Possible Rift Between Boehner and Luntz

The Washington Post’s The Fix blog is speculating there may be a rift between new Majority Leader Boehner and message guru Frank Luntz.

According to the Fix, the feud goes back to the 90s, when Luntz was advising Newt Gingrich and Boehner was critical of Newt:

"Luntz is quoted in the story as saying Boehner made a ‘big mistake’ with his criticism of Gingrich. The pollster also heaped praise on Rep. J.C. Watts (Okla.), who was challenging Boehner for the conference chairmanship. Watts defeated Boehner 121-93, throwing the Ohioan unceremoniously out of leadership. With Boehner’s re-ascendancy, Luntz may find himself on the outside looking in more often than not. Revenge is — after all — a dish best served cold."

The truth is that Frank Luntz has a reputation among some Republican political consultants as being bright, but also being self-promoter, and a bit of an egotist. One strategist recently told me that Luntz didn’t invent anything, he just got famous for advertising ideas that have been around for a long time. The same could be said of famed liberal linguist George Lakoff, who is basically making a career out of rehashing ideas Tony Schwartz wrote about in the Responsive Chord, thirty years ago.  

I don’t think we can criticize Luntz — or Lakoff — for taking ideas and bringing them to the political mainstream. In a sense, this is pedagogy, and I would encourage it, especially if it is geared exculsively toward informing conservatives of ideas, such as "framing." Last year, a liberal blog published Luntz’s "Republican Playbook for 2006" — which they somehow "obtained." Since the Left has seen it, I would encourage conservatives to also read it, too.  

Time will tell if Luntz will be able to get in the good graces of the Boehner camp…


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