There is only one ticket that can win in 2008

A large percentage of the population is evagelical christian (apparently about 40%, although subtracting blacks from that and you probably have about 35%), and there percentage appears to be growing larger, if this election is any indication (assuming we didn't just get Diebolded-IMHO, the jury is still out on that, but I'm leaning towards no).  These people care little about the competence of the person they vote for, as long as they speak thier language and share their "values".  The Democrats can not get a significant number of those votes-nor should we try.  Therefore, we must think strategically on who to choose in 2008.

Both the president and vice-presidential nominees must:

  1. Come from purple-red states and be popular in thier home states.
  2. Have the NRA's support.
  3. Be leaders, not members of the crowd.
  4. Never say, in any way, shape or form, "I'm going to raise your taxes."
Explanations of these:

  1. We need two bonus states.  We can't have canidates from solid blue states (like Kerry) or from almost solid red states where they weren't terribly popular (like Edwards).  So we need two canidates from states that are red, but not by much.

  2. We need to give up an issue.  The math doesn't work if we don't.  Gun control is an issue I'm willing to give up, and where logic is arguably on the side of giving it up (only law-abiding citizens follow gun control laws, rapes might go down if the rapist is afraid their target might have a .22 in her purse, etc.).  And this doesn't mean they just say "I support hunting", like Kerry did-they must consider guns as personal protection, too.  This is the NRA's decision-we must find somebody they can support.

  3. By this, I mean no more senators.  They have too many votes that can be thrown back in thier faces, and they tend to, by instinct, have a wishy-washy speaking style (again, like Kerry and to a lesser degree Edwards).  They need to be used to being in charge and ordering people around, not working on consensus only.  Basically, only governors and generals need apply.

  4. Lots of people, when Kerry said "I'm going to roll back the tax cuts on people making more than two hundred thousand dollars a year" heard "I'm going to raise YOUR taxes"-even if they made a quarter or an eighth of the cutoff.

So, Kerry and Edwards failed completely in every single one of these categories-and they still came close to winning, because George Bush is obviously a dangerous idiot.  But we thought that was enough, when it clearly wasn't (again, assuming we didn't get Diebolded).  The next canidate the Republicans run will be much better.

So, who qualifies?

Hillary Clinton?  No way.
Barack Obama?  Nope.
Tom Vilsack?  Close, but he has a rep for being a "tax and spend Democrat".

The answer is Bill Richardson.  New Mexico is quite purple, barely going to Gore in 2000 (by less votes than Florida went for Bush), and barely going to Bush this time.  He signed a bill allowing people to carry concealed guns: (Ironic link, no?  It's first on a Google search of "bill richardson""concealed carry""new mexico", so I might as well use it.)  The right-wing National Review praised him for his "supply side tax cut" proposal:

Who should be VP?  Wesley Clark, that's who.  Heck, you could even reverse the canidates if you wanted to.  He was my choice for VP this time-I think we would have gotten Arkansas if he was.  He might have been the only Democratic canidate who could have won the general election (in retrospect, considering how important Iraq was)-he only failed in the primaries due to his political inexperience, which resulted in him making some poor remarks at times.  But he's a quick study, and he's now a great talking head supporting our side.  Now, Clark has made some typical Democrat pro-gun control and roll back the tax cut statements, but he has four years to change those statements (with no votes or bill signed, this shouldn't be hard).  Being a general means guns are well associated with him, as well as killing terrorists and the like.

Now, the far left will be pissed.  Tough shit.  Getting any Democrat in at this point will be neigh impossible-you'll eat it and you will like it!  The problem with the left is that the majority of people who vote are on the right, and while there may be others who disagree with thier positions, they aren't going to vote.  I spent the day before the election and the day of the election on the ground in Las Vegas, hanging flyers on doors and ringing doorbells.  I had lists of registered Democrats and Independents-so I didn't have much chance to talk to unregistered people.  However, I did bump into two people who railed against Bush-but weren't registered (one said "I'm not a voter.")  You can't get these people to vote-the ground game this time was as intense as it could ever be (we bumped into a group of ACT people doing the same thing we were, for example), and it still wasn't enough to get these two motivated.  So, they don't count, and never will.

This sudden sneak up by the Republicans may not be so sudden after all.  The last Democrat to be elected president without artifical support was Johnson (Carter won because of Watergate (plus he was a deeply religious man, and from the south), I now see that Clinton won due to Ross Perot (cultural conservatives who were union members or poor voted for Perot instead of the Republican canidates-plus Clinton was religious and from the south, too)).  So we are going to have to use tricks and a movement towards the right on a couple issues to win.

Of course, the far left is quite disloyal.  They are not in a "reality based" world, like the far right is-they think that moving to the center (you know, where the votes are) hurts us.  They think that running leftist third party canidates (Nader, Cobb), draining the Democrats of votes, helps us.  They get turned off too easily and don't vote at all because they got half thier pie instead of all of it.

Even if we do get the presidency, getting the House and Senate will be hard with all the evagelicals out there.  And we probably will nominate somebody unwinable like Hillary.

In short, we're probably permanently fucked. The problem is not our ground game-we had as good a ground game as humanly possible this time.  The problem is that we keep nominating leftist canidates as the country moves to the right.  There are more of them than there are of us, and they vote now.

Of course, again, this is assuming we weren't Diebolded.  The exit polls lead credence to this-however, exit polls are very unreliable (I can see Bush voters saying they voted Kerry, Bush voters may be more likely to vote in the evening after work than Kerry voters, plus your usual "polls suck" margins of error).  But I see no direct evidence to support this conclusion-Bush's numbers were big enough that a massive conspiracy would have had to occur-they would have probably needed people in dozens of counties in both Florida and Ohio for this to work-and the popular vote trended Bush nationwide by a relatively large margin, so they would have had to be in many other states for this to be consistant, which it was.  It is still possible, though, and if so, it doesn't matter, because barring a whistle blower, we are even more fucked.

I hate to be defeatest here, but I live in a reality based world.  Richarson/Clark may be our only chance in 2008.

Tags: (all tags)



centrist candidate
Nominate Evan Bayh,
terrific as a governor, excellent centrist voting record as well now as a senator, and a young fresh face. Im telling u, he could mop the floor with Rudy or condi rice.
by africandemocrat 2004-11-03 06:42PM | 0 recs
harold ford jr
put ford jr as a vp or at least his own consideration, we need to get rid of this left wing thinking. it wont work. we can be progressive and realistic at the same time. clinton ran as almost a conservative demcorat, but he was very progressive at the same time.

In essence, we need someone who can talk to rural america with confidence and belivability. We need someone who displays traditional american values. evan bayh, harold ford jr,

u remember anybody but bush?

I say, anybody but hillary


by africandemocrat 2004-11-03 06:44PM | 0 recs
I don't think we're permanently fucked.  The Democratic party as we've known it just needs to change to bring the evangelicals (or a very decent-sized fraction of them) into the fold.
by kfractal 2004-11-03 06:47PM | 0 recs
One ticket
Don't assume these rural people, these red voters are monoliths.  I worked hard on them (my employees) and worked to understand.

They want competence.  They want someone from a purple-red state.  No weird wives.  A gun owner - that is indeed the issue to give up.

I'm from the Great Basin, and guns are far more important in NV than gays.  

"What do you care?" and "are you willing to trade pay raises to stop gay marriage?" had traction in our arguments.

We also need to rethink entitlements, and any kind of racial discrimination, and focus more on raising everyone up (ala Clintonomics).

And Richardson may have a serious bimbo problem.

I agree with Clark

by beeste 2004-11-03 07:36PM | 0 recs
Yes, but no
Yes on principle: purple-state figures who don't turn off evangelicals, governors far preferable to Senators, speak to the South a must, gun credentials a plus. No on specifics: I'd certainly consider Richardson, but we have a LONG time to work on state races before we start drawing conclusions about nominees (anyone here thought of Edwards for Prez in November '00? me neither). I'm interested in Richardson, Clark, Mark Warner of VA, Mike Easley (about whom I know very little), maybe Senator Bill Nelson of FL (ditto), and I'd like to focus on state and local races and on institution building for the next year or so before we get all primary'd up.
by accommodatingly 2004-11-03 07:43PM | 0 recs
I agree

I just posted a dairy about Clark before I read yours. You're right on man. We need to pull NM, NV, Colorado, Arkansas, Missouri, TN, West Virginia. I remember the talk during the primaries and VP picks was that Clark couldn't carry Arkansas, though. He was never given a mandate in any form from Arkansans, so it's unclear whether he really has there support. I like the guy, though.

Kerry-Clark would have won. My dad voted for Bush but doesn't like him and said he would've voted for Kerry-Clark.


by DemInTokyo 2004-11-03 07:59PM | 0 recs
Clark '08
The campaign starts NOW.

He was my candidate in the primaries, and remained so through the GE, even as I cast my ballot for Kerry. Edwards was a mistake, in my opinion, much like Lieberman was for Gore. He simply didn't have the gravitas that people look for in a potential president. I felt he was the wrong choice at the time, but pretty much the only choice that Kerry would make (god save us from Gephardt as freakin' VP).

by Knuckles 2004-11-03 08:11PM | 0 recs
The whole approach is reactionary
and defeatist.  Instead of trying to compromise, why don't we try standing on principle, losing our fear of defeat and picking a leader who consistently, proudly and forcely advocates our values.  In short, grow a spine.
by rusrivman 2004-11-03 08:23PM | 0 recs
Any of those 3 would work well in 2008
Any of those 3 would work well, Love Richardson and Clark!

At the same time we have to take back the word morality!  True Morality, Real Morality and make darn sure we make our points about letting people fall further into poverty is not a family value.  Prejudice is not a moral value.  These people have hijacked the word and made it what they want.

There is a new blog up, just getting started and you can get to it by either going to or

by azpoet 2004-11-03 09:10PM | 0 recs
Put the governor at the top of the ticket, as governors generally do better than Senators in presidential politics, and Virginia is a tougher state for us than Florida, but not impossible with a Virginian at the top of the ticket.  The only problem with Warner is that he will have to retire from the governor's mansion in 2005; three years is a bit of a long time to be out of office before running for President.  However, it would give him plenty of time to concentrate fully on campaigning.  He's a multi-millionaire, so he'd be able to set up an exploratory committee and start fundraising fairly easily.  If Nelson is reelected in 2006, he'll immediately be on the short list for the 2008 ticket simply by virtue of his home state.

The problem with Richardson-Clark is that winning Arkansas and New Mexico doesn't win us the election if the rest of the map remains unchanged.  Winning Florida does, and adding Virginia would cushion us against a loss in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, or Michigan (or even Wisconsin AND Minnesota).  If the idea is to grab off two purplish-red states, these are the two to shoot for.  (Actually, ideally Florida and Ohio are the two to shoot for, but if Ohio had a credible national Democratic candidate he/she/it would have been Kerry's running mate and we wouldn't be worrying about who to run in 2008.)  Warner-Nelson in 2008.

by Alex 2004-11-03 10:49PM | 0 recs
I don't think we should..
...shed our own ideals, to try to "win" tgese voters. As far as Im seeing it, we need to change the ideals of what these voters think, thats what the repugs did, why not us? Dropping our own principle just to get some few cheap votes so we can win just does not do it for me. Sounds more like a quick-fix solution, don't you think?
by Slyargent 2004-11-03 11:17PM | 0 recs
Trade and immigration are issues overlooked by you
I aggree we need a canidate with a pro gun record, or atleast one better than Kerry.  We need somebody against these trade deals NAFTA, China, Moroco, Chile, ect...  We need someone strongly against illegal immigration, but not someone that's antimmigrant.  I aggree with the part about ideally having candidates from more of a swing state.  I don't aggree about totally righting off Senators or Representative, but we can't have two on the ticket.

So who fits my mold,I think Senator Feingold would be a great canidate, he voted against NAFTA and is popular in Wisconsin and also the patriot act.  Harry Reid is only other Senator, I'd support, but since he won't be running it doesn't matter.  Richardson might be a good canidate he is a good guy charistmatic and has done a pretty good job as Governor so maybe. So in 2008 please no Gore, no Kerry, no Hillary, and no Bayh.  

by Painter2004 2005-01-10 11:42AM | 0 recs


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