The House Republican Conference has given its members a 22-page training plan in the hopes of whipping them into shape for the coming campaign season. Like a work-out schedule distributed to high-school football players as they head into summer vacation, the detailed Republican plan -- titled "Tread Boldly: Solutions, Hard Work, and No Regrets" -- provides day-by-day suggestions for how to connect with voters.
The guide suggests daily retweets of House Republican priorities and divides each week into themes: jobs, spending, national security, etc. On Monday of the first week, why not conduct a "Press Conference Call recapping on the last 7 mos. and previewing the 6 wk. work period"? Tuesday, go ahead and "Record & Distribute to your local press a radio actuality on jobs." Wednesday, hold a Town Hall; Thursday, write a blog post touting the GOP's website; and end the week strong with a press release about new unemployment numbers.
The guide recommends making use of both new and traditional mediums, from Facebook messages, to radio interviews, to newspaper op-eds, and provides talking points and data to use as fodder. Its cover is graced by photos of Margaret Thatcher, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Winston Churchill, all waving in victory.
Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, who chairs the House Republican Conference, writes a cheering but firm intro -- the football coach sending his players off for an unsupervised summer:
Our Democrat colleagues may be planning for a six-week paid vacation, but House Republicans are entering this District Work Period with energy and resolve. ...
For the next six weeks we have an opportunity to step up our dialogue with the American people at community events, job fairs, town hall gatherings, and other face-to-face meetings. It's a chance for us to further establish our governing agenda as we talk about Republican solutions and listen to the suggestions of our constituents. ...
Colleagues, for the past two August work periods, House Republicans have been tireless in our efforts back in our districts. In return, we have enjoyed a strong and growing relationship with the American people. Now, I want to urge you and your staffs to work hard once again to make this August another winning District Work Period for House Republicans.
House Democrats have a similar strategy for the six-week recess, which starts on August 9 and ends after Labor Day. They will focus on a specific theme each week and attempt to stay on the offensive, framing Republicans as unprepared obstructors with no plans of their own.
In an interview with Politico published today, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "We're still on offense because Republicans have declared they want to go back to the exact agenda of before."