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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Hope Over Fear

Eriposte asks a question I’ve been wondering about lately “Who is the GOP Rooting For?” Not that it matters much in terms of what the Democrats have to do, which is nominate the strongest possible candidate. But it is of interest in the “know thine adversary” tactical sense.
Eriposte boots the question to Taylor Marsh, who doesn’t really answer it directly. Marsh’s article, “Are Republicans Actually Scared of Hillary Clinton?” is more concerned with unraveling the sources of Hillary-phobia, specifically that it is more about sexism than front-runnership. She makes a good point. A lot of arch-conservatives do not want the example of a strong woman running America.
My guess is most of the GOP strategists are now rooting for anybody but Hillary, since she has proven she is a good debater, knows the issues better than their field, has learned how to project an appealing persona and has a fierce campaign. What they think doesn’t mean she is our best candidate, but it does help explain their strategy going forward.
The Democrats have an exceptionally strong presidential field, in that any of our “top-tier” candidates, and most of our “second-tier” candidates should be able to beat whoever they nominate. Down ticket is where we need a few more strong candidates.
The GOP is a party driven mostly by the psychological elements of fear and resentment. All of their grand strategy points in this direction. It is their bread and butter. They do well when they can create this contagion among swing voters. When they can’t, we win.
Conversely, Democrats are no good at projecting fear. We have always done better when our presidential candidates project a sense of hope, going back to FDR (“We have nothing to fear, but fear itself”), all the way through Bill Clinton (“The man from hope”). If we can keep this spirit front and center in the closing weeks of the ’08 campaign, look for a landslide.

One comment on “Hope Over Fear

  1. noexpert on

    With winning as their obvious goal, Obama is the candidate to fear, as he has the ability to draw many independent and even republican voters. I recently saw a clip of Tancredo giving moderate praise of Barak’s inspiring campaign.
    My sense is that Obama is gaining traction, despite the MSMedia’s almost exclusive focus on attacks on Hillary, our inevitable nominee. BTW -how about a post sometime on why MSM is so reluctant to do substative reporting on the campaign trail.


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