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Americans United for Change The Bush Legacy Project: Re-defining the Political Debate Between Right and Left The Bush Legacy Project.

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Presentation on theme: "Americans United for Change The Bush Legacy Project: Re-defining the Political Debate Between Right and Left The Bush Legacy Project."— Presentation transcript:

1 Americans United for Change The Bush Legacy Project: Re-defining the Political Debate Between Right and Left The Bush Legacy Project

2 From 1933 to the Mid 1970’s: Progressives were on Offense From 1933 to the Mid 1970’s: Progressives were on Offense From the Mid 1970’s until recently: Progressives on Defense From the Mid 1970’s until recently: Progressives on Defense

3 2008 Presents us an Opportunity to: 2008 Presents us an Opportunity to: Redefine the Political DebateRedefine the Political Debate Move the Center in Our DirectionMove the Center in Our Direction Define the Failures of Conservative/Bush IdeologyDefine the Failures of Conservative/Bush Ideology The Bush Legacy Project

4 Why is this Opportunity Different? Bush’s Historically Low Job ApprovalBush’s Historically Low Job Approval Conservatives unhappy with their Prez choicesConservatives unhappy with their Prez choices Unrest in Conservative Ranks/Think Tanks/Institutions - Fraying of Republican CoalitionUnrest in Conservative Ranks/Think Tanks/Institutions - Fraying of Republican Coalition Re-examination of What it Means to be a Conservative (i.e., “pro-government conservatives,” Huckabee populism)Re-examination of What it Means to be a Conservative (i.e., “pro-government conservatives,” Huckabee populism) The Bush Legacy Project

5 The Bush Legacy project In 1987, during Iran-Contra, Reagan’s Job Approval Fell to 42 percentIn 1987, during Iran-Contra, Reagan’s Job Approval Fell to 42 percent Was 51 Percent by election day in 1988 when GHWB Beat Dukakis HandilyWas 51 Percent by election day in 1988 when GHWB Beat Dukakis Handily Was 63 Percent When He Left Office – Allowing Conservatives to Define His Presidency as An Example of Successful Conservative GovernanceWas 63 Percent When He Left Office – Allowing Conservatives to Define His Presidency as An Example of Successful Conservative Governance Lessons from the Reagan Legacy

6 The Bush Legacy Project The papering over of trickle down economics and disastrous budget policiesThe papering over of trickle down economics and disastrous budget policies The Reagan/Conservative Governance Myth that Gave us Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, the Republican Congress and the Contract with America (which put us on the defensive even while we had the WH in the 1990’s)The Reagan/Conservative Governance Myth that Gave us Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, the Republican Congress and the Contract with America (which put us on the defensive even while we had the WH in the 1990’s) Consequences of the Reagan Rebound:

7 The Bush Legacy Project Legitimacy for GWB’s era of trickle down economics, budget deficits, degrading of government institutions (leading to cronyism and incompetence -- FEMA/Katrina) and neo-conservative foreign policy Legitimacy for GWB’s era of trickle down economics, budget deficits, degrading of government institutions (leading to cronyism and incompetence -- FEMA/Katrina) and neo-conservative foreign policy Consequences of the Reagan Rebound (Cont.,)

8 The Bush Legacy Project What Would the World Look Like if Reagan had ended his Presidency with a Job Approval rating in the low to mid 40’s as opposed to the mid 60’s? Inquiring Minds…

9 Instead, Remember These Headlines?: Reaganism Makes a Great Theme For Election Season – A Winner for GOP Sun-Sentinel, October 17, 1994 Reaganism Makes a Great Theme For Election Season – A Winner for GOP Sun-Sentinel, October 17, 1994 Reaganism Resurfaces Among GOP Buffalo News, October 5, 1994 Reaganism Resurfaces Among GOP Buffalo News, October 5, 1994 I’m Reagan’s True Heir, Says Bush Daily News February 26, 2000 I’m Reagan’s True Heir, Says Bush Daily News February 26, 2000 Bush, McCain Tout Credentials as Rightful Reagan Heir Knight Ridder Washington Bureau, March 6, 2000 Bush, McCain Tout Credentials as Rightful Reagan Heir Knight Ridder Washington Bureau, March 6, 2000 The Bush Legacy Project

10 Keep Bush’s and conservative failures in the headlines and remind Americans why they have lost faith in Bush/agenda.Keep Bush’s and conservative failures in the headlines and remind Americans why they have lost faith in Bush/agenda. Tie Bush/agenda to the conservative/Republican brand and its followers.Tie Bush/agenda to the conservative/Republican brand and its followers. Highlight how Bush’s Conservative economic, social and foreign policy agenda has failed and shift the center of the political debate away from the Conservative frame to the Progressive.Highlight how Bush’s Conservative economic, social and foreign policy agenda has failed and shift the center of the political debate away from the Conservative frame to the Progressive. Goal: No “REAGAN” REBOUND FOR BUSH!!

11 The Bush Legacy Project Paid Advertising (SOTU, Super Bowl, Relevant Anniversaries)Paid Advertising (SOTU, Super Bowl, Relevant Anniversaries) Field-Press Operations in Key States (Tying His Allies to Bush Legacy and to current fights in Congress)Field-Press Operations in Key States (Tying His Allies to Bush Legacy and to current fights in Congress) Coordinated Rapid Response Across Groups/IssuesCoordinated Rapid Response Across Groups/Issues Major Elements of the Campaign Under Discussion:

12 The Bush Legacy Project Online Activity (sites/blogs devoted to Bush Legacy)Online Activity (sites/blogs devoted to Bush Legacy) Bush Legacy Bus (Rolling Museum to Bush Legacy with Stops in Key States, Political Conventions, etc.)Bush Legacy Bus (Rolling Museum to Bush Legacy with Stops in Key States, Political Conventions, etc.) A Bush Legacy Museum and/or Statue in Waco, TXA Bush Legacy Museum and/or Statue in Waco, TX Issue Forums, Historians ForumIssue Forums, Historians Forum Bus ads, Billboards, Concerts, ContestsBus ads, Billboards, Concerts, Contests Major Elements of the Campaign Under Discussion (cont’d):

13 The Bush Legacy Project A Bush Boost? GOP Banks on It He's a poll cellar-dweller whom even GOP presidential candidates sneer at, but George W. Bush and some congressional backers see happy days for the prez this year. His fans have dubbed it his "legacy year," when they hope to lock in his achievements on the domestic front. Among the items Bush's GOP congressional allies He's a poll cellar-dweller whom even GOP presidential candidates sneer at, but George W. Bush and some congressional backers see happy days for the prez this year. His fans have dubbed it his "legacy year," when they hope to lock in his achievements on the domestic front. Among the items Bush's GOP congressional allies want to work on this month: continuing his tax cuts and extending the controversial No Child Left Behind Act. As for the war, they say, the news has been good, and Bushies believe that their guy will eventually get credit for opening the war on terrorism. But more immediately, they are predicting a remarkable poll shift to about 45 want to work on this month: continuing his tax cuts and extending the controversial No Child Left Behind Act. As for the war, they say, the news has been good, and Bushies believe that their guy will eventually get credit for opening the war on terrorism. But more immediately, they are predicting a remarkable poll shift to about 45 percent favorable by the time he leaves office next year. (US News and World Report, January 10, 2008) percent favorable by the time he leaves office next year. (US News and World Report, January 10, 2008) The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown:

14 Americans United for Change The Bush Legacy Project: Re-defining the Political Debate Between Right and Left The Bush Legacy Project


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