Tuesday, December 29, 2009

AMERICAblog News: It's the change, stupid

Steve Rosenthal writes about how Democrats can win in 2010 and beyond:

In Florida in October 2008, candidate Obama talked about a new set of priorities, investing $15 billion a year in renewable energy resources to create 5 million new green jobs in the next decade; putting 2 million people to work rebuilding schools, roads, communications networks - "an American infrastructure for the 21st century." He talked about early childhood education, an army of new, higher-paid teachers, and money for tuition assistance to any young person willing to serve the country. Candidate Obama stood for change, for rebuilding the economy from the bottom up, with "an economic recovery plan not just for the CEOs but for the secretaries and the janitors." He gave a worried and anxious America hope and a plan that called for restoring America's middle class. Remind yourself Democrats, THAT was the winning agenda; THAT was what attracted Independents and base Democratic voters in record numbers to the polls to vote for Democrats in 2008....

The frustration voiced by independents and Obama surge voters in 2009 should be of real concern. These voters are still looking for change to happen and will keep voting for change — regardless of party — or not voting at all, until something real happens. In the 2008 election what mattered most to voters was the candidate's ability to "bring change," and the 34 percent of voters who cited this quality in exit polls nationally voted 89 percent for Obama. Only a year later, in the New Jersey governor's race, 39 percent of voters cited the ability to "bring needed change" as the most important candidate quality, but these voters delivered a sharp rebuke to Democrats and 67 percent voted for Republican Chris Christie.

Listening to these "change" voters (or as a Republican acquaintance of mine calls them, "fix it" voters) it is clear they are frustrated, stressed, and just want things in the country to get back on track. They are not interested in political expediency. Independents, Democratic base voters and the Obama surge voters want action, and they want the change they voted for in 2008. They want to see real leadership, not legislative gridlock. They don't want their elected officials to go back to the days of legislating "small things" - school uniforms comes to mind. To win them back - to engage them at all in 2010, Democrats need to pass real health care reform, then move aggressively on a job, jobs, jobs (it cannot be said enough) program with strong workers' rights. Do as candidate Obama said, put people to work immediately to fix our schools, rebuild our transportation infrastructure and invest in green technology, energy efficiency and create more green jobs.

Posted via web from Erik Kurtz - stream of consciousness

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