Monday, December 29, 2008
Republican brand headed for Oldsmobile-ville
After the Presidential election I advised Republicans to restore their shredded brand by looking to Lincoln. Not to Reagan or to stale media pundits, but to Lincoln, the source of Republican strength and appeal. My warning was: Obama is already stealing your Lincoln... and he is!
This from Bill Kristol in today's New York Times:
"Obama will be the first president to take the oath of office using the Lincoln Bible, held by President Lincoln at his first inauguration, since ... Lincoln.
... It’s an homage to Lincoln, not a claim to be like him. Obama intends to look back to Lincoln for guidance and to look up to him as a model. Lincoln, our greatest president and statesman, had a deep understanding of American exceptionalism. He thought long and hard about the relationship of American founding principles to political practice, and in his actions exemplified the prudent and skillful pursuit of a principled end. He was also a great war president. Obama could do a lot worse than study Lincoln and learn from him."
Heading for brand oblivion
This – in words more eloquent than mine – is Brandsinger's characterization of Lincoln. My point on November 11 was that Obama – by arrogating Lincoln's values to his own cause – can kick the props out from under Republicans. If Republicans concede Lincoln's legacy to Obama, they leave little of their brand but a ramshackle hut divided against itself, an empty, irrelevant shell ready to be discarded along with the Olds and (soon) the Buick.