I’ve been a member of the Democratic Party for less than a year, but it seems to me our big failure in 2004 was our candidate. With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, it’s plain that John Kerry’s defining characteristic was that he wasn’t George Bush.
Anybody But Bush may have been enough reason for a Democrat to vote Kerry. But with the United States in troubled times, swing voters needed more. And while Kerry was a solid campaigner for the minds of voters, he failed to reach their hearts.
My hope looking forward is that the Democrats cultivate leaders who can capture both hearts and minds. Playing to the core constituency might have been a winning tactic when the Democrats out numbered the Republicans. That time is past.