The way for the Democrats to win, I say, is to follow the JFK model – in which a young, apparently idealistic and relentlessly forward-looking candidate offsets a tired (or, in the case of George W. Bush, wearisome) Republican administration.
This is how Bill Clinton won. It’s, of course, how Kennedy won. ~Mike Littwin
Actually, Kennedy barely won in an election that was almost certainly stolen by voter fraud in two states (Chicago, Chicago, that tottlin’ town…) and Clinton won thanks to a smartly targeted presidential race that appealed to disenchanted middle-class voters with a “centrist” economic platform and the presence of Ross Perot. Now it’s possible that dissatisfaction with the incumbent was such that Clinton might have managed to win narrowly anyway, but the presence of Perot in the race made his victory secure. All of the prattling about a “boy from Hope” was secondary or tertiary, if not actually irrelevant. Arguably, it was Kennedy’s persona and performance that made the election reasonably stealable, but that is hardly what I would call a winning electoral model. Other rather noticeable differences between Kennedy and Clinton on the one hand and Obama on the other is that the former had some considerable experience in government and Kennedy’s name had been put forward as a vice-presidential candidate in 1956. In 2004, as we all know, Obama was running in his first federal election. If you want young, idealistic and experienced…well, you’ll be looking for quite a while, because there is no such animal in Washington these days.