lol. this thing reads like a MAD magazine parody
G.O.P. ‘Super PAC’ Hard-Line Attack on Obama: A campaign playbook by high-profile Republican strategists
By JEFF ZELENY and JIM RUTENBERG NYTimes May 17, 2012
WASHINGTON — A group of high-profile Republican strategists is working with a conservative billionaire on a proposal to mount one of the most provocative campaigns of the “super PAC” era and attack President Obama in ways that Republicans have so far shied away from.
Timed to upend the Democratic National Convention in September, the plan would “do exactly what John McCain would not let us do,” the strategists wrote.
The plan, which is awaiting approval, calls for running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons made him a highly charged figure in the 2008 campaign.
“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.
The $10 million plan, one of several being studied by Mr. Ricketts, includes preparations for how to respond to the charges of race-baiting it envisions if it highlights Mr. Obama’s former ties to Mr. Wright, who espouses what is known as “black liberation theology.”
The group suggested hiring as a spokesman an “extremely literate conservative African-American” who can argue that Mr. Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.”
A copy of a detailed advertising plan was obtained by The New York Times through a person not connected to the proposal who was alarmed by its tone. It is titled “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good.”
The proposal was presented last week in Chicago to associates and family members of Mr. Ricketts, who is also the patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs.
Brian Baker, president and general counsel of a super PAC called the Ending Spending Action Fund, said Mr. Ricketts had studied several advertising proposals in recent months and had not signed off on a specific approach to taking on Mr. Obama.
“Joe Ricketts is prepared to spend significant resources in the 2012 election in both the presidential race and Congressional races,” Mr. Baker said in an interview Wednesday. “He is very concerned about the future direction of the country and plans to take a stand.”
The document makes clear that the effort is only in the planning stages and awaiting full approval from Mr. Ricketts. People involved in the planning said the publicity now certain to surround it could send the strategists back to the drawing board.
But it serves as a rare, detailed look at the birth of the sort of political sneak attack that has traditionally been hatched in the shadows and has become a staple of presidential politics.
It also shows how a single individual can create his own movement and spend unlimited sums to have major influence on a presidential election in a campaign finance environment in which groups operating independently of candidates are flourishing.
Should the plan proceed, it would run counter to the strategy being employed by Mitt Romney’s team, which has so far avoided such attacks. The Romney campaign has sought to focus attention on the economy, and has concluded that personal attacks on Mr. Obama, who is still well liked personally by most independent voters surveyed for polls, could backfire.
Mr. Ricketts has become an increasingly active player in Republican politics through several political action committees, including Ending Spending. He has a son, Pete, who is a member of the Republican National Committee from Nebraska and a daughter, Laura, who is a top contributor to Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign. She has not been involved in her father’s political efforts.
The 54-page proposal was professionally bound and illustrated with color photographs, indicating that it is far beyond a mere discussion. The strategists have already contacted Larry Elder, a black conservative radio host in Los Angeles, about serving as a spokesman, and the plan calls for a group of black business leaders to endorse the effort. The strategists have also registered a domain name, Character Matters.
The proposal suggests that Mr. Ricketts believes the 2008 campaign of Senator John McCain erred in not using images of Mr. Wright against Mr. Obama, who has said that the pastor helped him find Jesus but that he was never present for Mr. Wright’s politically charged sermons. Mr. Obama left the church during the campaign.
Apparently referring to a Wright ad that was produced for the McCain campaign by Mr. Davis’s firm but never used, the proposal opens with a quote from Mr. Ricketts: “If the nation had seen that ad, they’d never have elected Barack Obama.”
The planning document is emblazoned with the logo of Strategic Perception, the political advertising firm of Mr. Davis, the colorful Republican operative who last worked on the Republican presidential campaign of former Gov. Jon M. Huntsman of Utah. Included on his “Recommended Team of Pirates” are the former Huntsman pollster Whit Ayres and the McCain campaign Internet strategist Becki Donatelli.
The document, which was written by former advisers to Mr. McCain, is critical of his decision in 2008 not to aggressively pursue Mr. Obama’s relationship with Mr. Wright. In the opening paragraphs of the proposal, the Republican strategists refer to Mr. McCain as “a crusty old politician who often seemed confused, burdened with a campaign just as confused.”
“Our plan is to do exactly what John McCain would not let us do: Show the world how Barack Obama’s opinions of America and the world were formed,” the proposal says. “And why the influence of that misguided mentor and our president’s formative years among left-wing intellectuals has brought our country to its knees.”
The plan is designed for maximum impact, far beyond a typical $10 million television advertising campaign. It calls for full-page newspaper advertisements featuring a comment Mr. Wright made the Sunday after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “America’s chickens are coming home to roost,” he said.
The plan is for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., to be “jolted.” The advertising campaign would include television ads, outdoor advertisements and huge aerial banners flying over the convention site for four hours one afternoon.
The strategists grappled with the quandary of running against Mr. Obama that other Republicans have cited this year: “How to inflame their questions on his character and competency, while allowing themselves to still somewhat ‘like’ the man becomes the challenge.”
Lamenting that voters “still aren’t ready to hate this president,” the document concludes that the campaign should “explain how forces out of Obama’s control, that shaped the man, have made him completely the wrong choice as president in these days and times.” click here for linkclick here for link
excerpts from from 'The Plan':
Strategy The Child Is Father to the Man. 5
I Tactics. The Path to Demise. 12
I The Elm. In Detail. 16
I Advertising. 31
I Social Media. I2
I Your Recommended Team of Pirates. 45
I Budget. 47
It's hard to blame voters for being swept off their feet by Barack Obama in 2008: he was a handsome, charismatic figure with sweeping oratory, The metrosexual black Abe Lincoln has emerged as a hyper--partisan, hyper-liberal, elitist politician with more than a bit of the trimmer in him.
This crumbling of the Obama phenomenon, exploited and explained, should have a devastating impact
on the elusive independent, who doesn't pay all that close of attention but knows thin are bad and feels
Rather than being part of the general landscape of harsh punching and counterpunching on the issues driving that day 's news,we recommend reachin into this independent's gut to dramatically reconfirm and increase the unease he has over Obama, his inability to focus on the problem at hand and his overtly political forays that makehim look like he's got something to hide.
They still aren't ready to hate this president, but they're definitely open to the concept that someone else (perhaps even Romney)
could do a better job. lol
The instant response liberals give to any attack is to deem the attack as racist. In the case involving an African American president, even more so.We have two ways to help mitigate that potential. First, include an extremely literate, conservative African American in our spokesman group. Our recommendation is Larry Elder, a prominent ABC talk radio host in California. We have discussed our approach with him in confidence and he immediately understood and "got it." Larry was considered a potential U.S. Senate candidate in California during the last cycle.
We have also had very tentative talks with a group of African American business leaders who
could get substantially behind this effort. We will continue those talks only after concept approval.
The second way we will lessen their ability to attack from a racist angle is to carefully utilize a series of focus groups.on the storyboards, then on a rough cut of the final film, making fine-tuning adjustments in wording and visuals to increase the impact, while lessening any elements that could reasonably be deemed "racist."
The print and electronic ads and the full film point the press and the viewer in one direction: to a powerful, detailed, comprehensive website on the subject of Barack Obama andmhis influences in his formative years, including the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. That work will begin immediately upon
approval of concept.
We plan to introduce the film with a live press conference in Charlotte, moderated by Larry Elder, and streamed live across all electronic platforms to America. Great use will be made of Twitter, so the message explodes virally nearly overnight.
An important additional part of the promotional side of this campaign will be a highly targeted, properly designed online advertising campaign. This is a critical component for amplifying the reach of the broadcast television campaign and helping ensure that the video goes viral. For this online campaign, we will build a microsite to house the full version of the video. The microsite will be a central hub for viewing the video with robust options for sharingthe video on all major social networks and other platforms. Directing viewers to a targeted site like this will maximize our digital impact by limiting the user's options (watch, share and email to friends) and focusing their attention on will place a "like" button with video tags prominently below the video on the microsite so that site visitors will be compelled to click it. This will place the video in the newsfeed of the friends of people who click the button. We can then use Facebook's "domain like sponsored stories" advertising to amplify the video to targeted friends of people who have "liked" it. This is an important step in helping the video go viral.
In addition to the Facebook advertising described above, we will use a multi--channel approach to build video views and interest in this video, including advertising on digital platforms such as Google, YouTube,Twitter, Bing and more. Most of the online campaign will focus on promoting the video within YouTube to obtain low cost views through pre--roll, promoted videos, mobile video and their TrueView ad option. Other elements may include display and search advertising, promoted Tweets via Twitter and other avenues, dependent upon budget. These ads can be targeted by geography, demographics, behavior or all of the above. After concept approval, and as the team defines our audience, we will use precise targeting and re--targeting to deliver the message to the right people