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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

The Obama campaign has settled on ‘Forward’ as a slogan for the coming weeks/months of the general election campaign, and it is fleshed out in a new, 7-minute video. The elegantly simple slogan has its merits (discussed here), though it’s not as provocative as, say, the “GM is Alive and bin Laden is Dead” bumper sticker (versions here and here).
Nate Silver explains at FiveThirtyEight why Arizona is not a true swing state in his view: “…if he does win Arizona it will probably be superfluous, since in all likelihood he’ll already have won states like Ohio, Colorado and Virginia that are closer to the tipping point.”
Lots of articles on the resurrection of Mayday as an activist holiday, thanks mostly to the Occupy Movement and the GOP war on workers. Peter Dreier has a good overview at The Nation.

The most devastating article for the GOP during the last few days has to be WaPo’s op-ed, “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem” by Brookings’ Thomas E. Mann and A.E.I.’s Norman J. Ornstein, who say: “The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics..ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition…Thanks to the GOP, compromise has gone out the window in Washington…The filibuster, once relegated to a handful of major national issues in a given Congress, became a routine weapon of obstruction, applied even to widely supported bills or presidential nominations. And Republicans in the Senate have abused the confirmation process to block any and every nominee to posts such as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau…We understand the values of mainstream journalists, including the effort to report both sides of a story. But a balanced treatment of an unbalanced phenomenon distorts reality…Our advice to the press: Don’t seek professional safety through the even-handed, unfiltered presentation of opposing views.”

An interesting tidbit from David Grant’s lengthy Monitor article “US Senate race in Virginia shaping up as national battleground“: “Of the 10 US Senate races considered to be the most competitive, only one other contest [besides Kaine vs. Allen in Virginia]- Nevada – is in a swing state. Both campaigns and independent analysts believe that is leading, already, to a massive infusion of outside money and attention unmatched in the commonwealth’s recent political history.”

Yay Clooney!

Sarah Jones reports on “Scott Walker Blames Protesters for Wisconsin’s Highest in Nation Job Losses” at PoliticusUSA, noting that “You haven’t truly seen waste and debauchery until you watch a post-Reagan “fiscal conservative” in office…If you want to know what a “businessman” Mitt Romney presidency would look like, just take a look into Wisconsin under Scott Walker. It is the only state with statistically significant job losses…When you hear these words, “I’m a businessman and I’m here to help,” run. Just run. ”

Karl Rove’s state by state polling averages map is surprisingly encouraging — for Democrats.

Michael Tomasky argues that the Obama campaign is right to claim some credit for the raid that killed bin Laden. And it’s OK to remember Romney saying “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person,” even though he has walked it back. Says Tomasky: “For Republicans, 9/11 politics are supposed to be permanently frozen in mid-2002, with Democrats shivering like Proust under the bedcovers as all the manly Republican men (Five-deferments Cheney and the rest) explained to America that Saddam Hussein was an immediate threat and that anyone who didn’t agree with this assertion hated freedom…” Tomasky adds that Republicans will try to “intimidate Democrats into not mentioning it–because they know it hurts them and makes them look like the incompetents they are. Well it’s not 2002, and Democrats should be afraid no longer.”

“Don’t get mad, get elected,” say Debbie Walsh and Kathy Kleeman, director and senior communications officer, respectively of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. They report in the Washington Post that 2012 is shaping up to be a banner year for women in U.S. politics: “By our tally, 225 women — 145 Democrats and 80 Republicans — have filed to run for the House of Representatives this election cycle, although 12 lost their primaries. Seventy more are considered candidates in states where filing is still ahead..That means we’re on track to beat the previous record of 262 female House candidates set in 2010.”

The Wall St. Journal reports that a growing chorus of European economists are making the case that austerity is the wrong way for the EEC to go. Meanwhile in France, anti-austerity challenger Francois Hollande is holding a strong edge in the latest polls over President Nicolas Sarkozy on the eve of Sunday’s presidential elections. Should be a rollicking May Day in Paris.

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