Among other things, the Deeds campaign was unable to set out coherent positions on issues and interest Obama voters. The Democratic Party of Virginia could have helped. In 2001 and 2005, the DPVA Resolutions Committee worked with the Warner and Kaine campaigns to draft brief, but comprehensive, platforms setting forth the Party’s positions on issues. See DPVA Party Platforms. This year, nothing. In fact, the Deeds’ campaign scuttled a brief and extremely general statement of support for health insurance reform (which didn’t even mention the public option).
The campaign’s fear of resolutions, however, was not unusual. Candidates and party leaders seem to live in constant fear that the party will adopt resolutions that are controversial, liberal, divisive, and irrelevant. That fear is not entirely without foundation. There are those in the party who seem to enjoy proposing such resolutions. But party leaders should recognize that a platform offers an important opportunity to define the campaign and appeal to the voters. A platform can offer a clear expression of the party’s views, garner media attention, and educate the voters about the candidate’s priorities. Let’s not waste this opportunity next time.
Um, that would be “Democratic arrogance.”
“If the GOP would put the interests of the American people first…”
Oh, what a wonderful display of Democrat arrogance! Talk about “overheated and misleading rhetoric.”
And Democrats wonder why the TEA party people are angry. Anger is an appropriate response for a political party which attacks its opponents as having an agenda other than “the American people.”
Frank – you are so right! Regrettably the Deeds folks seem to have not comprehend why Obama won and how he took Virginia. They put forth no issue postions; most solid Democratic voters (non-activists) that I spoke with could tell me nothing about the candidate – was he married, did he have children, what was his profession? They did tell me, including a former Bath County native I met in Staunton, that they thought Deeds was too negative.
I wouldn’t characterize it as blaming the messenger — I think Creigh Deeds is a great guy, a dedicated public servant, and an outstanding senator for the people in his diverse district. I’d rather have him as Governor, but I am glad he continues to serve in the state senate. I think the problem was the campaign’s lack of message.
As to President Obama, I think he is carrying forward with his real agenda of economic recovery, cooperation and stability aboad, decent health care for all Americans, and long term, sustainable economic development. If the GOP would put the interests of the American people first, instead of trying to gain political advantage from overheated and misleading rhetoric, we would all be much better off.
I hope you go with that meme — “It wasn’t the message that was the problem; it was the messenger” — which fails to recognize that Obama won because of (1) GOP weakness; and (2) Obamoron obfuscation of his real agenda.
At the same time, I certainly agree that a party’s platform is important.