To drive points home, try better communication with the people 

On the day after President Barack Obama’s appearance before them, House Republicans invited my radio colleague Dennis Prager, the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund and me to address their retreat.

I chose to open my remarks with a brief seminar on effective communication because the GOP is almost genetically disposed to blurred messages and garbled points. Here’s the summary of my remarks:

Effective communication requires clarity and repetition, enhanced by brevity, energy and good humor. Thus, if Republicans want to establish benchmarks against which the president and congressional Democrats should be judged in November, they need to begin now to spell them out, and then do so again and again in concise and memorable fashion.


1. If the president is serious about jobs, he will order water delivered to California’s Central Valley.

2. If the president is serious about national security, he will order the attorney general to remand underpants bomber Umar Fraouk Abdulmuttallab into the custody of the Department of Defense for transfer to Gitmo.

3. If the president is serious about helping small businesses and growing the economy, he will demand of his appointees to the Consumer Products Safety Commission that they take immediate steps to stop the crushing and absurd overkill of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act.

4. If the president is serious about health care reform, he will demand comprehensive tort reform as part of any legislation.

This sort of messaging doesn’t come easily to Republicans. They need to remember that Scott Brown won in Massachusetts because of three words, “the people’s seat,” and not three months of position papers and conferences.

They have to understand that in communication, everything matters. Repetition matters most of all. The budget deficit was $161 billion in 2007. It is $1.35 trillion today. Those two numbers have to be hammered on again and again and again.

The mainstream media will not help, but new media and talk radio will, if used the right way and not as an afterthought. Rush and Sean, Bennett, Medved, Prager, Gallagher, Levin and Ingraham are vast highways leading straight to the public, as is every local radio host in America.

All of this and more took less than 10 minutes, and I repeated myself on every point. Clarity and repetition. Brevity, energy and good humor.

Examiner columnist Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at


About The Author

Hugh Hewitt


Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at

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