Print Politics

Mitt Romney Political Flyer Has a Big Impact, 5 Years Later

Be Careful What You Put on Your Political Printing?

Advertising copy can be the key to campaign success; it can also ensure accountability, whether you like it or not!

Unlike web pages, which can be lost in the annals of time, paper can be preserved almost indefinitely. This, of course, means that anything you put your name next to on paper, you'll be held to at some point, whether that point is now, or five years from now. And that doesn't just include mortgage papers and marriage certificates, it also includes signs, stickers, flyers, and all other forms of political printing.

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney got a taste of this fact of life on Monday, when an old flyer surfaces from his days campaigning for governor in Massachusetts. The bright pink flyer reads: “Mitt and Kerry Wish you a Great Pride Weekend! All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual preference.”

A harmless and good-willed statement, you might think, unless you're suddenly a Republican Presidential candidate that positions himself as firmly opposed to same sex marriage.

Romney, whose feelings about same sex marriage have always been somewhat hard to pin down, was clearly eager to please the gay community of Massachusetts when campaigning for governor. Unfortunately, rather than the emergence of this piece of political printing as an opportunity to remember the values he began with, the Romney campaign seems to be firing back with ads in Iowa that position him as one of the few candidates firmly opposed to same-sex marriage.

Of course, all the candidates running for President seem to have a few skeletons in their closet. It's just kind of funny that Romney's involve a position of tolerance that he's now trying to cover up by touting his intolerance.

During the course of any election campaign, a candidate has to choose positions carefully. When writing copy to be used in political printing, one of three things can be done:

  • Say what you need to to win today, and don't worry about the future.
  • Do your darnedest to please all the people, all the time, of both today and the future (good luck!).
  • Commit to articulating what's important to you as clearly as possible, and commit to standing by it in the years and the campaigns to come.
  • This third option might seem idealistic, but studies have shown that your position on a given issue doesn't matter as much as your consistency, in the eyes of voters. And ultimately, it's got to be better to show your mettle by sticking to what you believe in, than showing your weakness by being exposed as a candidate who will say anything to win votes.

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