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Democrats’ Candidate Recruitment Strategy

Today’s Washington Post recounts the Democrats’ candidate recruitment strategy, this year:

According to the Post, NRCC Chairman, Rahm Emanuel, "turned to a team of young, eager House Democrats, with Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen in the lead and with meetings set for every other Thursday at 8 a.m. The team divided the country by regions and aggressively beat the bushes in search of candidates with charisma and the potential for raising money."

… And here’s the part I like: The Dems realized their success was contingent on convincing both the candidate — and the candidate’s spouse: “Trudi Inslee, the wife of Rep. Jay Inslee (Wash.), led a spousal outreach program to reassure the wives and husbands of candidates about the life of a congressional family."

Has it worked?  That remains to be seen. The ultimate success of this program will be judged based on the win/loss ratio in November.  But here are two current comments:

"I will give them full credit for having recruited some good candidates, no doubt about it,’ said Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)."

"I’d give Rahm a B’ for recruitment, (Stu) Rothenberg said.’There isn’t a giant sea change here. Have they had some successes at the margins? Yeah. And maybe that’s about all you can do."

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Written By

Mr. Lewis has managed political campaigns and served as director of grassroots for the Leadership Institute, as well as political director for GOPAC. In 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine selected him as a "Rising Star of Politics." He is the author of "Teaching Elephants to Talk." His blog can be read at

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