households. Boo hoo. I feel for you guys. My heart was heavy when George W. won. Especially the second time. So I totally get your pain. But here’s the thing: You can’t reasonably expect to gain a majority while only appealing to the Good Ol’ Boys club. The electorate has been becoming less and less heterosexual white male for like 100 years already. You had plenty of time to realize it was not sustainable.
One thing you seemed to at least somewhat recognize is that Latinos are growing with every election. But was a spray tan really the best way to make that appeal? Is sending kids who earned acceptance into college back to [insert Latin American country here] really that important to you? At the very least, you could have discussed immigration with minimal disdain. Obama really didn’t do anything specifically pro-Latino so you totally could have gotten some of those votes. I mean, even George Bush put up solid Latino numbers. And he had the baggage of having been Governor of a state which actually has to deal with illegal immigrants. But I digress. I did not come here to berate you. I have come to offer some advice.
Given the aforementioned, it would seem impossible for the Republican party to run yet another white heterosexual male and move the needle. You need a major re-branding. There’s nothing wrong with being a conservative. We need balance. But you have become the crazy grandpa who doesn’t know times have changed and keeps calling them “coloreds.” To combat that you have to change the face of the party. To compete at this point, the obvious choice is to get a minority (or woman) to shake things up in some of the democratic stronghold groups — which is EVERY SINGLE groups besides heterosexual white males. But running a girl or some nice colored boy gives you another problem – upsetting the bigots in your base.
While I do not think that the Republican party is by-and-large a party of racists, there are going to be some people in the base that would rather stay home than vote for a brown person. All the pundits look to Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio as standout minority faces for the Republican party. But racist people get to vote. They will always get to vote. If they think Obama and his white mama are Muslim extremists, what will they think of Bobby Jindal? In elections that always come down to the slimmest of margins in a handful of counties, the racist vote can’t realistically be ignored. Everyone wishes it didn’t matter, but the folks who get paid millions to be political strategists are going to be aware that you need every vote to make the math work. So what do you do as a party? You lose base votes by running even the most model minority… and you can’t win any democrat or independent voters over by running the same old white dude who has been president forever 43 times. A conundrum indeed!
Enter Chris Christie. White guy? Yes. Same old white guy? No. And I’ve got reasons.
1. He’s fat. Fat has changed from being an indicator or wealth to being an indicator of poverty. Which allows Chris Christie to wiggle out of looking like the same old privileged white dude. Being fat on political stage is just as visually jarring as being a minority. It has the potential to be the elephant in the room (no pun intended). There are stereotypes that go along with being fat. It’s enough to make him different, but not enough to cause right-wing crazies to defect. Fat people are a minority in the same way that women are — not in terms of pure numbers (since we are clearly a majority overweight nation) but moreso in terms of access to power and public perception of weakness. We see a fat person and we think they don’t have their life under control. Hence, studies showing fat people make less money, etc….but I will save that conversation for another day.
2. He’s got a different style than most Republicans. In a party severely in need of some new branding, a loud & aggressive Chris Christie is a clear signal that the party is shifting. And more important than anything else for the Republican party, is rebranding itself. And he’s smart enough not to say anything truly boneheaded. You won’t hear him making 47% comments, or talking about “legitimate rape”. Basically, he will come off as at least a marginally reasonable person to Independents, even if they disagree with some of his policies. He won’t ever be accused of being too far removed from “the real world”. At the same time, he will never seem like the tree-hugging gay sympathizer that your Southern voters fear so passionately.
3. I really need to further discuss the implications of his obesity. I can already hear the PR people getting upset because attractiveness is a factor in elections. And in American fat people are not considered attractive people.I get that. Being fat is one of the few things it’s still pretty OK to make fun of. Because of this, there will be some sect that is truly grossed out by his obesity. Especially if he gets hot or excited at a rally and starts sweating. But, the important thing is that being fat upsets a different groupthan being colored does. And most of the people who truly become queasy looking at fat people live in California or NYC, which makes them irrelevant to a Republican discussion. Its pretty much still OK to be fat in the South of midwest. Its the urban (democratic) centers where it has become uncool. So, obesity gives way more upside than downside in this scenario.
4. He’s young. Or at least not old. Millenials are voting blue like crazy. Old fogies vote red, but they keep dying and will continue to because they hate science and modern medicine. On the other hand, the 14 year olds on facebook will be voting in 4 years. And in 90s Baby Town, being the party who elected the black guy makes you totally awesome and cool. That’s a big win for the democrats. Republicans need to stop appearing old and out-of-touch. Almost everyone born in the 90s will be eligible to vote by 2016. Chew on that for a spell…
5. He’s from a blue state. He got the good liberals of New Jersey to vote for him, and they seem to like him. A governor from a solidly blue state so he can argue (at least in theory) that he knows how to compromise with us lefties. He also had the good political sense to parade around praising Obama’s response to Sandy. Independents will remember that as an important bipartisan moment. These things will play well to the people in the middle.
So my (very early) recommendation for 2016 Republican Presidential nominee is Chris Christie for Prez with Marco Rubio as VP. I take Rubio over Jindal for VP because whenever a Governor runs you want a Senator VP to give yourself some foreign policy credentials. Also, the Latino vote can be won back fairly easily by Republicans at this point. They aren’t nearly as committed to the Democratic party as Blacks are. So Rubio ends up with more upside than Jindal.
Sorry, Democrats, I couldn’t help it. I’m a Marketer and my mind immediately went there. What do you guys think?