Monday, April 17, 2017

Democrats recruiting for the future?


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Like a baseball team without a farm system, the Democrats are rebuilding from the bottom up. It’s a smart strategy, as long as they understand that it will take time. It also means that the party will have to recruit candidates who sound a lot different than the 1,000 or so fellow Democrats who went down during the Obama years.
Alex Altman wrote about what could be the future of the Democrats, or the upcoming congressional special reelection to replace Dr. Pride in Congress: 
Since January, the anti-Trump resistance movement has pumped a staggering $8.3 million into Ossoff’s campaign, more than five times the average sum collected by winning House candidates in recent two-year election cycles, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 
Some 95% of that haul came from out of state, as did Ossoff’s field director, an alumna of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and some of his battalions of eager volunteers. 
Polls suggest he’s lapping a field of 11 Republicans and five Democrats, inching toward the majority he needs to win the April 18 election outright and sidestep a June runoff. 
Ossoff, says former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who represented this district for 20 years, “is today the national left’s great hope.”     
 
He may also be a glimpse of the Democratic Party’s future. Out of the ashes of Trump’s election triumph has risen a grassroots network dedicated to restocking the depleted Democratic talent pool. 
A constellation of loosely connected organizations, operating outside the party structure, have taken it upon themselves to draft first-time hopefuls and school them in campaign mechanics, supplying everything from seed money to sample canvassing scripts to volunteers who can proofread press releases over Slack. 
“These new insurgent organizations are the future of the party,” says Ravi Gupta, a former campaign staffer for Barack Obama who co-founded a group called the Arena that supports new civic leaders and has commitments from more than 400 progressive activists to run for state and local offices.
They may be the future of the party. We may soon call them “the blue tea party.” However, I would not put a lot of meaning to this race, or the possibility that it will change the Democrats’ hopes any time soon.
As Mr. Altman’s article explains, the money is coming from outside the district. In other words, is anyone in this district really enthusiastic about this candidate?
Looking at Ossoff’s website, it is full of generalities: he wants affordable health care, he wants jobs and will defend civil rights.
He will also have to get 51% in a field flooded with other candidates. In other words, more than likely he will have to debate a GOP candidate in a runoff and explain what he means by affordable health care, jobs or why he supports Planned Parenthood.
Frankly, he will have a harder time explaining all of the those positions against a real GOP challenger rather than when he speaks before a bunch of imported and out of state “yes we can” screamers.   
The Democrats have a long way to go.     
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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