Republican strategist Frank Luntz on the future of the Republican Party

Mar 24, 2011

No one understands the power of words like political pollster Frank Luntz. Coining euphemisms like "energy exploration" (for oil drilling) and popularizing phrases like the "death tax” (a.k.a the estate tax), Luntz has made a career of marketing, sloganeering and devising useful—albeit divisive—rhetoric for the Republican Party. Fast forward to the present day, and Republican hopeful Governor Tim Pawlenty is getting slammed for supporting seemingly liberal green energy initiatives in Minnesota, while Republican Governor Mitt Romney is pressured to distance himself from his universal healthcare reforms in Massachusetts, the kind that pre-dated and vaguely resembled “Obamacare.” In the post-Luntzian political landscape, is their room for moderation? Can you still cherry-pick your political views and be a gun-toting, solar energy-loving, universal healthcare-supporting pro-lifer? Or has American political rhetoric become too rigid?

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