May 22, 2006

"You Don't Win Elections Just By Preaching To The Choir"

I remember Susan Estrich as Michael Dukakis' campaign manager in the 1988 Presidential campaign. I followed her work closely because back then I actually voted Democrat. In fact, you might say that 1988 was the year I first immersed myself in politics, following the rigors of a Presidential campaign from Iowa to Election Day.

Lately, Estrich is political commentator on FoxNews for the Liberal point of view. And for a long time now, she's been taking crap for it by her friends on the Left. This morning, she has some advice for the peanut gallery:

IÂ’ve taken a lot of heat from the left for working for Fox News, and frankly, IÂ’m a little bit sick of it. The truth is that IÂ’ve been very well treated at Fox: I say what I want; IÂ’m treated with respect; and IÂ’m paid well.

But thereÂ’s an even more fundamental point. You donÂ’t win elections just by preaching to the choir. You win by convincing people in the middle, many of whom actually watch the top-rated cable news network. Some of these people are even over 54 years of age (another of the latest attacks), and not only do they spend a lot of money on purchases, but they vote in higher numbers than any other demographic group (thereÂ’s a reason no one ever dares to touch Social Security).

The way I see my job is to try to present the strongest arguments possible to the most important voters in the country, which I think is pretty critical for my party. Democrats who refuse to appear on Fox News because of their claims of conservative "bias" are in fact foregoing an important opportunity to reach swing voters who might actually decide elections.

The irony is that I find that often, simply by occupying the middle, I can win the fight. And what do I get from my friends on the left? Criticism that IÂ’m not a real Democrat because IÂ’m too centristÂ… How dare I be pragmatic?

My answer is very simple. Unlike Mr. [HuffPost blogger, Bob] Cesca, I not only have worked for every network, I also worked, formally or informally, for every Democratic candidate to run for president in the 1980Â’s and 1990Â’s. I understand the difference between running on the left and losing, and running in the center and winning. I wrote three Democratic Party platforms. I see no honor in defeat. IÂ’d rather win in the middle than lose on the left, and you donÂ’t need to call anyone names to do it.

Words of wisdom, moonbats.

Republicans may bicker and shoot themselves in the foot every chance they get. But as long as Democrats are "running on the left and losing", the GOP can keep winning - despite itself.

Posted by: Gary at 03:12 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Similar reasoning explains Bill Bennett's appearances on CNN...

Posted by: Georgia Girl at May 22, 2006 03:27 PM (ZMwFa)

2 You donÂ’t win elections just by preaching to the choir. You win by convincing people in the middle I heard on the Michael Medved Show, Professor Larry Schweikart mentioned how a baseball coach....I think Yogi Berra, but maybe I have my coaches mixed up...wanted to keep the 1/3rd of the players who hated him away from the 1/3rd who weren't sure. Same idea, I think.

Posted by: Wordsmith at May 22, 2006 04:18 PM (nrGCx)

3 Susan Estrich gets it. I may not agree with her politics, but we can sure have a rational debate about it. Nevertheless, I don't see Howard Dean calling her anytime soon for advice. More's the pity.

Posted by: Bret at May 22, 2006 05:01 PM (WIFkt)

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