Democrats are playing on a field that favors their rivals and with messages that advantage the GOP. Their only choice is to change the dialogue. They need to make the contest a choice between two competing visions rather than a referendum on their own leadership. And that imperative has them playing the political equivalent of small ball.
Democrats have "got to remind people what Republicans were -- the party they rejected last time," said former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., who led his party's campaign efforts in 2004. "That's good politics if you can make it stick. The problem is, it's only good for a day or two at a time."
Republicans, meanwhile, are no strangers to nitpicking their way through an unfavorable landscape...
None of those attacks will move a vote on their own, just as Democrats shouldn't count on building their majority on the back of Joe Barton. But the Democratic strategy has more to do with building a narrative about who Republicans are. And, in truth, Republicans remain even less popular than Democrats.
"It's going to take a bunch of bloopers. They're going to have to put a lot of hits together to get a rally going," the GOP's Davis said, when asked how Democrats can succeed with their strategy. "The only good news for Democrats is that they're running against Republicans."
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Reid Wilson has an excellent summary of party strategy at Hotline: