DEMOCRATS' OTHER VICTORY: CHANGING THE 2014 NARRATIVE?
I love this Politico headline:
I've been less excited than a lot of lefties about the signup surge, because I've assumed that the media's national narrative on the health care law would just continue to be driven by Republicans, but I've been pleasantly surprised at this week's press -- Democrats actually seem to have changed the Obamacare story. It's now a triumph-over-adversity story, a story about the administration solving problems and achieving a goal.
I still think America's political press is wired for Republicans, and I still think Republicans are better as messaging (except during presidential campaigns) -- but all of a sudden this is feeling like 2012, when the story the Obama campaign told (about Republican economics, about GOP puritanism on birth control, and so on) not only broke through but became the electorate's narrative.
The narrative now seems to be that, whatever you think of the health care law, the administration got its signups, and got them after fixing a non-function website and making up for time lost when the site didn't work. It's a compelling story because who in the news does anything right these days? We can't fix the economy. We can't stop Putin. We can't halt the bloodshed in Syria. We can't find the damn plane. By contrast, the White House righted this ship and got it to its destination on time.
The story didn't change just because the signup process started to work. The story changed because the administration was persistent in putting out a positive message, which was then backed up with action. The messaging persistence was as necessary as the repair of the signup process.
Maybe this will carry through to November. Maybe Democrats really can change the narrative on other issues, as if this were a presidential election year. Hard to know, but I'm more optimistic.
And yes, I always thought the correct spelling was "hummina, hummina, hummina." (Update from comments: "Weirdly, Politico has changed its headline to 'Homina, homina, homina.'")