Advice to campaigning Democrats: Maybe avoid mentioning the term economic "recovery"

During his triumphant announcement this week that ObamaCare has now reached 8 million “enrollees” and that the “repeal debate is and should be over,” President Obama implored Republicans to quit rehashing the downsides of the law and instead insisted that it is “well past time to move on as a country and refocus our energy on the issues that the American people are most concerned about — and that continues to be the economy” (as if Republicans haven’t also been talking about the economy this entire time, and, you know, the many ways the law negatively affects it).

Democrats, of course, will readily heed the idea to avoid trumpeting the law and talk more about the economy — but, they should probably avoid using the actual word “recovery,” say some Democratic strategists. Via the AP:

So say Democratic strategists in a blunt declaration that such talk skips over “how much trouble people are in, and doesn’t convince them that policymakers really understand or are even focusing on the problems they continue to face.”

In addition, Stan Greenberg, James Carville and others wrote that in head-to-head polling tests the mere mention of the word “recovery” is trumped by a Republican assertion that the Obama administration has had six years to get the economy moving and its policies haven’t worked. …

In their memo for Democracy Corps and the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, the authors propose that to boost turnout among their target groups Democrats should back an economic agenda that “puts working women first,” and says that incomes are soaring only for CEOs and the top 1 percent of the country.

“As a start, Democrats should bury any mention of the recovery. That message was tested … and it lost to the Republican message championed by Karl Rove,” they wrote.

Ah, yes. For a large part of the first five years of President Obama’s tenure, touting our supposedly stupendous economy “recovery” was a favorite go-to of his — but these days, the term just feels insincere, as I’m guessing it reminds everyone how far we haven’t come. As of one poll in January, almost three-quarters of Americans reported that they felt like the country was still in recession — so it’s probably best for Democrats to just stick to the ol’ war-on-women and economic-inequality playbook, no?

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David Strom 5:21 PM on December 09, 2022