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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Democratic strategist Mark Mellman posts on “From a referendum to a choice” at The Hill, noting that the GOP’s original strategy of making the 2012 presidential contest a “referendum on Obama” is rapidly losing viability, with each of the 4 leading GOP candidates making their less-than-impressive track records an unavoidable concern of sensible voters.
Rubio leads in veepstakes poll of Republican voters conducted 2/6-12 by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, despite his declaration of non-interest.
If you missed it, like I did, chuckles await you at The Daily Beast in Barbie Latza Nadeau’s “Rick Santorum’s Communist Clan in Italy.” Nadeau writes “On the campaign trail, Santorum often touts his grandfather’s flight from Italy “to escape fascism,” but he has neglected to publicly mention their close ties with the Italian Communist Party…In Riva del Garda his grandfather Pietro and uncles were ‘red communists’ to the core,” writes Oggi journalist Giuseppe Fumagalli…”
It looks like Dems have a good chance to take the U.S. Senate seat now held by Sen. Richard Lugar. Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly will run against the winner of the Republican primary, in which Sen. Lugar is “being pounded by state Treasurer Richard Mourdock over questions of residency” (Lugar lives in McLean, VA), as Mary Beth Schneider reports in the Indianapolis Star. The Indiana Election Commission will hear challenges Friday to Lugar’s appearance on the ballot.
The Supreme Court may take a case which could reverse Citizens United, taking into account the experience of the two years since the ruling, reports Brenda Wright at Demos.
With low Republican turnout in the primaries, caucuses and beauty contests, the effort to get Dems to cross over and vote in the GOP contests is gathering steam. Kos explains the strategy behind “Operation Hilarity: Let’s keep the GOP clown show going!” Kos challenges Dems “who live in open primary and caucus states–Michigan, North Dakota, Vermont and Tennessee in the next three weeks–to head out and cast a vote for Rick Santorum.” Kos adds, “…If you’re squeamish about this, just remember what’s at stake–not just the White House, but Nancy Pelosi’s gavel and a Senate run by Mitch McConnell. The weaker the GOP standard bearer, the better our chances in November. Rush Limbaugh and his ilk have had no problem meddling in our own contests…The Republicans have offered up this big, slow, juicy softball. Let’s have fun whacking the heck out of it.”
Ayn Randite Rep. Paul Ryan gets a richly-deserved pummeling by The Economist for his sneering at Europe as a supposed exemplar of debt burden: The Economist responds: “The European Union has lower government debt levels than America. Gross government debt in the 27 nations of the EU was 80% of the region’s GDP at the end of 2010; in America gross federal debt at the end of 2010 was 94% of GDP. Furthermore, government debt is growing more slowly as a percentage of GDP in the EU than in America, because pretty much every nation in the EU is implementing austerity measures. The general government deficit in the EU-27 in 2010 was 6.6% of GDP. In America the federal deficit in 2010 was 9% of GDP..”
Just what Romney needed to reclaim his creds with Michigan workers —Trump to the rescue.
Meanwhile, Andrew Romano reports at The Daily Beast: “For much of his presidency, Barack Obama has struggled with working-class whites. But Michigan is providing him with some signs of hope. Thanks in large part to the Obama-Bush auto-bailout package, the state’s unemployment rate has plummeted to 9.3 percent from a recent high of 14.1 percent–the swiftest, sharpest improvement in the country. Obama’s local numbers have followed suit: his approval rating is now well above water, and he leads Romney by double digits after trailing as recently as November, partly because he has gained ground in Macomb County, the original home of the Reagan Democrats. To win nationally, Obama needs to crack 40 percent (his number in 2008) among non-college-educated whites. If Michigan is a preview of things to come, he stands a good chance of pulling it off.”

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