Confidential Republican Document Mocks Donors, Reveals Fear Strategy
Politico has unearthed a Republican National Committee strategy document that refers to “ego-driven” wealthy donors who can be bought off with access and “tchochkes,” and mentions how fear can be used to attract dollars.
The presentation was delivered by RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at a party retreat in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18, a source at the gathering said.
In neat PowerPoint pages, it lifts the curtain on the often-cynical terms of political marketing, displaying an air of disdain for the party’s donors that is usually confined to the barroom conversations of political operatives.
Playing on fears, the document warns that the country must be saved from “socialism,” and uses insulting graphic representations of key Democrats.
One page, headed “The Evil Empire,” pictures Obama as the Joker from Batman, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid are depicted as Cruella DeVille and Scooby Doo, respectively.
Knowing the press was sniffing around, the RNC distanced Chairman Michael Steele from its contents.
“The document was used for a fundraising presentation Chairman Steele did not attend, nor had he seen the document,” RNC Communications Director Doug Heye said in an email. “Fundraising documents are often controversial.
“Obviously, the Chairman disagrees with the languageand finds the use of such imagery to be unacceptable. It will not be used by the Republican National Committee – in any capacity – in the future,” Heye said.
Small donors are distinguished from larger donors in terms of approach.
The small donors who are the targets of direct marketing are described under the heading “Visceral Giving.” Their motivations are listed as “fear;” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration;” and “Reactionary.”
Major donors, by contrast, are treated in a column headed “Calculated Giving.”
Their motivations include: “Peer to Peer Pressure”; “access”; and “Ego-Driven.”Click here for reuse options!
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