DNC Chair Kaine: Improving people's live is the most important political strategy

by: Chris Bowers

Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 12:30


DNC Chair Tim Kaine held a press conference today for progressive new media types.  The subject of the call was the DNC's 2010 election strategy.

After Governor Kaine went over the basic strategy that President Obama presented on Monday--increasing turnout among first-time voters in 2008--I asked the Governor a theoretical question about politics that has been occupying me ever since Democrats took  control in early 2009.  What plays a bigger role in electoral outcomes for a governing party, as Democrats are now: real improvements in people's lives, or the proper application of resources and strategy?

Kaine's response was very much in line with my own thinking.  He stated the improving people's lives was the most important, "the key."  However personalizing those improvements to people, and making the stakes of the election clear to them, can make enough of a difference in turnout to swing several marginal campaigns.

It was heartening to hear the head of one of the three Democratic political committees admit that the important important factor in electoral outcomes for a governing party is to actually improve people's lives.  There is, in the end, a limit to what campaign strategy can achieve.  Even if it is of course necessary to sell your governing accomplishments to voters, that is a lot easier when you actually have  real governing accomplishments.  Whether Democrats have done enough by Novemmber 2, 2010, will be the main determining factor in the 2010 elections.

Update (Adam): I was also on the call, and there has been a lot of hay made of President Obama not mentioning LGBT voters in his call to action video (see Pam for more). On the call, Kaine reiterated that focus will be on "15 million surge voters who registered and voted for the first time in 2008... over half of which are African-American, Latino or young people." He did go on to say the DNC will be working with "regular, reliable midterm voters, including working families, AAPI, LGBT, women, Native Americans. We'll be working with these constituencies just as we always do."

Chris Bowers :: DNC Chair Kaine: Improving people's live is the most important political strategy

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"Results Party." Another ubiquitous political junkie fantasy? (4.00 / 1)
TPM flags an AP report today where Kaine says the Dems will brand themselves the "Results Party," as a contrast to the GOP's lack of accomplishments. This strikes me as another example of "ubiquitous political junkie fantasy" positioning, whereby you think voters are focused on passing bills and government actions. Meanwhile, they're going to be running head into a GOP narrative that the Dem's "results" -- the things they have the government doing -- are a horrible, socialist disaster.

In short, the narratives are going to be: Dems "We're doing stuff" vs. GOP "Look at the horrible stuff they're doing." This will be disastrous if the GOP framing of Democratic governance holds. Furthermore, it ignores the real question we should be putting to the voters: Do you want to go back to where we were in 2008 or should we stay the course? Saying the contrast is with 'the GOP's lack of accomplishments' is very weak framing and let's them off the hook for their actual, disastrous record as a governing party just two years ago.

Finally, if the Dems can by November show real, positive "results" in people's actual lives this would be reasonable narrative (though still missing good contrast), but an inadequate jobs/stimulus bill leaving a weak economy and a health care bill that largely will not have affected anyone by November look, at least today, like they will not deliver the "results" that will actually matter to voters.

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans


Didn't take long... (0.00 / 0)
Cantor on Dem Branding: 'They're the Party of Results -- it's Just the Bad Results'

ABC News' Rick Klein reports: With DNC Chairman Tim Kaine unveiling a new effort today seeking to brand the Democratic Party as the "Results Party," the No. 2 House Republican said he's willing to concede that point. Sort of.

"They're the party of results -- it's just the bad results," House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., said on ABC's "Top Line" today....

And a preemptive push to distance themselves from their shameful past record:

Cantor today posted a column promising voters a "very different" Republican Party than they've seen in the past, with by a new generation of leaders, plus more "listening to the American people..."

"We are not the Republican Party that we were in '06, when the American people fired Republicans from Congress," Cantor said.

Via The Plum Line.

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans


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