Afternoon Update: In Memory of Zeno Edwards: Best Counter-Attack Ad Ever; Obama’s Probability of Winning Update

by johndavis, August 23, 2011

[audio:http://www.johndavisconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Aug-23-IPD-ZENO.mp3|titles=Aug 23 IPD ZENO] Afternoon Update Post: August 23, 2011       3 PM “I don’t need people like you lecturing me about morality.” Dr. Zeno Edwards, DDS, Washington, North Carolina September 30, 1926 – August 20, 2011 Quote from 1998 TV ad during race for NC House as a Democrat In Memory of Zeno Edwards: Best
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[audio:http://www.johndavisconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Aug-23-IPD-ZENO.mp3|titles=Aug 23 IPD ZENO]

Afternoon Update Post: August 23, 2011       3 PM

“I don’t need people like you lecturing me about morality.”

Dr. Zeno Edwards, DDS, Washington, North Carolina
September 30, 1926 – August 20, 2011
Quote from 1998 TV ad during race for NC House as a Democrat

In Memory of Zeno Edwards: Best Counter-Attack Ad Ever!

Former state Representative Zeno Edwards, a Washington dentist who served four terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives (two as a Republican and two as a Democrat) died Saturday.  He will be remembered, as Rep. Bill Owens, D-Pasquotank, so aptly described him in an AP story this weekend, as one who “always spoke his mind and stood his ground.”

In 1998, Edwards taught us this political lesson: never attack the character of a candidate with impeccable character if that candidate is one who always speaks their mind and stands their ground. His Republican opponent, Rep. Sandy Hardy, learned that lesson the hard way.

Character Attack Campaign Led by Character-Challenged Gingrich

In the fall of 1998, Republicans in NC and around the U.S. ran ads reminding voters of the affair between President Clinton and a 21-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky.  They also tried to bring down Democrats running for the state legislature with TV ads tying them to Bill Clinton, suggesting that legislative Democrats approved of Clinton’s “poor conduct.”

The nationwide ill-conceived attack campaign was led by none other than the character-challenged Newt Gingrich, then Speaker of the U.S. House, who was engaging in an extramarital affair with a member of his staff while criticizing Clinton for his affair.

GOP political strategists assumed in 1998 that the American people could be duped into believing that Republicans had greater personal character qualities than Democrats.  They forgot the time-honored lesson: Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

In fact, Speaker Gingrich was the most unpopular national political figure of the entire decade of the 1990s.  The percent of American voters with a favorable impression of Newt Gingrich’s brand of leadership never broke the mid-forties during 1998.  Meanwhile, Clinton’s favorable numbers soared to over 70 percent after the articles of impeachment were voted on by the U.S. House in December of 1998 … higher than Ronald Reagan’s ever were!

The Ad: “Politicians like you are a public nuisance.”

Rep. Zeno Edwards’ GOP opponent in 1998 was Rep. Sandy Hardy, a Pitt County attorney.  Hardy was one of the Republicans who made the mistake of trying to bring down a North Carolina Democrat by tying them to Clinton in campaign ads.

Edwards ran the best counter-attack ad I have ever seen (for the times).  It was set at his home in Washington. He was sitting on a couch with his wife Rosemarie.

Transcript:  "My opponent claims that because I’m a Democrat that I approve of President Clinton's poor conduct.  That’s nonsense.  Mr. Hardy, I’m 72 years old. I’ve been married to the same lady for 49 years. You are 37 years old, and you have never been married.  I don't need people like you lecturing me about morality. Politicians like you who talk about character and don't know the meaning of the word are a public nuisance."

After the dust settled in November 1998, Democrats had won an upset comeback victory by not losing what they had and by making surprise gains.  For the first time since 1934, the party in the White House picked up Congressional seats during a mid-term election year.

Here in North Carolina, U.S. Senator Lauch Faircloth, R-Sampson County, lost to political novice John Edwards, D-Wake County, and the GOP lost the majority party advantage in the NC House to the Democrats ... including Democrat Zeno Edwards.

Attack Politics 101:  Never attack the character of a candidate with impeccable character if that candidate is one who always speaks their mind and stands their ground.

Click here to view the Zeno Edwards counter-attack ad.

Obama's Reelect Potential - Investors Political Daily Update 49%

The Investors Political Daily model for tracking President Obama's potential for reelection continues to show him in the running at 49%.  See report with 12 political and economic indicators here.

President Obama's “Job Approval” is at its lowest point since his swearing in according to Gallup, now at 38% approval; 54% disapproval.  Gallup notes by way of comparison that in August before they were re-elected, Ronald Reagan had a 43% “Job Approval” and Bill Clinton had a 46% “Job Approval.”

The major variables keeping Obama in the running for a second term are the historic low “Job Approval” of Congress (13%), which includes congressional Republicans, and the unsettled GOP presidential field.  Right now, far more people are supporting Obama than approve of the job he is doing.

Gallup has rated congressional “Job Approval” since 1974.  The three-decade average approval is 34%.  Although Obama’s “Job Approval” is a dismal 38%, his numbers are three times greater than those of the US Congress.  Among Independent voters, only 9% approve of the job the US Congress is doing.

Obama’s probability in North Carolina remains at 44%.  He is still in the running for a 2nd term but is not likely to carry North Carolina.

Perdue's Reelect Potential - Coming in Tomorrow's Investors Political Daily

Tomorrow’s Investors Political Daily will use 12 key economic and political variables to forecast Gov. Beverly Perdue's likelihood of winning in 2012.  Look for 3 PM release.

Last Night's Keynote: NC Agribusiness Council's 42nd Annual Meeting

I had the pleasure and honor to deliver the keynote address last night at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the NC Agribusiness Council.  The title of my remarks was, Eight Plus Ten Equals Twelve: How the Political Lessons of 2008 Plus those of 2010 suggest the Likely Winners in 2012. If you are interested in a political speaker, click here to check on my availability.

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