March 20, 2005


Spreading the message (PETER GORRIE, 3/20/05, Toronto Star)

"Keep it simple" is the key to the White House, failed Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean told members of his party from around the world last night.

One major reason his party lost the 2004 race to the "brain-dead" Republicans is that it has a "tendency to explain every issue in half an hour of detail," Dean told the semi-annual meeting of Democrats Abroad, which brought about 150 members from Canada and 30 other countries to the Toronto for two days.

"I'm going to be very disciplined about how we deliver messages. We can have policy deliberations in rooms like this. On TV, we have to be very focused."

The Democrats, in fact, will try to copy the Republicans, who are masters at making their message stick, he said. "The Democrats will have three things, maybe four, that we're going to talk about."

The "maybe four" reveals the problem. Every inrterest group that they've cpobbled together wants its issue played up.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 20, 2005 10:25 AM

They've kept up this 'Republicans are stupid' mantra for the better part of four decades now and the result has been going from control of the Presidency, both Houses of Congress by lopsided margins, and the Governorships by lopsided margins. to losing the Presidency, losing both Houses by ever-increasing margins, and losing governorships 20-30. Every election cycle it's the same thing, Republicans are stupid. Dean is making noises like in 2006 they'll return to that same well that has provided such sustenance in the past.

I guess the Democrats are too smart to be bothered with such prosaic trivialities like election returns.

Posted by: bart at March 20, 2005 11:16 AM

The focus part isn't bad -- Bush defeated Ann Richards in 1994 by focusing on the same four issues over and over again in his gubernatorial campaign -- but in Bush's case, the proposals he had for those four issues were supported by a majority of the Texas voters.

The issues Dean would like his party to focus on are in general akin to Walter Mondale's going before the American public at the 1984 convention and promising to raise their taxes if elected. In that case, it's hard not to be as long-winded and evasive as Kerry was in 2004 when you're trying to justify proposals you know voters would reject if you gave it to them directly.

Posted by: John at March 20, 2005 11:20 AM

What will Dean's next move be? Campaign ads on Nickelodeon? Or Al-Jazeera?

Keep calling us stupid and evil. We'll ride that horse all the way through 2008.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 20, 2005 12:17 PM

dean's is a rage borne of inccontinence.

Posted by: cjm at March 20, 2005 3:00 PM

"Republicans are stupid."

What else would you expect from the party that still runs against Herbert Hoover every four years?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 20, 2005 5:56 PM

I'm drooling. I can't wait to hear the Democrats outline their 4 clear points... High taxes? Gay marriage? A global test? Ignoring Social Security? Dean doesn't appear to realize that Kerry had a very good reason for remaining utterly opaque throughout the election, and that it nearly won him the day.

Posted by: Timothy at March 20, 2005 9:19 PM

I'm gonna give them their 4 clear points:

I'll let them outline these points for themselves.

Posted by: Dave W. at March 21, 2005 1:37 AM