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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

As Hillary Clinton launches her campaign, Alex Seitz-Wald’s MSNBC.com post “Clinton team courts progressive economists” should encourage the Democratic Party’s left flank. “Clinton’s team has been making a concerted effort to reach out to progressives economists and activists, and last week joined a meeting on inequality organized by economist Joseph Stiglitz and the Roosevelt Institute, a progressive think tank, msnbc has learned…Stiglitz is influential among progressives, who view him as one of the Democratic Party’s counterweights to the influence of former Bill Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.”
Jonathan Chait explains why “Why Hillary Clinton Is Probably Going to Win the 2016 Election” at New York Magazine. Chait explores a half-dozen major reasons for Clinton’s edge, but his best line may be “The argument for Clinton in 2016 is that she is the candidate of the only major American political party not run by lunatics.”
At Politico Annie Karnie offers a clue about Clinton’s central message: The memo also reminded staffers of one of the campaign’s animating themes: that the election “is not about Hillary Clinton and not about us — it’s about the everyday Americans who are trying to build a better life for themselves and their families.” If they can keep that theme front and center all the way to November 2016, Clinton will wage a formidable campaign.
Maddowblog’s Steve Benen provides a sound prospective on the fairness of analyzing Rand Paul’s issue positions in light of his father’s influence: “it’s generally unfair to hold candidates responsible for the views of their family members…But with Rand and Ron it’s not quite so simple. Much of Rand Paul’s political life was spent urging people to put his father in the White House, making public appearances to espouse his father’s bizarre ideas, and often speaking on his father’s behalf as a surrogate…In this sense, Ron Paul isn’t just Rand Paul’s father; he’s his son’s political mentor. Their familial relationship isn’t even what’s important in this dynamic – any political figure who worked with a fringe presidential candidate who espoused ridiculous views should expect some scrutiny.” Nothing wrong with asking Paul if he agrees with his father’s controversial policy positions, but it could backfire if done too much.
Peter Beinart warns at The Atlantic that liberal Democrats must find their anti-war bearings to get in line with voters who want arms negotiations with Iran. “Democrats, the polls show, back the agreement by margins of three or five to one. Yet key Senate Democrats are skeptical of the deal, and few have endorsed it enthusiastically.”
As the presidential jockeying picks up steam NYT columnist Paul Krugman urges his readers not to get too distracted by personality politics, because it’s more about the difference between the two major political parties than anything else. Krugman illuminates the profound differences in major policies between the parties and concludes “…The differences between the parties are so clear and dramatic that it’s hard to see how anyone who has been paying attention could be undecided even now, or be induced to change his or her mind between now and the election.”
Stephen Collinson and Alexandra Jaffe of CNN highlight a glaring weakness in the GOP presidential field: “Republicans are reaching for a trusted trump card in their quest to take back the White House — blasting Democrats as feckless on foreign policy…But the GOP’s strategy carries significant risks, not least because its candidates, though bristling with hawkish rhetoric, are notably short of hands-on foreign policy experience.”
At The L.A. Times Mark Z. Barabak explains why Dems can’t take “the interior west” for granted, and better shore up their strategy in the region.
And Scott Keyes warns at Think Progress that “Republican Lawmakers Hope To Turn Nevada Into A Playground For Voter Suppression.”

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