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From Ratibirds to Republican Opponents: The Right Way to “Hate” an Archrival

In Articles on September 30, 2012 at 9:30 am

As much as arch-rivals may hate each other, a healthy dose of respect for each other ups the levels of strategy, execution, and results for participants and viewers alike. It is a lesson that Republicans should apply to the 2012 election over the last 5 weeks.


It might help Governor Romney in Pennsylvania and in the battleground states to take some NFL advice from Steelers Nation.


The NFL season is a great time to bring out the best in Americans. We are passionate about our football. We love our teams. It exudes a lot of pride in our cities (or hometowns) and the past victories (in the case of Steelers Nation, 6 Super Bowl victories) that come with rooting for the great football team.


There is also a lot to learn about sports and competition, even in the nuances of the game.


Those paying attention can learn about valuing respect over hate. They can learn about sticking with a game plan instead of acting out of desperation. They can learn about late-minute victories and avoiding blow-outs with costly mistakes.


If the Romney campaign is looking for a little inspiration and notes for how to approach the final five weeks of the election in order to capture victory at this late moment of the game, they could look to the most passionate rivalry in the NFL.




Steelers Nation and the Pittsburgh Steelers team organization may not hate the Ravens, but they certainly strongly dislike them. Both teams have had their share of stinging victories over the other (although the Ravens have yet to win a playoff game against their avowed archrival). Yet, through all of the hard hits and talking trash, there is always an underlining principle that makes the confrontations great ones that benefit the teams and the NFL alike: a healthy amount of genuine respect for each other’s talents and accomplishments – just enough to temper zeal with rationale.


The Romney campaign needs to find the same towards President Obama if Governor Romney’s likeability numbers and polling results in key battleground states are going to turn around throughout the last 5 weeks.


Governor Romney’s best bet for convincing the small amount of 2008 Obama voters to side with him will be for the campaign tone to go back to showing respect for the president personally, but the need for a change from the president next term. That is much of what the nation is again experiencing from the Romney-Ryan messaging over the past few days. It is a sound strategy. Every time the Republican presidential ticket gets caught up in the overzealous, over-emotional attacks on President Obama in a narrow fashion (e.g., one that focuses on urban myth or questionable tactics), the polling numbers go down, leaving the GOP playing catch-up. In this race, every moment where Republicans are playing catch up in a climate where the economy is risking another recession, the Obama team feels more confident about victory, regardless of their own performance.


Catch the whole article, “How to Hate an Archrival” on Politic365.

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