Democrats

Democrats Have Worked Through Their Stages of Grief

Amy Walter: “The shift in mood among Democrats over the last year has been as dramatic. It’s been a bit like watching someone work through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief. Democrats spent much of December of 2016 in a state of disbelief: Did that really happen? How did that happen? By early 2017 they had moved on to anger: Hillary ran a terrible campaign; Democrats had no message; the Obama coalition is unsustainable. By spring there was bargaining: We must not focus our attacks on Trump or his voters. We have to make peace with the white working class electorate who is anxious and angry and desperate for real change. Democratic leaders in Washington tamped down talk of impeachment and focused instead on ‘A Better Deal.'”

“Today, however, that reticence is gone. Democratic senators are openly calling for the President to resign over allegations of sexual harassment. Not one red state Democrat supported the GOP tax bill. The fear of Trump and his legions of establishment-hating voters has receded. Democrats are now living off the adrenaline and energy that comes with an awakening of their own base; a base that was disillusioned and dispirited in 2016. Anger is the most powerful GOTV force there is.”

Democrats Missed Their Opportunity

Amy Walter: “We are reportedly at a ‘watershed’ moment on the issue of sexual harassment. Women, emboldened by the Harvey Weinstein revelations, have come out of the shadows of shame and stigma to tell their own stories of harassment and assault. It’s also been a time of ‘reckoning’ for Democrats who once excused or defended President Bill Clinton over accusations of abuse and harassment. From an electoral standpoint, this new focus on empowering and energizing women voters should be an opportunity for Democrats.”

“In Alabama, Democrats have a chance to steal away a bright-red Senate seat thanks to assault accusations against Republican Roy Moore. It’s also an opportunity for them to prove to voters that the party demands the highest standards of conduct from its representatives in Congress. An opportunity to show that Democrats won’t put party over doing the right thing. Yet, I have been struck by the lack of ‘watershed-level’ response to Democrats’ handling of allegations against Sen. Al Franken and Rep. John Conyers, two members of their own party. Instead of meeting the moment, Democrats have missed it.”

Democratic Group Looks to Train 50K New Candidates

“The National Democratic Training Committee, which makes a free online candidate training program, plans to spend $4 million in 2018 in the hopes of getting 50,000 Dems to use their services to run for office,” Axios reports.

“The digital approach could help the party attract younger candidates — ultimately helping address the Democrats’ old-people problem.”

Democrats Face Major Challenges In Rural Iowa

“Democrats running in a crowded primary race for Iowa governor are confronting an uncomfortable reality: Their party’s reputation is in tatters in rural Iowa,” the Des Moines Register reports.

“Democrats’ challenges in rural Iowa are plain to see in its electoral history over the last four election cycles. Since 2010, the party has lost six of seven races for president, governor or U.S. senator. Across those six losses, the party won just 15 of Iowa’s 99 counties; in five of those losses, the Democratic candidate carried fewer than 10 counties.”

Quote of the Day

“We had so much shit in our entire technology ecosystem that we couldn’t clean it up.  Oh man, those Russians were on us like white on rice.  I mean, they were, Joe, they were destroying data, critical data, Joe. I had a walking list for precinct 89 in Washington, D.C. I know precinct 89, right? And the Russians went in there and corrupted all of our critical data.  All of our critical data.  So, I no longer trusted this damn list that I’ve had for over 20 years of knowing every frequent voter, every Democratic voter.”

— Donna Brazile, in an interview on Sirius XM, on the extent of the Russian hacking of the DNC’s computer systems.

De Blasio Seeks to Define National Role

Politico: “De Blasio, whose unfulfilled national ambitions have never been far from the surface, will be in Des Moines in early December preaching the progressive message as the best means for Democrats to win control of statehouses nationwide and, the biggest prize, the U.S. House of Representatives. He will also be trying to define a new role for himself in the party.”

“More to the point, he’s diverging from the Clinton brand of Democratic politics from whence he came and fully embracing the Sen. Bernie Sanders wing of the party — a seemingly more natural fit for a man who won his first mayoral term on the message of income inequality.”

Florida Democratic Chair Ousted for Being ‘Creepy’

Tampa Bay Times: “Stephen Bittel’s rocky tenure as Florida Democratic Party chairman ended in disgrace Friday after he resigned following accusations from women that he leered at them, made suggestive comments and created an unprofessional work environment.”

“Bittel’s position became untenable after all four major Democratic candidates for Florida governor urged his ouster following a Politico Florida report late Thursday in which six women anonymously complained about Bittel’s behavior. They said he was ‘creepy’ and ‘demeaning.’ Bittel apologized, but it was not enough.”

Kaine Calls for End of Superdelegates

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) is urging the DNC to end its tradition of using superdelegates, Politico reports.

Said Kaine: “I have long believed there should be no superdelegates. These positions are given undue influence in the popular nominating contest and make the process less democratic.”

“The plea from Kaine — himself a former DNC chairman, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, and a superdelegate — puts him on the side of many backers of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary opponent in last year’s race for the White House.”

Impeachment Talk Could Derail Democrats

James Hohmann: “Winning the House next year will require Democratic candidates, in many districts, to win over a considerable number of independents and even Republicans who voted for Trump in 2016. Floating impeachment may gin up the far left, but this is not an effective message to make inroads with new voters. Just ask the Republicans who went all-in on impeaching Bill Clinton how the 1998 midterms went.”

Brazile Considered Replacing Clinton with Biden

Former DNC head Donna Brazile “writes in a new book that she seriously contemplated replacing Hillary Clinton as the party’s 2016 presidential nominee with then-Vice President Biden in the aftermath of Clinton’s fainting spell, in part because Clinton’s campaign was ‘anemic’ and had taken on ‘the odor of failure,'” the Washington Post reports.

“In an explosive new memoir, Brazile details widespread dysfunction and dissension throughout the Democratic Party, including secret deliberations over using her powers as interim DNC chair to initiate the removal of Clinton and running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) from the ticket after Clinton’s Sept. 11, 2016, collapse in New York City.”

“Brazile writes that she considered a dozen combinations to replace the nominees and settled on Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), the duo she felt most certain would win over enough working-class voters to defeat Republican Donald Trump. “

Haunted by Hillary

Mike Allen: “While many Democrats wish it weren’t so, Hillary Clinton just won’t go away. First it was her regret-and-resentment tour. Then the book. And now a rolling wave of 2016 recriminations.”

“As Democrats try to figure out 2020, it’s bad enough that they keep re-litigating the Clinton-Trump general election. But top Dems think it’s horrendous that the party is now re-litigating the Clinton-Sanders primary.”

“Clinton’s former high command says none of this breaks through in real America. But party insiders know that if they’re going to take back the House, Senate or White House, they need to look forward, not backward.”