How Dr. Oz can stage a comeback
Electoral campaigns are always captivating. It is fascinating how the contestants with poor records manage to compel voters to focus on the trivial to conceal their failure on the vital.
It is similar to an illusionist presenting a distraction to deceive his audience into thinking that he did actually pull a rabbit from his hat.
A recent instance of such a deception is occurring in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race.
Back in April, the Republican Senate candidate, Dr. Mehmet Oz, released a video of him buying food items such as broccoli, asparagus, guacamole, and salsa in a grocery store.
Inflation is hurting American families. Under Joe Biden, gas prices are skyrocketing and food prices are rising. We must stop the reckless spending. This is outrageous! Thanks a lot, Joe. pic.twitter.com/8kNil6upn8— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) April 6, 2022
The goal was to highlight how Bidenflation has rendered essential food items unaffordable for regular people.
You would assume that the Democrats would have no counter.
However, Oz's Democrat rival, Pennsylvania lt. gov. John Fetterman's campaign, was quick to point out Oz's blundering of the grocery store’s name. Oz called it Wegner's, which seems like a clumsy fusion of Redner's and Wegmans, two Pennsylvania supermarkets.
The Fetterman campaign also pointed out what Oz referred to as "crudité," which Pennsylvanians would normally call a "veggie tray."
In PA we call this a... veggie tray https://t.co/nDp0Uw27zd— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) August 15, 2022
Fetterman's campaign reportedly fundraised more than $500,000 off of the Oz video and $65,000 from one sticker along with the phrase "Wegners: Let Them Eat Crudité."
There were two narratives being pushed.
The first: Oz, who moved there from New Jersey in 2020 in order to run for office, isn't a true Pennsylvanian.
The second: Oz is an elite who is out of touch with the issues faced by regular Pennsylvanians.
Fetterman with his bald head, tattoos, and fondness for hoodies with shorts is attempting to project himself as a regular guy.
Oz claimed he was "exhausted" after 18 hours a day. He then added that he has even "gotten my kids' names wrong" and it "shouldn't be a measure of someone's ability to lead the commonwealth."
It was a feeble defense.
Polls have shown Oz consistently trailing Fetterman by 11 percentage points, and this narrative certainly doesn't help.
So where did Oz err?
If there is one thing the voters can detect, it is inauthenticity.
Oz, whose net worth is around $100 million, has probably not shopped personally at a supermarket for a very long time, and he also isn't personally affected by food price inflation.
It is surprising that Oz's campaign didn't have any Pennsylvanians to review the video before it was released, but the arrow has left the quiver.
So can Oz stage a comeback?
Oz needs to look no further than the man who endorsed him during the primaries, Donald J. Trump.
On October 7, 2016, one month before the Presidential election, a video from 2005 of Trump and television host Billy Bush engaging in "lewd" talk was leaked to the media.
The leak occurred a day before the second presidential debate. Democrats and some Republicans ordered Trump to drop out. The polls showed him trailing Hillary Clinton by dual digits. "Experts" thought this tape would destroy both the GOP and Trump personally
So what did Trump do?
He issued an apology video and moved on by darting straight to the debate.
Most expected Trump to be on the defensive. Instead, Trump was on the offensive. He focused on the issues: Hillary's lies, Bill Clinton's sex scandal, and the corruption of the Clintons. It caused even some of Trump's worst critics to call it a remarkable comeback.
A month later, Trump won the election.
The truth is, the lewd talk was merely a narrative amplified by the media, and pre-election polls were rigged.
The public looked at the bigger picture and voted for Trump anyway.
The reason the tape didn't shock anyone is that Trump is authentic. He never claimed to be a celibate saint — his humor and his personal life are public knowledge.
In fact, authenticity is the overall reason for his success. Trump never attempted to pretend to be a regular person and never participated in any stunts. He instead embraced his wealth and success to become an aspirational figure.
So how should Oz react?
Like Trump, Oz must be authentic and focus on the myriad disasters due to Democrat misgovernance.
They say you campaign in poetry while you govern in prose.
Oz needs to tell stories by touching hearts.
He must ridicule Fetterman's focus and call him insensitive for focusing on store names and terms for trays rather than talk about the economic hardships that various American families owing to the 40-year high inflation and the rise in the price of gas due to the Democrat misgovernance.
Oz must focus on Biden's open borders and highlight the peril that the unrestricted influx of illegal aliens, particularly criminals. He must highlight how the open border is exploited by drug-traffickers and human-traffickers and how Biden is secretly transporting migrants to Philadelphia.
Oz must remind people of the totalitarian proclivities of the Democrats, specifically the COVID-19 lockdown imposed by Democrats and the vaccine mandates backed by Democrats, despite knowing that the vaccines were ineffective and even had harmful side-effects.
Biden's Disinformation Governance Board that intended to sit in judgment of the public utterances of citizens deserves to be highlighted.
Oz must also highlight the Stalinist January 6 trial that denies Trump his right of allowing his lawyers to cross-examine witnesses.
Oz must focus the Democrat agenda to use climate change to impose draconian restrictions on small businesses, high taxes, and increased spending of taxpayer money.
Oz must remind everyone of Democrats supporting and promoting transgenderism among young children.
Oz must remind people of Democrats supporting BLM riots and calling for defunding of the police, which places regular folks in peril.
He must also focus on his opponent.
The Philadelphia Inquirer noted,
[F]or a long stretch lasting well into his 40s, his [Fetterman's] main source of income came from his parents, who gave him and his family $54,000 in 2015 alone. That was part of the financial support his parents regularly provided when Fetterman's only paying work was $150 a month as mayor of Braddock, a job he held from his mid-30s until he turned 49. Partway through his tenure, in 2013, he moved to an industrial-style loft he purchased from his sister for $1 after she paid $70,000 for it six years earlier.
Oz must remind people that Fetterman pursued a man in 2013 and pulled a shotgun on him because he wrongly believed the Black jogger had been involved in a shooting. This could be characterized as a racist act.
He must also highlight Fetterman's poor health after he suffered a stroke.
Fetterman's record as Pennsylvania lieutenant governor is poor, and Oz must expose it.
Pennsylvania has long been an important swing state.
The GOP is on the right side of all issues that matter to the people. It would be a great shame if the opportunity is squandered by allowing the Democrats to focus on the trivial while the vitals are going away due to Democrat misgovernance.
The midterm race is crucial for the future of the nation, and so is every seat.
Photo credit: Twitter video screen grab.