Thursday, January 06, 2005

OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan - If I Were a Democrat

OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan

The 109th Congress has been sworn in and convened, and now the new post-election reality begins. If I were a Democrat right now I would think big and get serious. Second terms are tough for incumbents; history has not handed George W. Bush an easy ride, and there's no reason to think that will change now; and Mr. Bush is a gambler who's not afraid to throw the dice, which means he will likely have not only stunning gains but stunning losses ahead. The Democrats are still competitive. "In every defeat lies the seed of future victory, in every victory lies the seed of future defeat." Every morning I'd put my game face on knowing my party will stand a good chance of making a big presidential comeback in four years. Look confident; this will encourage victory. Or at least leave people saying you look confident, which for you will be a victory.

No one wants to be head of the Democratic National Committee. This is bad but understandable. A fractious party has been further fractured by a hard year. What you need for DNC chairman is a man or woman of some stature who can make the case for your party day in and day out in big media. Fund-raising expertise is secondary--hire someone to do it. So is organizational skill--hire organizers. You need someone who makes the Democratic Party look nonsleazy, nonmanipulative and nonweak on TV. He doesn't have to be nationally known, but he must be--how to put this?--good-natured, moderate in manner, and normal-seeming. That would mean not Howard Dean.

Now, Peggy, don't give them any moderate ideas!

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