Monday, August 2, 2004

Pump Priming

There’s an old technique in politics called “pump priming” where you give the voters a taste of what you’d like them to think what good will come to pass if your party wins. It’s a spiff like ramming through a tax cut right before an election. It’s a tried-and-true technique that is as transparent as it is cynical, and what it lacks in subtlety it makes up for in pure audacity in thinking that it will work – because it usually does.

Florida politics is never subtle, and last spring when the war and whatever was driving the price of gasoline over $2 a gallon, the state legislature pushed through a temporary one-month 8-cent reduction in the state sales tax on gas. It took effect yesterday and will last through Tuesday, August 31…which just so happens to be Primary Election Day in Florida! What an amazing coincidence!