Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Latest On "Run Everywhere"

This post from SaveTexasReps, They’s Smart in Montana, links to an article from In These Times, The Progressive Frontier, about the Democratic Governor of Montana. The article starts with how the Democratic Party in Montana stared building:
A decade ago, the Montana Democratic Party began a period of rebuilding. The Republican Party held the governor’s office and controlled both chambers of the legislature by overwhelming majorities. The Democrats committed themselves to the basics. They engaged in a strategic planning process that defined clear, attainable goals. They focused on recruiting candidates who would work hard and win. And they trained candidates and volunteers in the organizing model of grassroots advocacy groups. Democrats soon started making gains in legislative races.
It ends with this:
But other lessons are more concrete and there are some signs that Democrats are beginning to implement them nationally:

  • Fight everywhere. Schweitzer didn’t write off the rural areas of Montana that have recently become Republican strongholds. He campaigned statewide, winning two counties typically lost by Democrats and narrowing the margin in dozens of others.
  • Fight back. When Schweitzer got “Swift Boated,” his campaign staffers didn’t sit silently. They hit back fast and hard. And in his first months in office, Schweitzer didn’t refrain from criticizing the president who received more votes than he did. He aggressively criticized Bush on a number of fronts. Now he’s more popular than the president among Montana voters.
  • Actions speak louder than words. Unlike other Democrats who revel in meta-analysis or theorizing over values, Schweitzer simply did it. Rather than saying he was a real Montanan, he talked about his homesteading ancestors. Rather than talking about reclaiming the flag, Schweitzer just did it—prominently on his Web site and on pens the campaign distributed. And both Schweitzer and the Montana Democrats had plans. They just realized that having the plans was more important than talking about them non-stop.

If Democrats across the country learn these lessons, they’ll be on the right road to winning America back.
Sounds good to me.

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