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3 November 2004

What to do next?

William Saletan offers a few ideas.

If you’re a Democrat, here’s my advice. Do what the Republicans did in
1998. Get simple. Find a compelling salesman and get him ready to run
for president in 2008. Put aside your quibbles about preparation,
stature, expertise, nuance, and all that other hyper-sophisticated
garbage that caused you to nominate Kerry. You already have legions of
people with preparation, stature, expertise, and nuance ready to staff
the executive branch of the federal government. You don’t need one of
them to be president. You just need somebody to win the White House and
appoint them to his administration. And that will require all the
simplicity, salesmanship, and easygoing humanity they don’t have….

Clear the field of Hillary Clinton and any other well-meaning liberal
who can’t connect with people outside those islands of blue on your
electoral map. Because you’re going to get a simple president again
next time, whether you like it or not. The only question is whether
that president will be from your party or the other one.

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One Response to “What to do next?”

  1. Rene Says:

    There is a lot of truth in that article. What Saletan calls “simplicity” is also referred to as an “elevator story”. If Kerry were on an elevator with an undecided voter, would he be able to explain his position before the voter got off the elevator? The obvious answer to that is no.

    The DNC’s marketing was sorely lacking. Even their commercial with the eagle and ostriche never even mentioned Kerry or Democrats. I don’t know what they did with mass mailings, but they never utilized a possible viral email marketing campaign either.

    General Clarke once stated that Democrats don’t create “machines” that run elections like a business because Dems are more interested in principles and the political process. I agree with Dems that these are important, but it’s also important to win in order to keep someone like Bush from being re-elected. There’s a business addage related to great products with poor marketing – You can be the best looking corpse in the graveyard.

    The DNC should have pounded a simple, plain message into the heads of American voters – Bush is a liar. Bush is a liar. More than anything, Americans hate being lied to. Edwards made that statement a few times during his debate with Cheney, but the campaign didn’t run with the message.

    I hope they’ve learned their lesson. I’ve learned mine.