Election season is a fascinating time to watch massive amounts of money being spent on marketing intangibles.
But as the title of this post suggests, this year, Newt Gingrich has attempted something a little different. He is attempting to 'win' by scoring points for the other team.
I put the word win in quotes because I'm not sure from the marketing message, what Gingrich is attempting to accomplish. His ads, statements, and overall marketing message deliver a conflicting collection of positions.
Let me use a couple of analogies.
Suppose you are selling Hummers, those big military-styler vehicles, that measure mileage by gallons per mile. And suppose you were competing against the Ford Expedition. Would it make sense to begin running ads against Ford Expeditions that you shouldn't buy an Expedition because they get terrible gas mileage?
Or your Diet Pepsi running an ad against Diet Coke and outlining the dangers of Aspartame, the sugar substitute in both Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi.
Or your American Airlines critizing Southwest Airlines for the baggage policies as being too competitive and preventing other airlines from making more money.
Newt Gingrich has been running a series of ads attacking his main rival, Mitt Romney. He has critizied Mitt for only paying 15% in taxes while in the same sentence putting forth a plan to let everyone pay 15% in taxes. Huh? If it is bad for Mitt to pay 15% why is it good for everyone else to pay 15%?
Gingrich has critizied Mitt for being successful at Bain while then stating that he would like to tell America's poor to go get a job and stop taking handouts. Huh? Why is it wrong for Mitt to be successful in his job but it is okay to tell others to go get a job?
Gingrich is labeling Mitt a Massachusetts moderate. He acts as if this is some kind of bad thing. Can you imagine a report card that says Jimmy is getting a lower grade in class because he gets along with everyone, is a model student, and shows respect to the teacher?
A moderate, in this election year, is what is needed to win the election. Someone who can speak to both sides and get something done in Washington. It is the platform Obama ran on so successfully. Why Gingrich believes that people will vote for him because he labels Mitt with the word moderate is an odd position.
As I've watched this year's debates and rhetoric, I've felt like a stunned fan at a football game watching a player scoop up a fumble and race 90 yards in the wrong direction. It would appear that Newt is willing to tear down the GOP house in order to 'win'. Like a debater playing the Devil's Advocate, Newt appears to have lost sight of what the real prize is; Winning the White House in November.