Skip to comments.Clinton brings warning to House Democrats about 2014 campaign
Posted on 02/09/2013 7:50:02 AM PST by Libloather
LANSDOWNE, Va. Former President Bill Clinton came to the House Democratic retreat here armed with a warning: The Republicans wont make it as easy for Democrats to win in 2014.
I think that we should assume going forward that the people who disagree with us, honestly in our approach, will not make it quite as easy to draw the contrast on the things they do and say [as] they did last time, Clinton told House Democrats in a wide-ranging and largely informal talk that lasted nearly 45 minutes.
Clinton noted he held 133 campaign events for Democrats in 2012, elections that resulted in the party holding the White House and gaining seats in the House and Senate. He interpreted the results more as a repudiation of Republicans than an endorsement of Democrats, which he said made the partys positive agenda going forward all the more critical.
Now that you won this race that was a referendum in large measure on what the American people did not want, we have to create a future that they do want," he said.
Clinton aimed his address at the political opportunities and pitfalls the party will have to navigate as they seek to reclaim the House majority in 2014.
Democrats, Clinton said, need to advance an affirmative agenda on jobs, immigration and gun control without relying solely on the coalition of minorities and young voters who reelected President Obama but who will be harder to turn out to the polls in the midterm election.
You should not rely on demography alone, Clinton said.
Clinton urged Democrats to be particularly mindful of gun-owning voters as they pursue legislation to expand background checks, limit high-capacity magazines and ban assault weapons in the wake of the December school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
His advice was not to scale back their proposals but to explain them carefully to people, and especially to those cultural conservatives who some in the party have written off in recent years.
I see this whole gun issue as an opportunity, not a toxic landmine, Clinton said. So turn into this, he continued. Treat these people as our friends, our neighbors, people we share a country with.
As is typical for Clinton appearances before Democratic groups, the former president received a loud ovation from lawmakers both at the beginning and end of his speech. As he took the podium, one member shouted, We miss you!
Sometimes, I miss you, Clinton replied to laughter.
Clinton cited lessons he learned in 1994, when he watched as Democrats in Congress who supported his agenda on the economy, healthcare and gun control were swept out of office in a Republican wave. He said he spent countless sleepless nights in the White House after that election, thinking both about the Democrats who supported him and lost as well as those who backed him and survived.
His message boiled down to: Get the policy right, but dont forget about the politics.
The most important thing I can say to you is this is a job," Clinton told the Democrats. "It is a job. And keeping it requires you to do it and sell it simultaneously.
Clinton urged the party to craft a clear employment program, saying that while the nation needed a long-term debt-reduction plan, but said, that doesnt mean austerity is the right response.
If you do not have growth, you cannot fix this debt problem, Clinton said.
He also cautioned Democrats not to walk away from healthcare as an issue just because the overhaul they supported is now enacted into law. Implementation of the law would be important to the partys future success because, he said, we Democrats now own health reform for good or ill.
If the healthcare law needs to be changed, Clinton said, Democrats need to be caught trying to change [it].
Stay with this. Make it work. Prove that we were right to do it, he said.
I still picture the impeached *Perjurer with Moanica.
As long as Bill Clinton is the topic and in the ‘limelight’ he is Happy...He is another...G Folks I love my self!
That is just the worst soundbite So many Americans do not want what they are creating.
I hear ice can help remove stains.. I’m sure Bubba has tried.. and is still trying to do the same. He should be proud to have a protegee and comrade in the WH.. disarming a nation he and O swore an oath to prserve and protect.. but sadly, his heart belongs to an ideology that has little to do with freedom and encourages taking liberties rather than protecting them under the guise of equality.
The real message from Clinton is: Stop waiving the agenda around so openly, take some tiny steps now, then drop the hammer after the midterms are over with and you have the coverage of a presidential election year where you can count on more stupid people at the polls.
The more I read this kind of stuff the more I realize it’s all about power not values or platforms.
These guys know they have to cut spending and trim back healthcare - ie make government smaller to provide for growth or they won’t be re-elected.
I am surprised that after 2+ years the Republicans can’t hire a team to articulate a message that resonates clearly. They throw out good messages but don’t pound them home to the masses that don’t do politics.
Most of the time they don’t look like they understand or attack all facets of information sources for all Americans.
Clinton is an ass put he gets it right when he says the dems need to “look” like they working on the problem.
I don’t like Slick Willy, but he does learn a lesson.
A rather telling statement. The Dems know that they will be the permanent majority party. It is not a matter of if, but when. We may have already reached the tipping point in national elections. Next comes Congress.
He's exactly right. He saw the results of the mid-terms, when Obama wasn't on any ticket anywhere, and saw that the blacks, and young folks, who came out in droves for Obama in 2008, didn't bother to vote in 2010. He's looking forward and seeing the same situation in 2014, and it could be bad for the Dems, if the Republican run any decent candidates that the base can support.
So, sticking with communizing the United States is a future American Citizens want?
Prove that we were right to do it, he said.
And that definition of insanity is what... again?
The only thing that could be "proven" is that "liberalism" is a mental disorder along the lines of Antisocial personality disorder.
It might surprise some people to realize that the Dems know exactly what needs to be done, what actually works and how to get there. But for the Dems, giving more money away is the support beams of their platform. If the Dems are ever seen as cutting government, they will lose most of their base.
I think this is the money quote: You should not rely on demography alone, Clinton said.
“... He’s looking forward and seeing the same situation in 2014, and it could be bad for the Dems, if the Republican run any decent candidates that the base can support. “
He’s actually laying the groundwork for Hillary’s run in 2016.
I wholeheartedly agree. It will be interesting to see how the Dems maintain their lib base - which is what I think Clinton meant.
“I think this is the money quote: You should not rely on demography alone, Clinton said.”
I read that quote meaning that Clinton admitted that they need more growth and to figure out how to take credit for it because their demographic of poor, and low info voters will shrink as unemployment shrinks.