Proposal for Action by Conservative Organizations


obama_cnn_malkin_credit.jpgConservatives are giving voice to moving ideas to govern. Heidi Brennan developed this article which deserves a wide audience.

Obama: Did we elect a president?

or a logo?

A man?

or a Brand?

Proposal for Action by Conservative Organizations

By Heidi L. Brennan

The results of last week’s national election are being endlessly dissected and discussed in news rooms, board rooms, and living rooms, but the following should be clear:

The loss of the White House and substantial losses in both houses of Congress are NOT due to a failure of conservative policy. They are the failure of those in the Republican Party who neutralized, ignored, and/or fought every conservative principle over the past eight years.

The Democratic Party outspent and outmaneuvered Republicans, especially at the grassroots level and in sophisticated internet communications strategy.

The two most interesting people to emerge in this campaign are: Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber.

The current collapse of our economy is shrinking everyone’s budget, and the consequences will include reduction of donations to non-profit advocacy institutions, including those promoting conservative values. Though funding will lessen (initially), a strong conservative values base continues to exist and will make every effort to contribute to dynamic advocacy. Conservative voters are poised to become new community activists. They may rightfully expect new ideas and strategies for promoting enduring principles. Education and policy organizations must find ways to engage these grassroots conservative values advocates with new resources, developing simplified ways to deliver timely political information along with easily usable policy research information.

Palin and the Plumber captured the enthusiastic support of voters because they transcended debate by doing more than espousing basic conservative principles. They told their personal stories in an authentic, simple manner effectively linked to election debate. There were no gimmicks, and no controlled published biographies in advance. Today’s most successful public relations and marketing plans tell a story, engaging the targeted consumer, voter, or client so that they are motivated to act.

Conservative organizations should consider the following:

· Prepare stories and recruit/prepare effective storytellers to reflect their mission/values.

Assess current databases and develop others, especially directed at grassroots conservative activism.

Increase the use of internet-based media/information-sharing tools.

Expand leadership training opportunities beyond the college age population, to include high school and middle school students.

Recognizing that all parents are their children’s primary teachers, especially of moral and civic values, develop easily-accessible internet-based materials for parents to utilize within their families.

Conservatives cannot afford to wait until January’s inauguration of our next President and Congress to implement new thinking and approaches. Organization development should begin now.

more at the jump

I am frustrated to see the huge positive impact of Sarah Palin met with so little recognition by conservative leaders that they need to hire Palin types. For twenty years, I was the primary spokeswoman and lead commentary/policy writer/editor for Welcome Home, the monthly journal of Mothers At Home. I went toe-to-toe with members of Congress and the media on tax and child care policy. I spoke to hundreds of mother support groups and conferences, reducing the arcane topic of taxes to a digestible topic for their understanding and explanation to others. I did this for free while policy analysts in every major conservative family policy group referred reporters to me because “the media needs to hear from mothers.” Oh really? You “betcha.” I stopped doing this 4 years ago because I could no longer afford to give away my time that way, and decided to move on.

In the first 30 seconds that Palin spoke when introduced by McCain, I knew the conservative movement had found a female Ronald Reagan. No wonder the “drive-by” media went ballistic. They were scared, very scared. I began receiving personal emails from women friends and former colleagues from all over the country overjoyed with Palin. They reported moderate and even liberal women friends being drawn to her.

I was very excited by Palin’s ability to transcend the working mother/at-home mother dichotomy. My 20 years with MAH put me on the front-lines of the media created “Mommy Wars,” trying to move a lose-lose debate into a realm of understanding that most mothers put their children’s needs first while trying to maintain other responsibilities and needs in their lives. Mothers didn’t need convincing. It was the media and academic radical feminist ideologues who stoked flames of conflict to advance their agenda.

At the first Sarah rally, here in Fairfax, I observed at-home mothers with strollers and diaper bags cheering shoulder to shoulder (perhaps I should say hip to hip) with women in business attire carrying brief cases. It confirmed my first impression: Palin represented all women unapologetic for their devotion to family regardless of employment decisions. She showed us that great ideas benefit from simple statements about the realities of life, not empty, feel-good or complicated rhetoric.


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4 Responses

  1. Jo says:

    Fellow Business Executives:

    As the CFO of this business that employs 140 people, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barrack Obama is our next President, and that our taxes and government fees will increase in a BIG way.

    To compensate for these increases, I figure that the Clients will have to see an increase in our fees to them of about 8% but since we cannot increase our fees right now due to the dismal state of our economy, we will have to lay off six of our employees instead.

    This has really been eating at me for a while, as we believe we are family here and I didn’t know how to choose who will have to go.

    So, this is what I did. I strolled thru our parking lot and found 8 Obama bumper stickers on our employees’ cars and have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off. I can’t think of a more fair way to approach this problem. These folks wanted change; I gave it to them.

    If you have a better idea, let me know.

  2. I suggest you delay action – there is no telling what will emerge tax-wise by the time Obama and congress are done working out the details. Maybe tax will go up for you, maybe it wont. Remember that presidents don’t always do what they promised.

  3. Charmaine Yoest says:

    Suricou, I think you are on to something:


    1) Obama keeps his promises and trips a recession, or

    2) Obama does not keep his promises and reneges on a campaign issue.


    Obama destroys the economy, or

    Obama is a lying politician.

    This is what liberals bring to the debate: deception or depression.

    Thank you for your comment from a UK perspective,


  4. Will says:

    What can we do about the “drive-by” media? I was so sick of NBC’s nightly SNL/Tina Fey broadcasts, I was screaming. I don’t know whether that constant coverage really hurt Palin, but is there any way that conservatives could get control of something in the mainstream media before the next election? I would love to see Obama impersonations 24-7 for two months before the next election!