GOP eyes the McDonnell strategy for 2010

The shorthand: run on economic policy, downplay divisive cultural issues, present an upbeat tone, target independent voters and focus on Democratic-controlled Washington—all without attacking President Barack Obama personally…

“I thought McDonnell was a master in talking about the things families were talking about around the kitchen table,” Barbour told reporters. “And he never got off on personalities. He never got away from talking about the important issues and how he would address them – and that’s what winning candidates do.”

And, Barbour noted, McDonnell ran with a smile.

“Winning candidates don’t go chasing down rabbit trails and they’re not shrill and they’re not accusatory,” said the Mississippian and former Republican National Committee chairman…

“What I ran against was just ‘Washington’s policies,’” McDonnell explained, holding up his forefingers to make the quotation sign. “And everybody knew what that meant. I thought the president wasn’t going to be a personal target and I think that served us very well.”