Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My Unsolicited Advice For Hillary Clinton

There was an interesting moment in the last debate where Clinton said she wasn't part of the Establishment, because she would be the first woman president.  I could see where she was going with this - that's Clinton's primary problem, you can always see the calculations.

I think she should reframe that question and claim the establishment mantel.  Not the Establishment, but the Democratic Party Establishment.  Booman makes a good point that Clinton needs a plan to retake Congress.  She has the endorsement of Howard Dean, who last put together the strategy to win in every state.  While that coincided with the disastrous last years of the Bush Administration, Dean's 50 State Strategy was widely mocked in DC and praised at the local level.

Clinton should run on a platform to bring Democratic politics and resources into every state in the country.  She should take on the mantle of a life-long Democrat who has served the party and its constituencies for decades.  She's not going to out-liberal Sanders.  That's stupid.  And she won't win hearts with the idea of fighting a retrograde action to defend what Obama accomplished - however accurate that is.

But if she ran on the idea that Democrats need to be competitive in the South and West by empowering local parties and getting away from DC consults, she could win over voters in those states and solidify the distinction between herself and Sanders who's only been a Democrat for a few months.  This partisan identity will especially sell well in her core constituencies of minorities and older voters.  By claiming she will work towards winning back the House, she sets herself up again as the candidate who actually knows how things work.

Clinton won't excite the Millenials, but she could win back most of the Grown Ups.

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