Will David McSweeney Follow Bill Brady’s Losing Abortion Strategy?

In any campaign in which I have input my advice is to preempt the negatives.

If a candidate has something that can be attacked, it is better to frame the issue oneself than to allow one’s opponent to do so.

And, if one is too timid to follow that advice, then one should be ready to immediately reply.

When the first Personal PAC television hit ads attacking 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady were put up the week of the Family PAC Cruise in Chicago, I suggested to Bill that he should reply in kind.

Point out how radical Pat Quinn’s policy on abortion was.

But, no, Brady took the pinata approach.

If a candidate being attacked by Personal PAC and/or the Democratic Party on abortion is as passive on the issue as a Mexican pinata, he should not be surprised if he gets the stuffing knocked out of him.

“Hit me.

“Hit me again.

“Oh, I like it.

“It feels so good.

“Please inflict more damage.”

That seemed to be the reaction of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady on the abortion issue in 2010.

When I made my suggestion, Bill told me his poll results had gone up right after the TV ads were run.

And, he probably was following the advice of highly paid Establishment Republican consultants who advise just ignoring the abortion issue except to tell Pro-Lifers that one is Pro-Life.

That’s the standard line, both nationally and from state GOP leaders.

But, the Personal PAC beat went on, pounding out its “he’s an extremist” message and, cumulatively, I believe their ads and mailings were the reason that Brady lost his quest to be Illinois Governor.

In other words, the advice from the “experts” wasn’t so expert.

The first abortion hit piece on Dave McSweeney from Mike Madigan arrived September 11, 2012.

David McSweeney’s campaign handlers knew attacks on abortion from Personal PAC were coming.

After all, Terry Cosgrove encouraged Dee Beaubien to run. She’s an activist in their network.

And abortion is THE motivating issue for Dee Beaubien’s candidacy.

The only surprise was that Mike Madigan’s money financed abortion hit pieces before Personal PAC opened its pocketbook.

The first hit September 11th.

A second abortion post card, also sent by the Democratic Party, arrived at the end of September.  Click to enlarge any image.

We are now over three weeks later and there has been no reply form the McSweeney camp.

On September 30th, a second abortion attack came from Madigan’s Illinois Democratic Party.

On the back of it–in big type–was the message,

“David McSweeney isn’t a doctor, but he wants to play one in Springfield.”


Then, four days later, comes a third Democratic Party post card, the first Personal PAC mailing, TV ads, plus radio spots aimed at their interpretation of McSweeney’s abortion position.





OK.  The chance to frame the issue has been missed.

All that is left is a counterattack.

Candidate Tom Morrison put something out on abortion in his successful fight to beat Suzi Bassi in the Palatine-area Republican primary election two years ago.

He won.

Something like his comparison piece might help McSweeney, but I doubt it will turn the tide of public opinion on McSweeney’s abortion position as defined by the Democratic Party and Personal PAC.

McSweeney will definitely be playing defense on this issue he failed to inoculate himself on for the rest of the election.

Will he be able to pull off the fall election?

If he doesn’t take this on this abortion issue head on, even in this Republican district I have my doubts.


Will David McSweeney Follow Bill Brady’s Losing Abortion Strategy? — 5 Comments

  1. I’m pretty sure that the Beaubien campaign would welcome a comparison on choice issues between her and McSweeney.

    David McSweeney is opposed to abortion even in the case or rape/incest. That is basically the most extreme position that you can take on abortion, according to polling.

    Less than 25% of voters think that abortion should always be illegal (or, in other words, less than 25% agree with McSweeney’s position). 35-40% think that abortion should be “generally available” without restrictions (or, in other words, 35-40% agree with Dee’s position). The rest of voters are in the middle, but it is clear that the vast majority of people disagree with McSweeney’s position of opposing all abortions.

    Dee’s on the right side politically in the abortion discussion, and McSweeney can do little/nothing to change that.

  2. Dave,

    Nice try at “spin”, but it does not work.

    The Dee Beaubien position you describe on abortion, the ” ‘generally available’ without restrictions”. is the euphemistic description for “abortion on demand”, which is the real extreme position on abortion.

    Beaubien’s abortion-on-demand position is opposed by 60-65%, going by your numbers (and it is noted you cite no source for your numbers).

    Abortion-on-demand, as Beaubien truly believes, includes the disgusting and hideous practice of late-term/partial-birth abortions.

    That’s just plain sick.

    Regrettably, the middle-ground on Right-to-Life has become a consensus of “generally available within the 1st trimester, but not after”.

    Put another way, if a woman and her doctor(s) decide on abortion, it must be within the first 3-4 months of pregnancy.

    After that, the baby is carried to term.

    Personally, that “moderate” position is wrong for me, but it’s more conservative then Beaubien.

    Like it or not, without decisive SCOTUS action to fully overturn Roe v Wade, the “reasonable restrictions”, first brought on in the Webster case over 20 years ago, is the law-of-the-land.

    And you have acknowledged Beaubien is too far to the left on that position.

  3. Dave,

    Beaubiens extreme beliefs on the issue of abortion include:

    1.) Allowing late term abortion up to and including the due date of the child
    2.) Public funding of abortion
    3.) Allowing children to have an abortion without notifying the parents.

    Now who really is the extremist?

  4. Oh, and that would be my answer to McSweeney being attacked.

    A child needs a note from the doctor or her parents to get an asprin at school but she doesn’t need to notify the parent she is having an abortion?


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