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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Rebecca Kaplan reports from CBS News that the Dems’ 2016 front-runner Hillary Clinton clarifies her position on TPP, in the wake of the House rejection of key provisions: “Let’s take the lemons and turn it into lemonade. Let’s see if there is a way to get to an agreement that does do what I expect it to do,” she said. She voiced her support for the worker retraining program, called Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), but added, “I am willing to try now to see whether you can push to get rid of the objectionable parts to drive a harder bargain on some of the other parts and to provide more transparency so that the American people can actually see what will be in a proposed final deal.”..”If I were in the White House that’s what I’d be doing right now,” Clinton concluded.” And that may be what the present occupant of 1600 PA Avenue, who is no slouch at political chess, has wanted all along.
NYT columnist Paul Krugman reaffirms his conviction that TPP is a bad idea, and also notes, “Democrats, despite defeats in midterm elections, believe — rightly or wrongly — that the political wind is at their backs. Growing ethnic diversity is producing what should be a more favorable electorate; growing tolerance is turning social issues, once a source of Republican strength, into a Democratic advantage instead. Reagan was elected by a nation in which half the public still disapproved of interracial marriage; Mrs. Clinton is running to lead a nation in which 60 percent support same-sex marriage.”
Clinton may be getting most of the ink, video and bytes, but Eleanor Clift reports at The Daily Beast that “Bernie Sanders Is Building an Army to Take D.C.: It’ll take an army to change Washington, says the insurgent senator–and with the crowds he’s been drawing, he just might be building one.”
At The Upshot David Leonhardt presents a rather stunning map, showing “The North-South Divide on Two-Parent Families.” It’s not a shocker when you think about it, but it does illuminate the complexity of the south in American politics. Leonhart offers a number of insightful observations, including “…politically conservative states, for all their emphasis on family values, have long had high divorce rates.” Further, adds Leonhardt, “…the situation also has some important nuances. Above all, divorce is no longer the main reason that children do not grow up with both of their parents. Divorce has declined in recent years. So, however, has marriage, while single parenthood — and the number of children who never live with both parents — has risen sharply. Marriage and single parenthood don’t break down along the same red-blue lines that divorce does.”
“Just call me Jeb” could be a very problematic sell.
GOP Rep. Paul Ryan gets brutally told by Michigan’s Democratic congressman Sander Levin, after Ryan’s latest cheap shot at Obamacare, and Angry Bear got it all down: “What’s busted is not ACA But your attacks on it, endless attacks.”Sander Levin said calmly and deliberately. “Never coming up with a single comprehensive alternative all these years. So you sit as armchair critics while millions of people have insurance who never had it before. Millions of kids have insurance who would not otherwise have had it. People who have pre-existing conditions no longer are cancelled or can’t even get insurance. The donut hole is gone. Millions of people in lower income categories are now insured through Medicaid…Cost containment is beginning to work. The increase in cost net rate is going down. And so you are livid because it is getting better. That’s why you are livid…And the states that are denying their citizens further coverage under Medicaid, are essentially telling people, well get lost when it comes to healthcare…And you have a governor Mr. Chairman, who is running around this country talking about the evils of healthcare when millions of people are benefiting…Your frustration is millions and millions and millions of people are benefiting, have healthcare when they did not before.”
Scott Walker may be a “top-tier” candidate for the GOP nomination. But he is going to have a lot of trouble explaining why living standards for middle class citizens of his state are lagging so far behind those of neighboring Minnesota, under the leadership of its impressive Democratic Governor, Mark Dayton. Ann Markusen has the story at The American Prospect.
National Journal’s Shane Goldmacher explains why Facebook is “The Epicenter of the Presidential Race”: “There are new built-in Facebook tools that can help campaigns, too. Candidates can upload their databases of donor emails, find their corresponding profiles on the site, and ask Facebook to spit out ads to a “look-alike” universe of users whom they haven’t yet pitched for money. Or they can take the sign-ups from an event, upload them, and ask to advertise to people who look like them. While the best-funded campaigns will almost certainly do some of this modeling themselves, Facebook’s “look-alike” feature didn’t exist until 2013, and it promises to allow poorer campaigns to tap into sophisticated analytics on the cheap…BY FAR THE BIGGEST development for 2016 is video. “Video advertising wasn’t around in the 2012 cycle,” says Goudiss. “That’s going to be huge in 2016…Facebook says users log about 4 billion video views every day.”
Charles P. Pierce has a rollicking read at Esquire, riffing on the GOP presidential debate follies. He graciously presents “a modest proposal” for the GOP, accompanied by one of the best political cartoons of the 2015 silly season (Scott Walker must be represented by the little Koch sticker on the clown car).

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