Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa didn’t give a perfect example of how to win over independents. In fact, he did pretty much everything wrong in erupting into this exhortation:

“We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We’re going to win that war,” Jimmy Hoffa Jr. said to a heavily union crowd.

“President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong,” Hoffa added.

First, I don’t know that Hoffa’s statement to “take these son of bitches out” is just colorful language. I don’t know that because SEIU thugs beat Kenneth Gladney to a pulp in St. Louis. I don’t know that because SEIU thugs threatened a teenage boy in Montgomery County, MD, for the unforgiveable sin of having a dad work at Bank of America.
If Frank Luntz were to play the video of this introduction fora focus group, I’d bet that it’d stink in the dials ratings. I’d bet that because Hoffa did everything wrong that he could do wrong in that setting.

Next, saying that they’ll “take these son of bitches out” isn’t the way to appeal to independents. First, independents don’t often like in-your-face confrontation. Hoffa’s exhortation and promise is too testosterone-filled for most independents.

Second, Hoffa is on the wrong side of the issue. If there was a genuine groundswell of support for unions, union drives would be in the news nightly. The fact that they aren’t speaks to the unions’ popularity. Simply put, they aren’t popular.

Hoffa made certain to work the TEA Party into the speech, too, because he thinks that they’re wildly unpopular. They aren’t. They aren’t wildly popular, either. What’s certain is that, generally speaking, they’re more popular than unions. TEA Party principles, in fact, are wildly popular with anyone that isn’t part of the hard line wing of the Democratic Party.

The other mistake that Hoffa made was talking about waging war. At this point, in a game of word association, the first word tied to union is thug. They’ve seen the protests in Madison, WI. They’ve heard the AFSCME Michigan thug threaten Michigan:

If necessary, we will use the valuable public service jobs that we perform as a weapon and shut this state down.

Anyone thinking that this plays well with mainstreet voters is either delusional or stupid. At this point, it’s impossible to tell which it is.

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4 Responses to “This isn’t how to win independents”

  • Sandra DiPalermo says:

    As long as people only listen to news soundbites demonization of the opposite Party will continue to be very successful. Fighting back through the same demonization is sad, bit unfortunately necessary.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Actually, people don’t need in-depth reporting to understand that Hoffa & his thugs put themselves first & everyone else a distant second. I don’t disagree with you, though I think Republicans have alot more weapons in the arsenal than you might think.

  • eric z says:

    DiPlaermo has a point. Gary, where is the full context? This is a chicken-little, the sky is being pulled down by a union leader’s speaking thing.

    Grow legs to it if you can, but the tempest is in a tea pot.

    And, people do need in-depth reporting of real things, not sensationalism with no productive analysis of things such as Romney releasing an economic proposal set, and other GOP wannabes yet to take that step.

    Emmer diddled on releasing a set of economic proposals, and when he did, it was clear he was fairly far from the mainstream, but at least he closed the gap to make it a contest by abandoning the restaurant server hundred grand kind of bunk, and articulating something amenable to polite discourse.

    Will Santorum and Bachmann be specific about anything concrete, soon, or only after Romney and Perry do it?

    Think about it. There’s plenty of time between now and next November, but the election will be about economic considerations, and the GOP hopefuls will have to do what Emmer was finally run into having to do – enunciate a cogent plan of some kind and consistency. BS only goes as far as South Carolina, then …

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