Here’s something useful that came from the Democratic National Committee email hack–concern at the DNC that the Clinton strategy of demonizing Trump and arguing ‘good Republicans’ should stop him is hurting Democratic candidates at the state and local levels (boldface mine):
Hi Amy, the Clinton rapid response operation we deal with have been asking us to disaggregate Trump from down ballot Republicans. They basically want to make the case that you either stand with Ryan or with Trump, that Trump is much worse than regular Republicans and they don’t want us to tie Trump to other Republicans because they think it makes him look normal.
They wanted us to basically praise Ryan when Trump was meeting Ryan, or at a minimum to hold him up as an example. So they want to embrace the “Republicans fleeing Trump” side, but not hold down ballot GOPers accountable.
That’s a problem. I pushed back that we cannot have our state parties hold up Paul Ryan as a good example of anything. And that we can’t give down ballot Republicans such an easy out. We can force them to own Trump and damage them more by pointing out that they’re just as bad on specific policies, make them uncomfortable where he’s particularly egregious, but asking state Parties to praise House Republicans like Ryan would be damaging for the Party down ballot.
Can you help us navigate this with Charlie? We would basically have to throw out our entire frame that the GOP made Trump through years of divisive and ugly politics. We would have to say that Republicans are reasonable and that the good ones will shun Trump. It just doesn’t work from the Party side. Let me know what you think.
Thanks, – Luis.
P.S. – – that strategy would ALSO put us at odds with Schumer, Lujan, Pelosi, Reid, basically all of our Congressional Democrats who have embraced our talking points and have been using them beautifully over the last couple of weeks to point out that GOPers in Congress have been pushing these ugly policies for years. Trying to dump this approach would probably not work with Members of Congress, it’s worse than turning an aircraft carrier, we would lose 3/4 of the fleet. Let me know what you think. It might be a good strategy ONLY for Clinton (which I don’t believe), I think instead she needs as many voices as possible on the same page….
Luis Miranda, Communications Director Democratic National Committee
I’m old enough to remember when Bernie Sanders was supposedly bad for down ballot Democrats and Clinton was AWESUM! for those same Democrats.
For anyone who actually remembers the 1990s, this is textbook (Bill) Clinton–it’s just the 2016 version of triangulation, at the expense of the Democratic Party as a whole. This strategy should shock absolutely no one.
As I often point out, Clinton is obviously better than Trump. But Democrats need to view the aftermath of a likely Clinton win with our eyes wide-open. We’ve seen this before. You can take the Clinton out of the New Democrats, but you can’t take the New Democrat out of the Clinton…