Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, January 10, 2005

DNC chairman candidates focus on South

The Associated Press

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) — Seven candidates for chairman of the Democratic National Committee promised Saturday to address the concerns of Southern voters, saying they had learned the lessons of the past two elections.

"You want to know my Southern strategy, show up," said Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor who dropped out of the presidential race during last year's Democratic primaries.

Boy howdy, I sure hope he shows up in a pickemup truck with a Rebel flag on it! Yeehaw, and all.

Dean and the other candidates seeking to replace Terry McAuliffe as the face of the Democratic Party spoke before a Southern audience at the first of several regional caucuses to give Democratic Party officials a chance to hear from them. [...]

Each of the candidates addressed questions on how the Democratic Party can attract women, black and minority voters. None offered to change the party's positions, but all suggested the party needs to focus the issues more. [...]

Call me crazy, but it seems that a lot of people think that the party's positions ARE the issue. Pandering to disparate groups with competing, and sometimes mutually exclusive, priorities, and promising to fulfill all their wishes at the expense of the nation as a whole, probably isn't really the best way to win over the folks who didn't vote Democrat in the last election. As long as the focus is on women voters, or Southern voters, or vegan voters, rather than American voters, the party will not be able to govern effectively. But what do I know, I'm just a possum.

Also running for the spot are former Texas Rep. Martin Frost, Democratic strategist Donnie Fowler, former Indiana Rep. Tim Roemer, former Ohio state Democratic Party chair David Leland and Simon Rosenberg, head of the New Democrat Network.

"It's not just about spending more money," Rosenberg said in an interview before the forum. "Money also needs to have strategy."

Roemer said if elected he would work harder to appeal to rural voters in the South and Midwest, two areas that have gone solidly to Bush in the last two elections.

"Some people think we need to steer left. Some people think I would steer the party right. It's not about that. It's about expanding the bus," Roemer said.

Making the pie higher, eh? Well, the bus analogy is all well and good, but if I buy a ticket to Montgomery, I really don't want to get on a bus going to Nashville. Nor do I want to get on one driven by a madman intent on driving it off the nearest cliff just for the sake of making a point about global warming or making sure terror suspects have warm, soft blankets while in custody.

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a fellow Democrat, told the candidates that the party needs to listen more to local officials. He said he is proof that Democrats know how to win on the statewide level in the South, and that can be translated to the presidential election with a more comprehensive strategy.

"The next time around, we want a 50-state platform. We want a 50-state party," Bredesen said to loud applause. "To my party, get out of Washington more." [...]

Yes, Democrats can win in the South--they can win anywhere. But winning's not in promising everything to everyone, it's not in trying to have it both ways, it's not in spewing cockeyed conspiracy theories at every turn, it's not in acting like a big crybaby when you lose, and it's certainly not in seeing America as the chief source of all that ills the world.

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