Government Shutdown Prompts Political Showmanship in the Media
Source Newsroom: Temple University
The longer the federal government shutdown goes on, the more the two political parties are stepping up their performances in a game of political theater that is risky for everyone involved.
So says Heather LaMarre, assistant professor of strategic communication at Temple University's School of Media and Communication, whose expertise surrounds politicians and the media.
"The political posturing is getting stronger by the day as Democrats and Republicans try to win over public opinion, but if people begin to see that all essential services are still being provided and the government shutdown has not disrupted their daily lives, the Republicans stand to come out ahead, especially given the problems being experienced with the Healthcare Exchanges," she says.
LaMarre says the Democrats are betting that outrage over the closing of government parks and services will sway public opinion, while the GOP hopes that its stand on the Affordable Care Act will ignite its supporters.
"It appears that the Democrats are using a messaging strategy while the Republicans are trying a policy tactic. It will be interesting to see whether public rhetoric or policy tactics will have more influence on public opinion," she says.
LaMarre says both parties are tapped into social media, where citizens are expressing their opinions on a platform unavailable to us during the last shutdown.
"You can be sure that both parties are closely monitoring the the digital public sphere, carefully measuring public sentiment and quickly adjusting their strategies in response to public perceptions," she says.