Monday, February 25, 2013
The White House's publicity blitz isn't working. The President himself said so. Of course, the full-court press is over the next "fiscal cliff", the sequester that kicks in this week. The White House released fact sheets for how the sequester will affect every state in the Union and the District of Columbia. Thus far, they have been treated with a collective yawn. Has the President cried wolf too many times? Is the public ready for budget cuts? Do citizens not understand what is going to happen? At this point, it is unclear, but the American public is not motivated and not solidly behind the President. If the austerity budgets of Europe can be used as a model, they will be once the pain kicks in. Voters don't like anything taken from them, even when the structure of a country is threatened as it is in Greece. So, while Republicans might be pursuing a fiscally responsible course, they are risking loss of public support. Thus far, the party and its leadership has done a poor job of defending itself against a charge of recklessness. They don't have the bully pulpit of the White House, but they do have opportunities to make their case. They haven't done it. From a PR perspective, we are entering an interesting time.