December 31, 2009


Anxious Democrats divide over path forward (JONATHAN MARTIN | 12/30/09, Politico)

What lifted Democrats last year among their base, independents and those previously disengaged from politics, [longtime Democratic strategist and former top AFL-CIO official Steve Rosenthal] argued, were Obama’s promises: expanding health care, a new approach to energy, spending more on education and especially a promise to revive the economy that would help those of modest means.

“He gave a worried and anxious America hope and a plan that called for restoring America's middle class,” wrote Rosenthal.

Obama coalition voters still want “change,” according to Rosenthal, who writes that the way to boost Democratic fortunes is to deliver — not to follow the path of moderation that the party so often trod in the '90s.

“They don't want their elected officials to go back to the days of legislating ‘small things’ (school uniforms come to mind),” Rosenthal argued. “To win them back — to engage them at all in 2010 — Democrats need to pass real health care reform, then move aggressively on a jobs, jobs, jobs (it cannot be said enough) program with strong workers' rights.”

So, he continued, run on this agenda and “put Obama on the ballot in 2010” for the sort of minority and youth voters that turned out in droves for him last year.

You can win an election on emotions, but you can't sustain them. Ideas matter.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 31, 2009 6:35 AM
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