Following the strategy of Americans Elect and Unity08, the mysterious media-fueled political enterprise called We Need Smith has started to cite well-placed columns by acquaintances as evidence that the nation is ready for an outside campaign for President and seats in Congress in 2016.
Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, wrote a column for the New York Times this week noting how poorly Republican politicians are evaluated on the basis of empathy and suggesting that to increase their empathy ratings they begin to depict themselves as non-partisan. We Need Smith quickly cited the column as a justification for its still-nebulous plans.
The reaction by actual people is muted to say the least. We Need Smith keeps a running tally of Americans who have signed up to receive its e-mail blasts. Despite national promotion, over the last week We Need Smith has added just 14 people to its listserv. 5 more people have followed its Facebook account. Over the same period, We Need Smith’s follower base on Twitter has fallen by 14. At this rate, We Need Smith won’t even have the population of a small town standing behind it before the 2016 elections wind down. To succeed, We Need Smith will either need to change its message or stop pretending to have a popular base.