The Next Reagan and the Ex Gag Man

NextReagan.jpgExGagMan.jpgPolitics and positioning are inseparable. The only question is whether you’re doing it… or it’s being done to you.

Consider two “celebrity” candidates: Fred Thompson who joined the race for president last week and Al Franken who is running for the Senate.

Thompson has been expertly cast as “the next Reagan.” While Franken is being pilloried (and pigeonholed) by his opponents as a raunchy comic.

Even a positive bio about Franken in this week’s Newsweek asks the leading question: “Can a gag man turn senator?

If you’re a serious and engaged voter, it’s easy to laugh off labels like these. But at the fringes—where elections are won and lost—it matters. Just ask John Kerry how hard it is to shake being branded as a “flip-flopper.”