In Search of Apollo Creed

The days of chasing chickens are over.

In the days since winning the election, Barack Obama has established www.change.gov, the first-ever Web site dedicated to providing information regarding the transition between one presidential administration and another (actually, Bush had a rudimentary version in 2000 — Jeff). This effort is only the latest step to use technology to inform, involve and motivate his supporters, and is reminiscent of several ways Obama revolutionized the ground game in presidential politics.

Last night, for example, I was looking at a friend’s iPhone and, fooling around with the various applications available for instantaneous and free download, I stumbled across an application entitled “Obama ’08,” which allows the iPhone owner to organize telephone contacts used to spread the word about Obama’s campaign. Similarly, Obama supporters who preferred to use a laptop or desktop PC could download software which literally turned their home computer and home telephone into a campaign phone bank. For liberals interested in advancing Obama’s socialist policies, gone were the days of driving to the local campaign headquarters, parking their hippie butts into a folding chair, and working the phones for six hours or more.

Barack Obama, like him or not, completely transformed the traditional approaches taken by presidential campaigns in rallying and mobilizing the vote. For the sake of comparison, I received a robo-call at my house from Rudy Giuliani on Election Day, urging me to get out and vote — nice, but the call came at 7:50 p.m., ten minutes before polls were to close in Pennsylvania.

It dawned on me a few minutes ago that Barack Obama is like Clubber Lang, the mysterious new fighter on the scene with an inexplicable stranglehold on the media, while the Republican Party is more like Rocky Balboa — morally and substantively superior but much slower, much more encumbered by tradition, and equally upset and motivated after the new heavyweight caused, in an embarrassingly easy victory, the demise of the stodgy old man at the heart of the party’s corner.

Four years from now, the GOP will once again have to go toe-to-toe with Barack Obama. The defending champ will be ready, but unless things change between now and then, the GOP will not.

We need Apollo Creed.

At the beginning of the third installment of the Rocky franchise, Rocky Balboa was fat and happy, having successfully defended his heavyweight belt against a bunch of nobodies. He took for granted the hard work and sacrifice, the blood, bruises and sweat he originally put forth to get the belt in the first place, and was surprised by upstart Lang, who effortlessly got the better of the slower, more traditional, more distracted veteran in their first match. For the re-match, Balboa needed help, and he got that help from a longtime rival, Apollo Creed.

The days of chasing Mickey’s chickens to gain speed were over. Creed–The Master of Disaster! The King of Sting! The Dancing Destroyer! The Count of Monte Fisto!–taught a reluctant Rocky the merits of balance and footwork and did so the old-fashioned way, through hard work, sacrifice, and the need to step outside the comfort zone.

It wasn’t easy. Rocky couldn’t move like Creed, he couldn’t dance his way around the ring. In the past, he had relied solely on his power, his stubbornness and his high threshold for pain, but in order to have even a remote chance of beating Clubber Lang in the rematch, he needed more. Creed spent hours working Rocky over in the gym, jumping rope and hopping around in various ways. They ran on the beach, with Creed easily out-sprinting Balboa at first. Finally, after the musical training montage was almost over, Rocky beat Creed in the slow-motion footrace and the two shared a Barney Frank-type moment in the frothy surf.

If Barack Obama was able to be so efficient this time around, if he was able to mobilize the youth vote in such an unprecedented fashion, if he was able to foster turnout so effectively, what can we expect out of him in four years? As the incumbent, as the one wearing the heavyweight belt, he’ll likely be better. His ground game will likely improve. And, unless the good guys can do the same, they won’t stand a chance.

We need Apollo Creed.

We need to get younger. We need to get sleeker. We need to get faster, smoother, more efficient. We need to get quicker, smarter, more punishing, and less apt to retreat into our corner.

We need to stick to conservative principles, package those principles and sell them to the American public. It starts with the tenets of fiscal conservatism, stressing the end of big government, of higher taxes, of growth-stifling regulation. Create jobs by fostering economic growth, protect wealth by reducing taxes. Let America know that government has no business in the auto business, in our hospitals, in our homes. Talk to your kids, to your neighbors, to your co-workers, to people you meet in the supermarket. Challenge them to footraces, if necessary.

Regardless, the Ward Cleaver perception of conservatism must be replaced by concrete, practically-applicable examples of situations and institutions where conservative principles work. States and municipalities must lead the way, the private sector must do their job as well. The new media must do the job that the old media will not, and consistently report on the successes of conservatism alongside the failures of the Obama administration.

Republican Party leadership in Washington, D.C. must be gutted as well. Over the past two dozen years, we’ve seen that conservative republicans win elections, while moderate republicans do not. The tenure of the big government, spend-happy wing of the GOP must end. Young, forceful, vibrant leaders in the conservative movement must be supported and given exposure. Jindal. Palin. Ryan. Cantor. Sanford. DeMint. Huckabee. Romney. Bachman. Pence. When the dust settles in the weeks and months following Tuesday’s election, we’re going to see signs of one of two things from our party — either we’ll see the down-in-the-mouth, lazy fighter who refuses to adhere to the basic principles of hard work and sacrifice, or a lean, mean, fighting machine ready to take down the reigning champion in 2012. If it’s the former, we’re doomed; if it’s the latter, we’ll surely win.

So, who is our Apollo Creed? Certainly, the people behind Ron Paul’s unlikely success know a thing or two about getting the word out. Certainly, the tech-savvy crowd do not all vote democrat. Let’s take a free-market approach to redefining the Republican Party in the conservative mold. Let’s reward those with new, viable ideas about public relations and voter outreach with positions in the party. Let’s put out an all-points-bulletin for young people who know the merits of conservatism as well as they know how to articulate them across various channels to a wide-ranging group of people. Let’s foster grassroots programs and organizations in our higher education institutions, and reward them with support from party leaders.

News of the death of conservatism has indeed been widely misreported. The beating we took on Tuesday will serve to make us–and America as a whole–stronger if and when we choose to learn from it, if and when we choose to once again recommit ourselves to doing the right thing and taking the right approach not because it is easy but because it is hard.

A leaner, meaner, more efficient Republican Party, strengthened by a core rooted in conservative values, will not lose in four years. Rocky Balboa did it. He surprised everyone with how much sleeker he was, with how much more efficient he was, with how much faster he was, with his mastery of the ring. Apollo Creed got him there with a simple, principled approach to training — hard work, balance, core strength, footwork, blood, sweat and tears.

When the final bell had rung on the rematch, it was Clubber Lang who lay in a heap, beaten, broken, bloodied, and still surprised by the quickness and effectiveness of the older, wiser Balboa. The people were stunned. The commentators were stunned. When it was all over, Rocky reclaimed the belt he had lost due to apathy, and was a better fighter for it.

And, not to mention, do you remember what he did next?

He knocked out a Russian.

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Comments

  1. Teri~Facedown says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Have been reading your blog since early October and it quickly became a favorite. I have not commented prior to this, but this post especially fires me up! I am a 37 year old college freshman. I decided to return to the halls of higher education this year because after spending the last 14 years raising my family, I wanted to make sure I have something to do when they all fly the coop.
    I am the conservative that you are talking about. Not stuffy or uptight, but fun and in touch with the youth culture. My conservatism is based in a deep love and appreciation for my country, and a very real, living faith.
    On my college campus, the conservatives were awesome. I came across some great young men and women who were very passionate about their vote. I will do something for the next election. I can’t wait to fight for the America I love so much.
    All the best,
    Teri

  2. Luke Sanderlin says:

    Jeff and his readers,
    What are your feelings regarding Obama’s ‘Service in College’ program and the recent changes made to it?

    Obama Takes Flip-flop Cue from Sen. Kerry on ‘Service in College’ Program

    Luke

  3. Anonymous says:

    TO EVERYONE!!

    THE USA TODAY AD IS A SCAM!! They have taken a few thousand dollars and your donation magically “disappears”!!

    I called them to verify and NOTHING! THEY ARE JUST COLLECTING ON YOUR FEARS TO TURN A PROFIT!

    Please DO NOT give these people money!! USA TODAY HASN’T EVEN HEARD OF THEM!!

  4. Tilli says:

    What, I give you the idea and you kick me to the curb? Good piece. Hope AU pulls out the win. (Tenn Martin is tough)

  5. Anonymous says:

    The USA Today Ad is coming from an organization called We The People. Maybe we can check them out further to make sure they are legit. How would USA today hear of them? They are looking to put an ad in the paper. Papers don’t care about who puts the ad in as long as they pay. I certainly don’t want anybody to donate to a fraudulent organization, but the above post, just sounds like an Obama supporter scaring you. Lets check it out first.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, it’s we the people foundation.
    Let’s check this out first before dismissing it. Full page ad and press conference sounds like a great idea to me!!!

    http://www.wethepeoplefoundation.org/

  7. Elizabeth Norton says:

    They were obama supporters from the get go. He even wrote about one visit he had in his Audacity of Hope book. He used technology and talked about how we can use technology to recommit with it’s self. McCain visited to but must have not made that big of impression on them. This revelation came to me this morning at 3:30….this morning. SImple the pitch he is using. Making everyone getting hocked online. He is sucking up to them……and the things he suggests about online medical records in 2007 google launched a couple months ago.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4yVlPqeZwo

    I know that the Iphone (I have one) used application for obama 2008 and being able to be part of the plan. It is no wonder how he won. A program was developed to not need a campain center and they they could help obama right out of their home. Arggggggg……this makes me so mad. You have to give them credit. They made them self availble to the most available techno savey people….the college students. They made it easy for them to reach the nonvoters. I wonder how acorn was involved with this. hmnmmmm

    http://www.conservativemommy.com

  8. STOPBHO says:

    Mike Reagan has started a website called Reagan Action.com

    The NEW Reagan Revolution
    Bring Conservatism BACK!

    http://reaganaction.com/

    We all need to look in to this and sign up!! Jeff what you think? (I tried to donate but the server was down, however I still signed up without it). PASS IT ON TO EVERYONE!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Pretty funny clip from Canada Free Press: “Obama win causes obsessed supporters to see how empty their lives are.”

    Some good “unbiased media” on this website from our neighbors perspective.

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/6137

  10. Anonymous says:

    I agree with 99% of your observation. The 1% requires a little clarification. This is not a problem of republicans not using technology on the central level: I did phonebanking for McCain in the convenience of my home and my computer. I could do it for any battleground state of my choice. The technology was there, the users of this technology did not do their homework though:
    1) The phonebanks were pathetically out-of-date
    2) They used only land phones, need to get cell phones as well
    3) Last three days I did go to the Rapub. local office to do phonebanking there. It was even worse – the amount of wrong and disconnected numbers were overwhelming.
    4) It was painfully obvious that republicans had 4 years to prepare their database and it was not there. Technology cannot be blamed for people’s input – like they say: “garbage in – garbage out”
    5) Local office workers average age was probably over 50 – they worked hard, but they have
    not even realized that they had to do the ground work over all these years and now it was too late.

    Corrective action: desperate need for updating data bases – land and phone lines, SMS – starting today

    This is true – we do need to attract more young people, but so far, I don’t see the message that can do it. I remember in 1994 during the “Republican revolution”, all my 20 something colleagues were staunch conservative republicans. Now the majority of my colleagues are more liberal.

    This is true – the young Obama supporters were turned out in bigger number than usual, but not in such big number to make a difference. In my state of FL, the republicans gave the state to Obama: it was big enough % of them who did not vote for the president or voted for Obama to tip the scale.

  11. Ted Park says:

    I have crafted the following “letter to the editor” that some of you may wish to submit to your local paper, or to any of your favorite TV news channels or conservative talk shows. I continue to believe that our best hope is to get the media to simply cover the issue. We don’t necessarily need them to lead the charge to prove anything or take sides. We just need them to be aware that the process of vetting Obama is finally underway and they simply need to report on its progress.

    =======

    Letter to the Editor

    Why don’t you report on this? This is significant news. Your readership deserves to be informed on this, as it is underway, not just the end results. Barack Obama has not yet provided the documentation that is needed to demonstrate that he is constitutionally eligible to be President. No complete birth certificate, no citizenship records, no selective service registration, no passport. In spite of numerous requests by journalists and through court proceedings, he has steadfastly refused to provide this information. Kenya claims he was born in their country. Indonesia claims he is a citizen of theirs. Obama has said he was born in Hawaii. If he is not a citizen or not born in the United States, the chosen electors will not be able to vote him in as President. There is currently a case in the US Supreme Court challenging his eligibility. There is currently a case in the Hawaii supreme court to force release of any records held by that state’s health department. There are other related cases in various state courts that have been filed by or joined by some of the electors. More concern and more court cases are expected soon from other electors as they are now becoming aware of the issue. Thus must be cleared up as soon as possible. The US Supreme Court was given the opportunity to stay the election pending the outcome of open investigations. They chose to not do that, but the investigations continue. This is a significant and critical story. Please report on this situation as it progresses.

  12. Ted Park says:

    Does anybody have any new news on voter fraud investigations? Either at the General or Primary level?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Roger commented that the GOP has to fight “Google City.” Have you seen the Google staffer listed now on Change.gov?

    http://change.gov/learn/transitionstaff

    No wonder Barry could get so organized. Must have been nice to have Google’s data at his service.

    I have felt for a long time that Google was in the tank for Soetoro. This just proves it.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The holiday season is almost here and many if not all of us will flocking to the malls to buy holiday gifts for our families and loved ones. – Can someone please provide a list of companies that contributed or supported the Obama campaign – or a ling to such a list? I want to make sure not one penny of my hard earned money goes to any company that helped Obama.

    I’m a proud member of the “5% Club” and want to make sure that those that envy me because of my hard work for many, many years and those like me are not rewarded by our failure to do our homework.

    I appreciate your effort and support for our party in providing such a list.

  15. Anonymous says:

    “We all need to get up to date here on todays New Russia, and get our heads out of the old Stalinist mindset.
    I know I got my eyes opened after the Georgia fiasco, and as Russia has come to the forefront again; THEY ARE NOT THE BAD GUYS.”

    Actually they ARE but I think they were demonized during that episode. Georgia was actually inching over to another area and intimidating those people and Russia was just inching in on Georgia to show what a power play REALLY looks like. Needless to say Georgia backed off the innocent area. But instead of mentioning what they did to start all that, they ran around screaming, holding their puddy-tat acting like somebody gave them a “bad touch”.

    I just know Putin is whacking it in the snow! He can’t wait for this candy ass fraud to get in! He knows better than WE do!

  16. Anonymous says:

    WARNING!!! — People, I see a lot of web sites popping up claiming to be “Rebuilding the GOP” type of sites and they all have one thing in common…they all have a “Donate” button on them asking for money.

    DON’T BECOME A VICTIM…!!!

    Don’t send any donation to any site that you have not fully vetted and determined to be 100% legitimate.

    This is a prime opportunity for scammers to prey on our Americanism and try and scam us out of a few bucks. — Be careful!!!

    Jeff you may want to add a special warning on your site for those that do not read this post.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know a thing about tha website but I DO know Berg needs $90,000 to take a full page ad in USA Today. Lets’ help HIM!!!

    Go to his site, http://www.obamacrimes.com and donate!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Read this article for a REALITY CHECK on just a fraction of the things Obama & a liberal Congress can do in just a couple years–before the next midterm Congressional election comes around, much less the next Presidential Election. This is why a guy from the UK advised, post-election, that Americans "Hide your money and head for the hills."

    http://spectator.org/archives/2008/11/06/saul-alinsky-takes-the-white-h

  19. Anonymous says:

    This is a MUST visit site —

    Talks about all the lawsuits filed against Obama.

    http://americamustknow.com/default.aspx

    and

    http://americamustknow.com/electoralcollegecase.aspx

  20. nana3 says:

    Jeff,

    I am hearing from a lot of areas that people who did not support Obama are organizing to coordinate resistance and planning for 2012..one is Pastor Manning at http://www.atlah.org and another is anystreet.org. It would be good if we could combine all these conservative organizations so that info could be shared and activity coordinated. Many seem to be ready to do something now as they see the dangers we face from Obama and the liberals in Congress. Any ideas about how we could develop a strategy?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ayers Obama Axelrod plan Alinsky takeover of America

    I saw this article last night from Old Alantic Lighthouse, it is about “LOOKING BEYOND THE ELECTION” the Million Supporters March in Washington in January 31. “change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up. The Million Supporters March on Washington is an event to dramatize the urgency… “

    We just see how crooked and evil Obama campaign was, it is only a start of the collective left New World Order and real oppression…only one opponent to free-expression, I need bloggers but I’m afraid that Obama could take that freedom.

    The Million Man March and the Million Supporters March are modeled on the Nazis. They too staged events like Obama’s Denver Nuremberg Speech. Alinsky used every idea Hitler ever had on organizing. So do Ayers, Axelrod, Plouffe, and Obama.

    It gave me cold shivers, I got up this morning and thinking that I have to move out of my metropolian house to find safe place in the country in mountains.

    http://oldatlanticlighthouse.wordpress.com/2008/11/05/ayers-obama-axelrod-plan-alinsky-takeover-of-america/

  22. John Galt says:

    Web faux pas: Plan leaked for 'civilian security force'?
    Before blogs caught it, Obama site told of requiring students to serve
    Posted: November 08, 2008
    3:36 pm Eastern

    © 2008 WorldNetDaily

    The official website of President-Elect Barack Obama, Change.gov, originally announced that Obama would "require" all middle school through college students to participate in community service programs; but after a flurry of blogs protested children being drafted into Obama's proposed youth corps, the website's wording was softened.

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=80539

  23. Anonymous says:

    Not surprisingly, like everything else you have pushed for months, your premise is flawed. Bush had a transition website

    http://archives.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/12/04/bush.web.site/

  24. Anonymous says:

    After a harrowing week, I hope that everyone is just about over the gloom and doom, and ready to put a little smile on their face, (even if it is a rueful one), and begin to plan how we can fight back.

    Iowahawk – Election Analysis: America Can Take Pride in this Historical, Inpirational…Disaster. Good read.

    Grin and bear it, and let’s dig in.

  25. Stephen Agnew says:

    i just love the Rocky analogy! so true!

    i have my own little campfire in the world too: http://www.AgnewMonolgue.com

    LOVE the blog man. keep it up!

    much love from Texas!

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