Game of Speaker's Chair

Bet you were wondering why #FiveWhiteGuys were going after Nancy Pelosi... Well, as usual, Mike has the answers. And, as usual, all you need to do is follow the money!

Going After Wall Street is Good Politics

Based on a lot of great research by political messaging gurus I respect, I am convinced that the best play for Democrats consists of talking populist economics, taking on corporate special interests, and combining it with a head-on approach to race and class that raises issues of racism upfront. This cycle I had a chance to experiment with this kind of approach and the evidence suggests it was a big winner. In the spring of this year, a banking reform coalition I work with called Take on Wall Street commissioned some polling from Celinda Lake’s firm on what messages might work best in the midterms. We found that taking on the Big Banks is a great issue for Democrats in general, but also foun

The DC Centrist Democrat Spin Cycle

The votes aren’t even done being counted yet, but the classic post-election spin cycle from the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party is already in full gear. Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum are still fighting for their lives in razor-thin margin elections, but you can just feel the excitement about their losses from the Third Way types, whose public pronouncements already assume they have lost. I have seen this kind of post-election spin after every election since 1994: if Democrats have a bad year, it’s because we moved too far left. If we have a good year like this one, it’s because of the noble centrists who prevailed -- and they’ll pick over the bones of any progressive Democrat who

The Senate in 2018 and 2020, and What to Do About Red State Politics

There’s a lot of doom and gloom on the Democratic side about the Senate. Losing multiple Senate seats is rough, and not winning the Texas race where it seemed like there was so much turnout momentum by people of color and young folks is especially tough to take. It makes taking the Senate back in 2020 considerably harder. Some people are also despairing in general about the future of the Senate, over all those rural, heavily white red states with shrinking populations and yet with the same number of senators as rapidly growing, more populous states. But I’m here to tell you not to lose hope: there is a path to victory. I firmly believe that we can compete in red states. The strategic questio

The Story Goes Ever Onward: the Hope and the Horror of 2018

Every election cycle is its own novel, and every one of these novels has a prequel and a sequel. 2018 was a doozy, but 2020 is going to be a real page turner. What the Democrats must do to prevail, to decisively defeat Donald Trump and his radical Republican Party, is to learn how to tell their story better. These midterms were the ultimate in mixed message. Democrats and the progressive movement that put the wind in their sails and made the victories we had possible did what they had to do yesterday. By winning the House, we have a check on Trump’s power to investigate his administration’s blatant corruption and to hold him accountable. With victories in at least eight governor races and 33

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