Feuding Democrats in Broward
Debates and the billionaire rule

Campaigning and the rule of 30

Recently Crowley Political Report met with a Republican leader who gave a long explanation concerning a potential political attack.

The problem with the answer was that explaining took longer than 30 seconds. In politics if your opponent runs a 30-second TV attack, you have only 30 seconds to reply or change the subject.

It is what makes an attack so easy and a defense so difficult. Most defenses take a lot longer than 30 seconds. The exception is a candidate on the defense who has a lot more money than his opponent in which case he can simply overwhelm the attacker with a barrage of his own attack ads.

So the effectiveness of Republican Rick Scott's new attack ad against Attorney General Bill McCollum is that the attack is simple and the defense is more difficult.

 In the ad Scott uses a distortion of McCollum's voice saying, "We don't need that law in Florida. That's not what's gonna happen here."

The law is the Arizona immigration law that has become part of the national political debate. Scott, a Naples businessman, says if he is elected governor he will support a similar law in Florida. McCollum has made several differing statements about the Arizona law as it was originally passed and later amended.

Why is Scott attacking McCollum now?

 Most likely because he knows that when McCollum starts running ads about Scott being fired by Columbia/HCA while the company was being investigated for Medicare fraud, McCollum will have the 30 second attack advantage.

So it appears that Scott would rather put McCollum on the defensive now and perhaps hurt his credibility before McCollum attacks Scott.

Still, the betting is that McCollum has the stronger attack when he decides to go after Scott's fiasco at Columbia/HCA. Since Scott won't be able to explain in 30 seconds he may have to rely on the second rule of 30 - spend a lot more money attacking than your opponent can afford.



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