Robert M. Teeterwas an American Republican pollster and political campaign strategist...
Look at the declining television coverage. Look at the declining voting rate. Economics and economic news is what moves the country now, not politics.
Another cause for the increase in alienation and cynicism is a feeling that too many policy decisions that affect individuals have been taken out of any system that has accountability or that they can influence.
Whatever he does should be seen as working at the Presidency and if he goes to Colorado for Christmas, it should be for a minimum amount of time, the family tradition and family get-together aspect emphasized, and it be seen as a working vacation.
It is my belief that it is not the fact that he traveled as much as he did during the past few months as much as what he said and how he said it that hurt him.
Many citizens see all the leadership of these large institutions together in a conspiracy against them rather than in any adversary relationship with each other.
People feel that decisions about their jobs, the way their children are educated, how their church functions, and products they buy are made by someone and some place so distant that they can't find anybody to talk to that has any influence over them.
People just automatically say 'If this guy is George and Barbara Bush's son, we don't have any question about those personal qualities that we were fooled on by Clinton.'
Research has shown that the perceived style of leadership is by far the most important thing to most voters in evaluating officeholders and candidates.
The endorsement of respected conservative Republican officeholders and politicians is particularly important at this time as to destroy Reagan's credibility as a loyal Republican.
This is easy to say with the benefit of hindsight, but I think it once again points out how very important style of leadership, that is the way he does what he does, is to his perception.
We have for the past year and undoubtedly will be for the next year, dealing with an electorate that is more alienated and more cynical than at any point in modern time.
We ought not to be looking for something spectacular but rather develop a plan in conjunction with the White House to work our way out of this problem over the next six weeks.
We need a little more 'Hail to the Chief.'
As the society has gotten larger and more complex, individuals have lost their ability to influence any of the institutions that affect their lives.
Every person has only so much attention to give, and politics and government takes up only a fraction of what it did 25 years ago.
Most of the things that need to be said about the President are things he can't say himself.
The President's political travel is going to get blamed (and probably rightly) for a share of this downturn.
There are not enough people out talking about the President positively.
We need people out talking about the President, explaining, agreeing with and praising his actions.
We should remember the campaign advertising will be only a smaller portion of the President's total exposure.
I think he could have made most of the trips and gone to most of the fund-raisers if he would have avoided the partisan rhetoric and talked to the country as President in each of these appearances rather than to the narrow partisan audiences.
While the President leads his potential adversaries in almost every state, his support is soft. He is seen as honest, sincere, just, and friendly but gets mediocre or relatively poor ratings being competent strong, intelligent, and a forceful leader.
While these attitudes are more visible when directed at government, there is ample evidence that many working people distrust their own union as much as they do the corporation they work for.
Also the fact that anything he does is seen and heard by the entire country, not just his actual audience or those who live in the region he happens to be in.
I think we need one recognized, respected public figure to make a tough, blunt statement on just what Reagan's record is and what he might do to the country, let alone the Republican Party before Christmas.
The President has not created any Ford constituency, unique from that of any Republican President. The one exception to this is that he does show unique strength with young voters for a Republican.
Major policy decisions that affect them are now made by the courts, the bureaucracy and 'The Headquarters' of various organizations.
Moreover when Reagan and the President were compared on the handling of a series of issues of foreign affairs and dealing with Congress.
He needs to appear more presidential. While his warm friendly manner has served him well, he does not have any of the aura of being President.
We need an umbrella under which we can put all of the President's programs and end up with the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
Without a Mayaguez, or something comparable that we don't see in the immediate future, there is probably no one thing the President can do to himself to turn this situation around.
While only about half of the voters feel they know very much about Reagan or what he stands for, the Republicans who do have a very positive perception of him.
While these attitudes are more visible when direct- ed at government, there is ample evidence that many working people distrust their own union as much as they do the corporation they work for.
Reagan is close to or ahead of the President in being seen as able to handle inflation, unemployment, government spending, and crime.
Probably the most single successful part of the '72 campaign was the surrogate program and something like it needs to be established.
Detente is a particularly unpopular idea with most Republican primary voters and the word is worse. We ought to stop using the word whenever possible.
This is against a background of having been taught our system works best when made up of individuals who all act as responsible individuals.
This person should not be directly connected with the President Ford Committee nor should he be seen as a member of the liberal wing of the Republican Party. He should be someone like Laird or Rogers Morton.
There needs to be a planned series of speeches, interviews, etc., over the next two or three months by administration officials and other public figures talking about President Ford, what he is trying to do and what he has accomplished.
This has resulted in more and more people becoming inner-directed and having as their only goal, getting as much as they can get out of the system and putting as little into it as possible
The President, the Administration and the campaign need a theme. I am concerned that the President is seen as a tactician without an overall strategy of his plan for the country.