GOP Slogan Machine Cranks Out the #Obamaquester

Speaker of the House John Boehner, center, answers reporters' questions Feb. 13 during a news conference with Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., left, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., at Republican Party Headquarters in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

When it comes to political marketing and sloganeering, congressional Republicans deserve a lot of credit.

Congressional aides — even Democratic ones — and longtime Washington defense hands and analysts often remark how impressive it is how the GOP comes up with their catchy themes.

Last week featured two, one from each chamber. One worked. Will the other?

On the Senate side, GOP members like Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., used a one-liner when pressing the White House to disclose information about President Obama’s actions during and after the deadly Sept. 11 Benghazi, Libya attack. “No confirmation without information,” Graham said.

The effort worked. The GOP senators got the information, and say they likely will allow Chuck Hagel to be confirmed next week.

On the House side, just as America was recovering from the hysteria that was the “fiscal cliff” and learning all about something called “sequestration,” House Republicans brought us a new sloagn, via a Twitter hashtag: #Obamasequester.

Coupling the president’s last name with the word sequester is part of a broader GOP push to convince American voters that Obama and his administration came up with the automatic twin $500 billion cuts to planned defense and domestic spending. (Journalist Bob Woodward over the weekend repeated something he reported in his latest book that Obama’s aides, during back-and-forth proposals with Republicans in August 2011, did indeed propose it. The White House has not refuted Woodward’s account of the birth of sequestration.)

Will it work as well as “no confirmation without information”? Obama is betting it won’t, even if the sequester cuts are triggered March 1 and actually take effect March 27. During a Tuesday event at the White House, Obama criticized Republicans for refusing to compromise about a package to again delay the pending cuts or permanently replace them. Obama wants a package with some more cuts, as well as entitlement program and tax reforms. Republicans want more cuts only.

“Most Americans,” Obama said, “agree with me.”

John T. Bennett

John T. Bennett

Bennett is the Editor of Defense News' CongressWatch channel. He has a Masters degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
John T. Bennett
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