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A Note From “Bear in the Woods”

Sunday, May 3, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Our favorite anonymous ad exec, “Bear in the Woods” is below.

You may have noticed regular contributions from Bear and his counterpart in the banking world, “Banker Guy,” a CEO with a large regional bank.

I’d love to add to their number from the senior ranks of Big Medicine (a hospital CEO or chief of medicine at a major institution) and Big Insurance (e.g. a CEO of a state Blue) as the push for single-payer gets underway. I protect the identities of my guest posters very closely, but of course cannot guarantee that some super sleuth won’t ever find out who they are, only that I’ll do my best to keep them anonymous. They write pointed by fair critiques of what they see going on in the country from their unique perspectives. These posts aren’t “insider tips” or political gossip –though those are welcome as well via– but rather short takes on key issues from very successful professionals in fields far removed from professional punditry. My e-mail tells me they are very popular, just as first-hand accounts from the battles inside Afghanistan and Iraq have always been far more valued than the MSM-filtered newspapers reports which are always presenting yesterday’s news as tomorrow’s headlines. If you are interested, drop me a line with the ability to confirm you are who you say you are -a phone number, for example– and we can see if you post as well as you manage.

That said, the Bear writes:

Ok, well, we’ll see. The signs are encouraging. Todd Herman, the GOP’s new New Media Director understands the tools. A site rebuild is in the works. And the town hall meeting series has the potential to persuade the higher ups in the party to listen to the grassroots. (As an aside, they could have been listening for some time, but apparently haven’t been able to understand that there are faces and minds behind all those Tweets. If it takes putting faces and minds in a room for them to get the point, then so be it. )

Todd has his work cut out for him. While it should be relatively easy (emphasis on relatively) to move the GOP toward better use of new media, it will be more difficult for him to lead this conservative (small “c”) client to embrace messaging that truly engages people. Again, I’m encouraged here, that the party reached out to someone outside of the beltway, and outside of the political vertical. Because sticking within any industry vertical for your advertising and marketing guidance is usually a recipe for awful advertising. The consumer-directed industry most replete with “specialist” ad agencies is healthcare/pharma. When was the last time you saw a hospital or drug commercial that really set you on fire? Politics, too, is almost always handled by political “specialists.” Enough said.

If Todd is to succeed, his mission is to get the party leaders to understand what the Democrats have understood, and practiced, for 30 years: Political positions deliver victories when they become part of popular culture. It’ll take more than a functioning website. With the Tea Parties, which were based on a bloated “stimulus,” but could embrace so much more, the GOP has been handed the seeds of a popular movement. What can they do with it? We’ll see.

One more note: I’ll need a deep bench for the debate over single payer. If you are interested in appearing on air and carry the sort of credentials that people ought to respect, let me know. Again, there are plenty of pundits. I’m looking for people who actually treat lots of patients successfully, execs in great centers of medicine like the Mayo or Cleveland Clinics, or senior insurance pr pharma industry execs. Again, the e-mail is

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The Next 100 Days

Saturday, May 2, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I hate slow news weeks. The 100 day mark was reached this week, a pandemic’s approach announced, one of the Big Three entered bankruptcy, Arlen Specter bolted and Justice Souter announced his retirement. And of course Congressional Democrats broke the Senate’s long tradition and announced that radical restructuring of health care would occur with only 50 votes needed in the Senate.

These are all major stories, and if the H1N1 virus follows the path of its ancestor the Spanish flu, even if it remains a mild influenza throughout this first wave, its return in the fall could be catastrophic. That is a fall story, though, and though the next 100 days will feature great American debates on Justice Souter’s replacement and on the attempt by Democrats to impose “single payer” on an unwilling public via a name change and the compliance of the MSM, the most important story for the whole world by far will be events in Iran.

If Ahmadinejad is re-elected, the conventional wisdom is that Israel will have no choice but to act against the mullahs, and the events that follow such action could be perilous far beyond the Israel-Iran context. Even if Ahmadinejad loses, the rhetoric of his successor will not matter if the actions of the “Supreme Guide” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remain the same. The Iranian presidential election and its immediate aftermath is thus the key event of the next 100 days.

To understand where Iran is and how it operates, be sure to read the transcript of my interview this week with Amir Taheri, or listen to the podcast of hour one and hour two. Better yet, get and read his book The Persian Night. The summer of Iran is going to quickly replace the spring of the Obama Administration.

The Persian Night: Iran under the Khomeinist Revolution

The Honor Flight Network

Friday, May 1, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Earl Morse, president of the Honor Flight Network, was my guest today. Here’s the description of this wonderful organization, from its website:

Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. We transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans-World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation-and as a culturally diverse, free society. Now, with over one thousand World War II veterans dying each day, our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.

You can donate to the effort at this page.

Honor Flight Trip - Click for full size image

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