Weak House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.
why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned with nationalizing the 2022 mid-term with emotionally charged issues – from critical race theory to Donald Trump’s role in the January 6 uprising – to the local benefits of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. would hinder their ability to sell.
- The conversation is often derailed by the loudest voices in the party—and their insistence on talking about him at every turn—by centrist lawmakers, especially from the suburbs, to keep the conversation away from Trump.
- “People don’t want to hear about Donald Trump,” Representative Susan Wilde (D-Pa.) told Nerdshala. “They’re going to vote because they want to see people sh-t.”
- “All politics is local,” Representative Caroline Bordeaux (D-Ga.) tweeted last week, “Whether it’s advocating for a similar redevelopment of the Gwynet Place mall, or securing funding for our local trailway system, I’m working every day in Congress for my community.”
- “All politics is local,” echoed Representative Josh Gottheimer (DNJ) during an interview with Nerdshala. “I can’t believe you run a national campaign for Congress.”
Running news: Democrats suffered a defeat in the Virginia gubernatorial election early last month.
- When the swing-district lawmaker returned to Washington after his Thanksgiving recess, he felt confident of the wisdom of not contesting re-election on national issues, one told Nerdshala, requesting to speak anonymously.
- While many of them ran an anti-Trump blue wave for office, they firmly believe that continuing to run on kitchen-table issues is their only hope of re-election with Trump out of office.
big picture: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is walking a fine line between fueling anti-Trump animosity — raising funds to help motivate and motivating activists — and giving its vulnerable “frontline” members space to talk about the issues they face. that matters to suburban voters.
- DCCC President Sean Patrick Maloney (D.N.Y.) told Nerdshala, “The leading role is doing big things.”
- Any discussion of Trump and the January 6 uprising should be after the focus on Biden’s agenda. It’s a “one-two punch,” Maloney said.
- “We are having consequences largely for the size of the problems,” he said, citing the enactment of a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. “It’s going to be important, but Republicans being reckless and irresponsible and driven only by power is also going to be important.”
Bottom-line: After Virginia, Democrats are taking notice of the challenge they face next year.
- Even the most beautiful individual effort to localize a house race doesn’t matter if there is a national-democratic tsunami.
- “It’s going to be really hard to separate yourself from your national brand,” said Sean McElwee, executive director of Data for Progress, a progressive think tank. “It is functionally impossible for the members of the House.”
- Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg said Democrats need to capitalize on their successes and paint Republicans as extremists.
- “The process of defining a Republican as unworthy will not be about Trump,” he told Nerdshala, but instead about how each Republican has adopted “unacceptable positions.”