Attack your opponent early - and often

This spring the Obama campaign was at a crossroads.

They had expected to be flush with cash pumped in by the online fundraising machine that helped Obama shatter fundraising records in 2008.

They had expected Mitt Romney to emerge from the Republican primaries irreparably damaged — defined in the minds of voters as an out-of-touch “vulture capitalist” who couldn’t relate to average voters.

Instead the Obama campaign was nearly broke, and most voters still hadn’t made up their mind just who Mitt Romney was.

Rather than wait, Obama and adviser David Axelrod went all in, gambling the campaign’s money on an early onslaught of attack ads that caught the Romney campaign by surprise.

Romney failed to react, eventually costing him the election as he was unable to shake the caricature the Obama campaign had painted of him.

You should do the same.

Don’t hesitate to attack your opponent.

In fact, relish it.

Voters may say they hate “negative advertising” but consultants keep doing it for one reason — it works.

And if your opponent has voted to raise taxes, explode spending, waste public funds, engage in unethical official behavior or other things that disqualify him in your mind, voters have a right it know that.

The earlier you bring it up, the better your odds will be of knocking him back on his heels.

That’s not to say you should call your opponent names, mock his or her physical appearance or bring up issues about his or her marriage or family.

Those are personal attacks.  And they often end up damaging you and helping your opponent.

Voters have a right to know why you are the best candidate, as well as why your opponent does not deserve to be in public office.

Attack your opponent early.

Attack your opponent often.

Attack your opponent with enthusiasm.

Most importantly, stick to the issues and make your attacks credible, believable and fully researched and documented.

My rule is “if Grandma would hate what I said more than what he did, don’t do it.”

Our freedom wasn’t won by people playing nice and sitting around a table “debating” each other.

Freedom must be fought for, and that’s how we will win it back.