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« Why the religious right doesn't truly reflect "moral values" | Main | Victory In 2004 »

November 22, 2004

A Winning Southern Model

Mike Signer is well-known among Virginia Democrats as an eloquent writer and dedicated activist. He has worked for Governor Mark R. Warner and in the 2004 presidential campaign led Virginia's voter protection initiative.

On Sunday, Mike wrote an expansive op-ed for the Washington Post about the results of the 2004 presidential election. Here is what he had to say about the piece:

I decided to write this piece for the Washington Post after I heard many of my close Virginia Democrat friends refuse to accept that John Kerry had simply been beaten on his message. Instead, these folks -- all fine, hard-working, and passionate Democrats -- were blaming malfunctioning voting machines, or conspiracies in Ohio or Florida, or Fox TV, for our loss.

But the problem had a different, more national, genesis. Here in Virginia, we all know that Susan Swecker, Larry Framme, Lindsey Reynolds, John Winston, Eric Payne, Joe Easton, Jay Myerson, and many others assembled a fantastic campaign. Virginia Victory '04's momentum and its many material accomplishments (thousands of new voter ID's, robust fundraising lists, committed new volunteers) will carry us through Tim Kaine's victory next year.

The problem, I believe, rested instead with the national campaign's failure seriously to fight for the trust of red America.

The point of the article was to try to highlight for the Post's national audience the fact that while many Democrats seem right now to be flailing about for a new direction, Virginia Democrats, under the leadership of Governor Warner, have already figured out how to reach out to red America, and win. In this difficult time -- because no matter how you slice it, November 2 was painful for all of us -- Virginia Democrats should take intense pride in what we've accomplished in the Old Dominion. We're at the forefront of a coming evolution for the Party. I truly believe that while November 2 was certainly an end in some ways, it can be a beginning, too.

As my old boss Creigh Deeds has been saying for years, there are more of us than there are of them. We've got better values, better policies, and better leaders. We just need to get red Americans to listen. If we do that, we'll win, and we'll be the majority party again.

Posted by laura at November 22, 2004 03:27 PM