At work, I’m doing some work to help bring the Democratic National Convention to Minneapolis in 2012. While this is the Democratic National Convention, just as Saint Paul hosting the 2008 Republican National Convention was good for our Capital City’s and our region’s economy, so too will bringing in the Democrats be good for both our economy and, long term, the national exposure the event will bring. Found at Vimeo from DNC Minneapolis 2012.
How can you help? Start by Liking the Facebook page and then urge your friends to do the same so we can show how much Minneapolis wants to host this event:
No one makes a better political argument than President Clinton. In this speech he gave in Minnesota last Thursday, Clinton eloquently lays out the reason it’s important to elect a veto-proof Democratic majority:
Former Republican Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president today on Meet The Press. He actually made the announcement outside the NBC studios:
Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama on Meet The Press
Colin Powell Press Conference
This clip is of a press conference Powell held after taping Meet The Press:
On the way out the door, I grabbed a bagful of cherries to eat for breakfast at work this morning. I didn’t consciously grab them for this reason, but once I got to work I realized I couldn’t have had a more appropriate breakfast.
Life is absolutely a bowl of cherries for me today.
I’m still warmed by the afterglow of Obama’s acceptance speech. It wasn’t his best speech but it was a very politically tactical speech that was nevertheless superb. It certainly wasn’t his most inspiring speech but I was still moved not so much by the speech itself but by the historical moment.
My life experience has thankfully given me a what I think is a fairly unique perspective on race in America, at least for that of a white, male Minnesotan. That experience deserves its own post, with which I promise to follow up. Suffice to say, at the outset of this Democratic campaign, I was fairly skeptical of America’s willingness to support a black man for president.
So though I’ve known this moment was coming for quite some time, the moment it happened, the moment Barack Obama actually accepted my party’s nomination for president, I was surprised at how moved I was.
I spent a year and a half of my high school years in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where I met virulent racists. There was the kid who tried to beat up a black girl on her first day of school because she was black (that was her only day at that school). There was the kid whose father had turned their basement into his own personal armory in anticipation of the race war he believed to be coming. There was the friend who found a Klu Klux Klan sword between the walls of his house while his family was renovating a room. There were the gallows I spied driving past a corn field one day.
These racist kids I knew learned racism from their parents and had they stayed in Indiana, there’s little to lead me to believe that they’d ever change.
So, to witness the history that took place last night inspired me to have more faith in my fellow Americans and today, I am the proudest I’ve ever been in my life to be an American.
So, yeah, today’s a pretty good day.
I was delighted to read the New York Times article about psychology professor Drew Westen‘s new book, The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.
In a nutshell, Westen’s argument is that Democrats lose elections because they make the fatal mistake of trying to appeal to the electorate’s reason, rather than their emotions. Democrats present their case with facts and logic while Republicans say that something just feels wrong or right.
The contrast between the two approaches is evident in their candidates. For the past two presidential elections, the Democrats ran two wooden candidates with little emotional appeal in Al Gore and John Kerry who both nevertheless nearly won (and a lot of people believe they did win).
Both Gore and Kerry should have crushed George W. Bush, but they failed because they failed to push the electorate’s emotional buttons. The Bush camp, on the other hand, presented their candidate as an ordinary guy with whom you’d like to share a beer. The Bush camp succeeded in putting a dress on Kerry and portraying him as an effeminate wimp, eliciting an negative emotional reaction from a public scarred by 9/11. And the Bush camp pushed the emotional fear button every chance they got by raising the terrorist threat level every chance they got.
It is telling that the last Democratic president fully understood this. President Bill Clinton famously said, "I feel your pain." President Clinton, then and now, frames issues in emotional and moral terms; Republican proposals and ideas "are just plain wrong."
At the end of the day, Republicans simply understand marketing far better than do Democrats. Any student who’s taken Marketing 101 should be able to explain to you that at the end of the day, people make purchase decisions based more on emotion than on facts or logic.
It’s a point I’ve been shouting for years to any Democrat who would listen. The Democratic Party needs to seriously recruit marketers into their campaign infrastructure.