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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

For God’s Sake, Will You Kids Quit Fighting?

Reading the paper Thursday morning, DR was struck by a couple of articles. In the Washington Post, there was an article about the “Take Back America” conference that highlighted Wes Boyd and MovingOn.org (see yesterday’s post) and characterized the rest of the conference as a call to liberals to loudly assert their values against those in the party (read the DLC) who would sell them out.
That is probably the way the conference comes across–a few neat ideas and whole lot of internecine Democratic warfare. That’s a shame.
The other article was in the the New York Times and covered the emergence of a new think tank led by John Podesta and dedicated to battling Bush and the conservatives. Podesta characterizes the new organization as specifically not being involved in internecine Democratic squabbles and focused instead on combatting the Republican agenda.
I don’t know about you, but DR knows which article he found more encouraging.
DR did return to the “Take Back America” conference today and–alas–cannot report that it got all that better. As DR and an old progressive friend discussed at one point, if you wanted to know how the Dems can take Arizona in ’04–or other similarly practical questions–this was not the place. Less rallies and more concrete strategy was the verdict of many in the halls.
DR did see candidate John Kerry speak….and he was fine. That was the problem. There was nothing wrong with what he said….but nothing particularly right either. Kerry just hasn’t found a way to deliver his message in a distinctive way. It’s all too carefully parsed.
Then again, DR isn’t crazy about the rest of the field either. Kerry could potentially break away from the rest of the pack if he’d put his chips on something distinctive to sell besides his resume and military experience. For now, though, he seems to be languishing. See the rundown in the Daily Kos for a pretty good sense of how he’s faring.