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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At Think Progress.org, Scott Keyes provides an in-depth look at the Elizabeth Colbert Busch’s carefully-calibrated strategy for winning the special election for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district tomorrow — a seat Republicans have held for 30 years.
Even if Colbert Busch loses, argues The Fix’s Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan, the outcome might benefit Democrats in part because Sanford would be a high-profile exemplar of “The narrative that Republicans have a woman problem will have new life — with little the GOP leadership can do about it.”
Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico reports on the latest immigration reform strategy: “Senate immigration negotiators are targeting as many as two dozen Republicans for a show-of-force majority — which they believe may be the only way a reform bill will have the momentum to force the House to act…Reform proponents are looking for votes far beyond the usual moderate suspects to senators in conservative bastions such as Utah, Georgia and Wyoming. The senators landed on the list because they’re retiring, representing agricultural states, anxious to get the issue behind the party, important to persuading skittish House Republicans or all of the above.”
The white house has announced that the president will begin “middle class jobs and opportunity tours” on Thursday to raise awareness of the Administration’s proposals for a minimum wage hike to $9 per hour, $50 billion in infrastructure upgrades and new investments in manufacturing. The white house said that “the tours are designed to engage Americans and push Congress to act.” Hopefully they will also spotlight Democratic candidates.
WaPo columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. makes the case that the president’s tours “should be shaped by a consistent, driving theme: that the stakes in this debate are larger than the day-to-day drone of partisan invective suggests…Remember the Mark Twain line that Wagner’s music was better than it sounded? Obama’s program has more to do with growth and opportunity than he usually lets on. If he wants to rally us, he might want to change that.”
Despite a new Republican effort to suppress student voters in Ohio, President Obama urged Ohio State University graduates to reject government-bashing and become fully engaged citizens.
Matea Gold of the L.A. Times Washington, D.C. Bureau spotlights ‘Democracy Alliance,’ a group of wealthy donors to progressive causes, including OFA.
Paul Krugman makes an often overlooked point in his Sunday NYT column: “Keynesian economics says not just that you should run deficits in bad times, but that you should pay down debt in good times…Hard-line conservatives declare that we must not run deficits in times of economic crisis. Why? Because, they say, politicians won’t do the right thing and pay down the debt in good times. And who are these irresponsible politicians they’re talking about? Why, themselves…Here we have conservatives telling us that we must tighten our belts despite mass unemployment, because otherwise future conservatives will keep running deficits once times improve.”
The political comeback of Ohio Gov. John Kasich, attributable to some extent to his support for Medicaid expansion, provides a cautionary tale for Democrats, as reported by Andy Kroll of Mother Jones.
So here’s an interesting chart depicting the geography of “political clout” — and a surge in clout along the Gulf Coast.

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