November 6, 2004


Democrats Map Out a Different Strategy
: The 2008 nominee must appeal to red states, analysts say. Hillary Clinton may not qualify. (Peter Wallsten and Nick Anderson, November 6, 2004, LA Times)

Reeling from their party's loss in the presidential election, some key Democratic financiers and strategists say they have learned a clear lesson: Next time around, no Northeasterners need apply.

The blue-state party needs a face from a red state if it is going to expand beyond its base on the two coasts and preserve its hold on the Upper Midwest, where its long-standing appeal to voters has become tenuous, these insiders say.

Their voices — if they become ascendant as the Democratic Party undertakes a round of soul-searching after Tuesday's losses by presidential nominee John F. Kerry and key Senate candidates — could dampen prospects for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who has been frequently mentioned as a prominent White House contender in 2008.

The concerns about the party's direction also could lift lesser-knowns such as Govs. Mark R. Warner of Virginia and Michael F. Easley of North Carolina, who are widely seen as effective communicators of a populist Democratic message in Republican-leaning states.

They discuss this as if they had any choice, which they don't since they reformed the selection process in '72. Assume Tom Vilsack runs and that makes IA a non-contest--no one will show up. That makes NH even more important than usual and Ms Clinton will hand the good ole boys their hats. She'll also trounce them in the large coastal states that are the Democratic base and, with Bill Clinton at her side, not do poorly in the South. It's hers if she wants it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 6, 2004 10:14 AM

I hope she wants it, because it will be nice to hear the Dems kick themselves for running a Northeastern liberal twice in a row.

Posted by: pj at November 6, 2004 11:53 AM

If you think men had a hard time voting for Kerry, then you ain't seen nuthin' yet.

Posted by: Timothy at November 6, 2004 12:48 PM

The Clintons were probably best at managing bad news. One of the most frustrating things to the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy was the way the press refused to bring up, or follow through on, their various underhanded dealings or even basic flaws.

How will the Clinton machine perform in an environment that has its origins in the Swift Boat Veterans ads, Rather's and the 370 tons quick comedown, the Mainstream Media no longer being authoratative and a generally distributed information network? Can she still avoid questions left over from the '92 campaign?

While I still expect her to be a leading contender to be the nominee, how will she learn from the "horrors of having a past" that Kerry just went through, and how will the Clinton Machine deal with it?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 6, 2004 2:16 PM


More interviews with Katie Couric.

Not that they would satisfy, but it's all she can do.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 6, 2004 9:51 PM

I still want to know about the Rose Law Firm billing records. And Whitewater. And the Travel Office firings. And I'd love to see other Democrats ask those questions during the primaries.

Posted by: J Baustian at November 7, 2004 6:48 PM