In The Hill, James Carville writes that Bill Clinton will save the day for Democrats hoping to keep the Senate. There is a very marketable sub-genre of punditry that is simply wish-fulfillment, and this falls neatly in that category. A fun read, nevertheless. Carville is always a hoot. I once saw him take the Ken Griffey Jr. T-shirt he was wearing off and give it to a campaign volunteer as an impromptu gift. Carville then paraded around the campaign office shirtless — as flubbery and snow-white as you’d imagine — yelling, “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that I won’t give you the shirt off my back.”
Here’s Carville’s take, for what it’s worth:
Clinton’s analysis of the Senate race is spot on: Republicans “want you to make this a protest vote. … They’re saying, ‘Hey, you might like these guys but, hey, you know what you got to do, you got to vote against the president. After all it’s your last shot.’ It’s a pretty good scam isn’t it? ‘Give me a six-year job for a two-year protest.’ That’s Mark Pryor’s opponent’s message.”
This, by the way, is basically the entire Republican Party’s campaign strategy. But if one were to look at the advice from Clinton on the Affordable Care Act, we can see a path forwards for the Democratic Party. Even in the deep-red state of Arkansas, Clinton praised the Affordable Care Act, just as Pryor has been doing all along in his campaign. At Democracy Corps, which I founded in 1999 with strategist Stanley Greenberg, we have been arguing for some time that there is no reason for Democrats to run away from the healthcare reform law. In fact what we are seeing now is that many Republicans are showing some hesitation to discuss their vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
I would advise all Democratic Senate candidates in tight races to obtain the former president’s remarks from Arkansas. There is more wisdom and strategic advice in that one tape than in any poll, from any focus group or in any late night or early morning meetings.