Friday, October 10, 2008

Honing the Message

I'm not quite arrogant and crazy enough to run for president myself, but just enough to offer some advice... for what it's worth. [Please keep in mind that I'm on a lot of cold medicine right now.]

As previously mentioned, Obama came close to hitting the right points in Tuesday's debate, but managed to fumble it almost every time. Below are three key interrelated policy points I think he can use to drive this election home, if he so chooses.

1. Trickle Up Economics
Obama said two weeks ago, "Instead of prosperity tricking down, the pain has trickled up. We need to change direction. Now." He needs to coin, take ownership of and follow through with "trickle up economics." Support start-ups rather than keeping bloated 20th century multinationals on life support. If you are going to help the corporate dinosaurs, the recently approved loan to the auto industry to develop alternative fuel vehicles is a good direction - but force them to use that money to innovate efficient manufacturing processes and develop products which will be relevant to the global market more than a couple years out. Most importantly, understand that the future of the US economy is garages, workshops and nomadic offices, not board rooms.

2. The Energy Crisis Opportunity
Obama has made the case that the US could seize the international need for sustainable energy as a growth industry to lead in. He needs to make a stronger and more concise case though. Frame the current energy crisis as a wake up call for a radical shift in direction and an opportunity for leadership. This ties in with both the first and third point. Innovation should be our #1 export, and what better way than energy? If you want to defuse Russia, this is a no-brainer.

3. National Integrity Strategy
Again, he's spoken around this a lot, but has to make it concise. When asked what the Obama Doctrine was by Brokaw, he should have nailed this! Instead... gosh, I can't even remember what he said. I think I dozed off during his answer. This is what I had to say about it in July. In basic terms: be good world citizens and restore the United States as an example to aspire to. What better way to improve national security than to take away the reasons people hate us?

Overall, don't try to fix what's broken. Change the paradigms.

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