SacBee.com, By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer, February 9, 2006
NEW YORK (AP) - The Republican national chairman created a furor this week when he suggested Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is too "angry" to win the White House in 2008. And to hear Republicans tell it, Clinton is just one of many Democrats with an anger management problem.Former Vice President Al Gore is angry. So is Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. The party is held hostage by the "angry left."
In recent months, GOP operatives and officeholders have cast the Democrats as the anger party, long on emotion and short on ideas. Analysts say the strategy has been effective, trivializing Democrats' differences with the GOP as temperamental rather than substantive.
"Angry people are not nice people. They are people to stay away from. They explode now and then," said George Lakoff, a linguistics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. His book "Don't Think of an Elephant" has become something of a Bible for Democrats trying to improve their communication with voters.
Political history is dotted with failed presidential candidates perceived by the voters as too angry - think of Howard Dean's famous scream in 2004, or Bob Dole admonishing George H.W. Bush in 1988 to "stop lying about my record." Both parties' most revered figures in recent years, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, projected optimism and hope.