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Dems Mull Strategy Options

by Pete Ross

In today's L.A. Times, Ron Brownstein assesses the Democrats' efforts to forge a strategy consensus. In his article "Democrats Weigh Risks of Caution," Brownstein reviews the arguments for emphasizing a unified, detailed message versus letting the Republicans self-destruct, without distracting voters with too many specifics about Democratic reforms. He quotes a range of Democratic strategists, including EDM's Ruy Teixeira, commentator David Sirota and Progressive Policy Institute President Will Marshall, who points out that:

If we don't present voters with a coherent definition of the party's core commitments, they tend to default to negative stereotypes.

Brownstein also quotes an anonomous campaign manager, who presents the minimalist strategy option succinctly:

I don't think there necessarily needs to be a 'Democratic' message," said the campaign manager, who asked not to be identified when discussing political strategy. "The message is pretty easy. The Republicans control everything, and the question to voters is: 'How is that working out for you?' "

Nicely put, and it's not a bad meme to use with either strategy option. But surely the Dems need a clear agenda and a unified message, if not this year, then certainly for '08 and the long haul.