About that ‘message’

Yesterday I posted on this blog about a statement Howard Dean made to a group of Vermont Democrats.  In summary, Dean said, "We need a message."

Well, via Jim at bRight & Early, I read today a bit about last week’s Young Democrats of America biennial convention. One of the speakers there was New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who seems to be on the same page as Dean.  In the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Governor Richardson was quoted as saying the following in his speech to the convention:

He [Richardson] said the Democratic Party can’t continue as a Washington, DC-based party. We need more leadership at the state level, like the 12 Democratic governors in the red states. He lamented all the talk about how to craft the party’s message, saying, "I have to first figure out what we stand for."

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (the one who – on his own – declared gay marriage legal in San Francisco) spoke to the group as well:

He lamented that politicians won’t say in public what they say to him in private. Publicly they are very good at identifying the obvious, but they don’t want to talk about solutions. "I am not popular in my party," he said. "What’s the point of winning if you can’t advance your principles? You can’t talk in ideals unless you are willing to manifest them."

I suppose to him that would mean "doing what you think is right, regardless of whether or not it’s legal."

Anyway, bottom line is that Jim’s conclusion to all this talk about Democrats needing to get a message is right on.  He summarized nicely here:

It’s a simple, two-part message:

  1. We’re not really sure what we stand for, but we are holding discussions to figure it out.
  2. If we can’t figure out what we stand for, it doesn’t really matter. We just have to frame it the right way.

Bang on.  We’ve heard for ages *from* Dems that they need to get a message.  For their sakes, hopefully they’ll get one soon outside of  "whatever Bush is for, we’re against."

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