As was noted widely across the blogosphere last night and this morning, President Obama has just openly embraced the “Lakoff strategy” outlined in my recent review of the Democratic campaign guide The Little Blue Book. In that book (and in previous writings as well), George Lakoff over and over tells Democrats that in order to win elections they need to change their “narrative” and not their policies. In an interview with CBS news yesterday, Obama said this:
“When I think about what we’ve done well and what we haven’t done well, the mistake of my first term – couple of years – was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that’s important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.”
“Tell a story” = create a narrative.
What’s comical about this is that Obama is like an amateur thespian who reads the stage instructions as part of his dialogue, unaware that he’s not supposed to speak them aloud:
“Alas poor Yorick! Holds up skull. I knew him well, strides to front of stage.”
What Obama has done here isn’t create a narrative, but rather repeated the instructions from Lakoff that he should create a narrative.
Note to Team Obama: It doesn’t work if you announce what you’re doing.