Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Domino's Theory

You've seen the commercials.

A few months ago, Domino's launched a major advertising campaign admitting that their product had been unsatisfactory and detailed the steps they took to fix the problem.

The old crust? "Cardboard," the company admitted in its ads. The old sauce? "Ketchup." The staff? Weary of customers trashing the food.

The risk paid off. Despite rumblings in the marketing world about another New Coke-style flop in the making, sales at domestic stores open more than a year soared 14.3 percent in the first full quarter after the new recipe debuted. Domino's marketing push helped lift the pizza market as a whole, and the halo effect appears to be continuing into the summer.
You may wonder what this has to do with politics.

Maybe everything.

There are aspects of the Republican Party's record that aren't anything to be proud of. Increased spending under President Bush and a GOP majority in Congress. Ethics issues. But as the Party out of power, they've had a chance to distance themselves from this history. The Republican leaders in congress during those times are mostly gone or phased out of leadership.

The GOP has a chance to acknowledge the mistakes of the past, and promise a new way of doing things into the future.

And so far, they've done that. Governors Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie are the first test cases in an experiment where Republicans focus on straight talk and fiscal discipline. Minority Leader John Boehner has taken the much-more-challenging-than-is-being-reported step of banning earmarks. And Budget Chairman Paul Ryan has detailed a specific plan to return the nation to a fiscal conservatism not seen since John Kasich and company balanced the federal budget in the 90s.

We have seen a renewed Party that recognizes that the electorally important middle of America wants a government that is run as efficiently as they run their own family budget. And it's working.

The challenge is in continuing to improve ourselves and staying true to the principles that got us here. Domino's is finding their sales continuing to improve as long as they are focused on delivering a high quality product. The GOP must do the same.

Can the Democrats utilize this same theory?

Unfortunately for them, no. These problems are their problems. Democrats can't apologize for the Stimulus. They can't say 'we messed up' on Obamacare. They can't call a mulligan on cap and trade. And if they did, they can't expect the American people to sit back and eat up the next batch of policy initiatives the Dems propose.

The theory works for a Party that's detached from the failures of today. It doesn't work for those that own those same failures.

Want proof? Look at the most recent Gallup generic congressional poll. Going back to 1950, Republicans have their largest lead in the history of the poll. Additionally, voter enthusiasm among Democrats fell while Republicans stayed about fifteen points ahead.

Americans are ready for some real change. In 30 minutes or less.


  1. Very wise and timely connection to the pizza market conditions ... but the missing link for both parties remains the "ingredients" just like pizza. Where are the fresh, sizzling new ideas to the multiple problems of our times? I don't see anything new on the evironment, education, Iraq, poverty, job stimulous, health care from anybody. The body of our blog, media and political world remains the same old crap, just political hacks trying to keep their guy or girl in power, or back in power ... Any thoughts on this? Check out my Legacy Media blog item with related stories about life, love and politics. Thanks. Michael M. Brown, Columbus, OH.

  2. While I do think this article is great, I think the more appropriate analogy would be to Blairite "New Labour", Obama's primary campaign for post-partisan (read post-60's era) politics, or the foolish initiative in Canada to have all post-election grants/public works emblazoned with "brought to you by the New government of Canada" - as a razzle-dazzle advertising ploy.

    I'd rather see a Papa John's strategy - "better ingredients, better governance, GOP" with a quality-first approach that has resulted in ridiculous growth, rather than Domino's strategy to boost flagging sales.


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