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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At The National Journal Karyn Bruggeman’s “Democrats’ Attempts to Win Back Working-Class Whites Are Getting an Early Test” reports on the second coming of Jack Conway, this time as Democratic candidate for Governor of Kentucky. “Republican strategist Scott Jennings views Conway a serious candidate, and anticipates Democrats will run a management-style campaign based on Beshear’s record, while doing what they can to avoid ideological issues… “I do believe he’s a better politician with a better story than Alison Grimes, and he actually has a resume,” said Jennings, who ran McConnell’s super PAC last year. “He’s a tougher candidate and a better candidate than he was in 2010.”
“In my state it’s working…People are healthier, they’re getting their lives back, they’re getting work, and that’s the reason I’m doing it.” – Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich on Obamacare, as reported by Greg Sargent.
Turns out the hog castratrix’s family has benefitted handsomely from government subsidies, despite her government-bashing. Jen Hayden has the story at Daily Kos.
The Daily Beast’s “How Can Obama Get His Mojo Back In the State of the Union? Study Bill Clinton” by Gil Troy is an interesting read for prospective Democratic candidates, a glimpse into what gives Bill Clinton’s political persona its magic. Troy offers this centrist advice for the President: “Obama can copy some Clinton tactics. With unemployment down but GDP up, Obama finally can deliver some of the good news his predecessor was lucky enough to sprinkle throughout his speeches. Obama can flummox Republicans and appeal to the public by seizing the center rather than lurching left, acting as president of all the people, not a partisan leader of the opposition-to-the-opposition. He can mix sweeping big-picture reforms with more easily achieved, small-bore adjustments that improve Americans’ quality of life. He might even integrate it all into a coherent, comprehensible, and accessible vision such as Clinton’s opportunity-responsibility-community mantra, so Americans have a sense of forward momentum.”
Those who believe the Democrats’ problem in too much centrism already, however, may prefer Michael Tomasky’s Beast post, “Obama Dares GOP to Help the Middle Class in His State of the Union,” which makes a case that Obama is now doing fine, honing in on a winning mantra: “People are now willing to start thinking about longer-term economic goals. A quickie CNN poll found that the speech was extremely well-received: 51 percent very positive, 30 percent somewhat positive, only 18 percent negative…That really should worry Republicans, no matter how many seats they have in Congress. Our politics is becoming about one big thing on which the Republicans have nothing to say. Actually, they do have something to say, and it’s “No!” They looked ridiculous, sitting on their hands, refusing to applaud simple and obvious things that have 60, 65 percent public support. I have a feeling more such moments await them.”
More than 56 million Americans, or about 19 percent, have disabilities, and over 38 million have severe disabilities, according to the U.S. Census. If you thought numbers like that would deter Rand Paul from suggesting that most of them are faking it, you would be wrong.
Way too early for gloating about poll numbers. But this graph in Jeremy Diamond’s CNN report may spotlight endurable weaknesses in the campaigns of the two GOP front-runners: “About a quarter of voters said Romney’s 2012 run as his party’s nominee makes it less likely they will support him in 2016 and 34% of voters said Jeb Bush’s legacy status — with a father and brother who have served as president — make them less likely to support his presidential ambitions.”
Larry J. Sabato explores the role of political slogans over the decades. Despite all of the work that goes into crafting campaign slogans, my hunch is that clever one-liners, sometimes delivered with no premeditation, (“Where’s the Beef?”) have had more impact in recent years.
Awesome ‘toonage.

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