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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Five Roads to Democratic Recovery

In her article, “How Do Democrats Recover From This? Here are five ways in which they could salvage their election chances,” at The Atlantic, Elaine Godfrey shares the thoughts of five Democratic strategists, including:

2. President Biden should enforce strict message discipline—and send the right messengers around the country.

James Carville, Democratic consultant and former campaign strategist for President Bill Clinton:

First of all, 2021 is the greatest story never told. In terms of job creation, in terms of hourly employees having some power over their lives, it’s been a remarkable year. We haven’t told anybody. I would have ruthless, aggressive, and disciplined messaging. I would get out front of this crime thing pronto, like now. Why is there not an FBI strike force dispatched to California to deal with this smash-and-grab stuff?

The White House has got to put people out there, plant [stories], do everything you can do, just have a really ruthless, disciplined message operation. The fact that people in this country believe that nothing is happening in Washington, that it’s hopelessly gridlocked—it’s just not true. I would heap a ton of blame on the press, but I gotta heap a ton of blame on the Democrats because we’re just not telling our story. I’d start framing messaging around: We’re not going back to insurrections and Clorox and stock buybacks, which the previous Republican rule was known for. It’d be very simple, hard-hitting, and direct. We don’t have anything to apologize for!

When Lauren Boebert opens her mouth, go [talk about] the story of how she met her husband. Every time Jim Jordan opens his mouth, read the list of athletes that said he knew that major molestation was going on and said nothing.

You know what counts? A call from the White House. Nobody wants a call from the White House telling them they missed the ball last night on television; I don’t care who you are! I’m finally getting some talking points [for TV appearances], so I’m improving. I had never gotten anything like that before. They’ve got some terrific communicators in that administration; Mitch Landrieu ought to be on every Sunday morning. Jennifer Granholm, Gina Raimondo. They have communicators—and good ones! Use them! You get these people out in the frickin’ country. If I was the president, I’d say, “There are plenty of people that can do the paperwork; get your ass out there in the country and start doing ceremonies.”

Read about the other four ideas in the whole article, right here.

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