From the LA Times: “Reeling from their party’s loss in the presidential election, some key Democratic financiers and strategists say they have learned a clear lesson: Next time around, no Northeasterners need apply…”
I can understand the hesitation among many Dems to dip their toes back into the Charles River (or the East River for that matter). But I think it is a deadly mistake to think that this is all about geography.
It’s about positioning the candidate and defining the issues. Bush is a Yale and Harvard graduated, Bonesman, son of a president who was sold as a man of the people; a Washington outsider, a prince who ran as someone uneasy with the ways of the throne.
For better or for worse, each party has to package and sell a candidate. If your candidate has a lack of curiosity, then you sell his steely resolve. If your opponent is a Vietnam vet who surrounds himself with guys from his unit (including one whose life he saved), it may seem impossible to portray him as weak. It’s no more impossible than convincing people to try a new toothpaste, drink a new light beer or force mounds of meat and eggs down their throats even though for the past 25 years they’ve been told to avoid eating too much fat.
You want to know one of the key differences between the GOP and the Dems? If John Kerry’s campaign were run by the Republicans, we would’ve been sold on how superior Massachusetts is and how you just can’t trust those candidates from Texas.
Did you know that Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the country? Texas is way down in immoral 36th place. Don’t you want a president who comes from a place where they defend the cornerstone of the American family?
The idea is to sell what you are, not to try to become what’s selling.
Geography is simply another detail to be massaged. If you can frame the debate and define the issue then you will always have home field advantage.