Can Bush be beaten?

By JOHN KELLER  |  November 14, 2006

Intangibles
There are plenty of intangibles needed to make this longshot come on. The nomination of a good campaigner would help. A successful Democrat will have to speak to voters’pocketbooks but without proposing a laundry list of new government programs, which most voters view as code for new taxes.

The candidate will have to choose issues carefully: though Wofford seems to have turned health care into a metaphor for middle-class discontent, such programs cost money. And it’s unlikely his success mean liberalism is popular again – Wofford was, after all, the endorsed candidate of the National Rifle Association.

Admittedly, the recipe for beating Bush includes a large dose of luck. But it also calls for an ability to listen, to speak more directly to voters’ concerns, and to set aside, at least for now, long-held partisan and ideological baggage. Only then can a Democrat escape the fatal error committed by past Democratic candidates – giving the wrong speech to the wrong crowd."

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