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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