This morning former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land announced she was putting the pieces in place to run for the US Senate.
Three thoughts about this:
One – What is her brand?
So, who is Terri Lynn Land? What is her personal story? Is it a compelling one? Does she have a set of beliefs or policy ideas that both set her apart from Gary Peters, and bring over independent voters?
Terri has HUGE name recognition – millions of Michiganders know her warm, cheerful visage from getting their driver’s licence and registering their boats, etc… But, she has to quickly convert this into a winning formula for 2014. Just being known is not enough.
She might have made a misstep with her announcement this morning, if what she said is true – that only now she’s starting to build campaign and strategy teams. Now that she has thrown her hat into the ring, Democrats will have time to define her in the public forum.
Land should have had something ready to discuss on Day One to begin establishing what she stands for.
Never, ever, let your opponent define you.
Two – How does she reach out to the middle and the Tea Party?
To win in November 2014, Land needs to reach out to the Tea Party for support and votes, and yet she can’t alienate moderate Republicans and Independents.
She’s been on the road for both mainstream GOP and Tea Party events the past few months, touching all the bases. But Land needs an even broader spectrum of voters to come out and vote for her.
Going back to the previous point – what part(s) of her brand will bring in moderates, independents, and the Tea Party?
Three – Where is Mike Rogers?
Congressman Rogers – who some are wondering if he’s been reading too much Hamlet – still hasn’t decided one way or another if he’s running.
Land clarified her position a few hours after her initial Facebook post: she’s in to win, regardless of what Rogers does.
Does that mean there was a quiet conversation between Mike and Terri, letting her know that he won’t be running?
Or, is she hoping to call his bluff, by making it clear she’s in, which further zips Rogers’ already tepid motivation
to give up a cushy gig in the US House?
The Democrats are already rallying behind their candidate. For the Michigan GOP to have the best chance to win, the party does not need the uncertainty Rogers is creating.
What do you think? What can Terri Lynn Land do to burnish her brand? How does she win over moderates and Tea Partiers? What do you think Mike Rogers should do? Leave us a comment!