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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."

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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