Welcome to the Electoral Autopsy That Never Ends! Joe Scarborough told Obama advisor Jim Messina, “I haven’t seen a Democrat that knew how to punch on a campaign trail since Barack Obama. What does the party have to do?”
“Joe Biden won the presidency because he was going to be the stability president who could address this, the slides you showed, and get some stuff done,” Messina said.
“What have we had? Month after month of Democrats on Democrats, circular firing squad. The voters hate the sausage making of laws. They want things to get done. We contested a law on Trump and the abortion issue. What we didn’t talk about was the economy.
“Economic voters, we win elections as Democrats when we prosecute the economic argument. When we go at the economy and say, ‘We’re going to make your lives better.’ Instead, we’re having month after month of debate about how big the number is. Who cares? What does that mean for average voters? Sell this thing you passed last night on prescription drugs. We’ve been through this before. I’m old. I remember these things.
“In 2009, we lost Ted Kennedy’s, you know, incredibly blue Senate seat in Massachusetts. We went back and said, ‘Okay, we have to pass Obamacare right now and get this thing done and go sell it.’ So we need to wrap up these negotiations, and we need to go out there and say, ‘This is what we just did to make your life better. This is the difference between us and them.’ If we don’t, we’ll get our butts kicked in the midterm elections.”
“What do Democrats do, though, today?” Scarborough asked. “Of course, you all did get your butts kicked in the 2010 midterm election after Brown won that seat. What do Democrats need to do? This is really a blessing for them in disguise, if they learn the lessons of yesterday. Pause because this wasn’t just about Virginia. It’s New Jersey. It’s a plus 16 state. You’ve got a governor, incumbent, fighting for his life there.
“You look at Minneapolis. Voters say, oh, get rid of the police? No, thank you. You look at Buffalo. The hero of progressives going to be beaten by a write-in candidate. You look all over the board. Progressivism did not sell yesterday. I’m not saying it won’t ever sell, but it sure as hell didn’t sell yesterday. What do they do? By the way, that Minneapolis proposal lost by double digits, thank God. What do Democrats need to do over the next year to make sure they don’t get wiped out in 2022?”
“Look, we learned this lesson in 2010. We didn’t go sell. We didn’t go out there and make the case to the American public of what we had just done. So what Democrats need to do is wrap up these negotiations yesterday, pass these bills, and spend the next year talking about what we accomplished,” Messina said.
Mika Brzezinski asked Claire McCaskill: If the Biden bills gotten through, would anything be different today?
“Well, it couldn’t be worse,” she said, laughing.
“Let’s put it that way. It could not be worse. Yeah, I think it would have been better. I think that people need to realize that this suburban vote — majorities don’t run through bright blue or bright red places. I say this over and over again. The discipline of message is important. Majorities are built in places where either party can win. That’s where majorities are built. To get those voters, to get those suburban voters back, to get those women back, yesterday I think Terry McAuliffe thought he had to talk about abortion rights and the women would fall into line.
“Women are really concerned about their children’s education. They are really concerned about whether or not they can find quality day care. They’re really concerned about gas prices. They’re really concerned about everyday things that are kitchen table issues. My dear friend Barbara Mikulski used to preach on this in Democratic meetings. ‘If we don’t get the macaroni and cheese right, nobody cares about the macro economics.’ We have to make it the full plate. Losing women like we did in Virginia yesterday, that should be the most frightening part of what happened in Virginia, is that we had a 15-point swing with women voters. Democrats can’t win if we don’t have the women.”