By Jackson O
In campaigns and elections involving an incumbent President, the opposition must always make the election a referendum on the incumbent and his record. Every political talking point must have the incumbent’s name as a key ingredient. The voters must be inundated with messages about the incumbent’s failures and political snafus. The sole goal being a coordinated effort to paint the incumbent as a colossal let down whose policies and decisions have been toxic to the nation and the country simply cannot afford another term of cataclysmic imbroglios.
If you happen to land from Pluto, you would be excused if you thought that Deputy President William Ruto is the incumbent President and Uhuru Kenyatta is his deputy! Every political barb from the opposition has been consistently trained on the DP while the real opponent, Uhuru Kenyatta, the man whose name will appear on the ballot, routinely waltzes the political corridors untouched!
This is not by accident. The Jubilee political strategists have given WSR the wiggle room to navigate the murky waters of campaigns and take the fight to the opposition and in effect, shield the real target from opposition jabs. Granted, the job of a running mate is to get on the front lines and throw darts at the opposing side, but its also the responsibility of the opposition to multitask in response by delegating a fraction of fire power to the DP and then train their lethal political ammunition on the real star of the show.
So far, Jubilee strategists have been able to fight at a level that makes UK look like Mr Clean and that is the fight that they want. When he is not meeting world leaders at Statehouse with Opposition leaders in tow, he is strategically weighing in on the lightning rod that is the IEBC talks with a statesman-like decree in which he appears to be taking a reconciliatory approach, a move that is hard to reconcile with police brutality and sheer subjective law enforcement that we have witnessed in the past few weeks.
CORD’s fixation with WSR is what the President’s political team want.
And so far, CORD has been a very good sport in that department. It’s time for CORD strategists to recalibrate their message, its time to tie the man who will be on the ballot, to all the bad things that we have witnessed thus far. No incumbent can be defeated if all the ills of his government are being heaped on his deputy! His deputy will not be on the ballot and is more than happy to shoulder the burden for this administration.
It’s instructive to note that by this time, during the 2007 presidential campaigns, Mwai Kibaki’s approval ratings were meagre and that didn’t happen because ODM was busy attacking VP Moody Awori, it happened because ODM was consistently hitting Kibaki so hard that everyone and their mother knew that Kibaki was toast. He had to amateurishly rig to retain his seat and you know the rest.
The same can’t be said about UK and the reason is pretty obvious : WSR is his fall guy, a loud and abrasive voice out to keep the opposition busy while the real candidate takes the highroad. Conversely, every Jubilee blowhard, from legislators to bloggers, wake up and go to bed singing Raila’s name! This can’t be a good sign and must serve as a wake-up call to CORD’s political team.
Jubilee, with all its glaring failures cannot be allowed to get away with a pathetic record because we failed the most basic political messaging test. And it all starts with focusing on the real opponent ~UK~ and his record