Friday, June 12, 2009

TOUCHDOWN: HARPER BORROWS FROM OBAMA PLAYBOOK


The leader of the nation, sitting on a stool, speaking to an in-the-round audience of area residents, workers and businesspeople, talking about his government’s record of decisive action aimed at helping the community he was in and the country as a whole recover from the tremendous economic upheaval we’ve been living through. Barack Obama? He uses the “town hall” technique to great effect on a consistent basis alright, but no, I’m talking about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Cambridge, Ontario yesterday, in which he used every play in Obama’s book with respect to such events. The result was a well-controlled, visually powerful and on-message communications effort, and one which did two things: helped position the Conservatives as having gotten busy flowing stimulus funding in a range of areas, funding which is having an impact – something critically important in the run-up to the “report card” demanded by the opposition parties; and second, it helped change the channel away from “Raitt-gate” and John Baird’s F-bombing of Toronto and back onto more substantive matters of government. There’s a reason Obama likes these events so much; expect more of them from Harper.

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