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by James Carville & Stan Greenberg

Pub Date: July 10th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-399-16039-4
Publisher: Blue Rider Press

Liberal pundit Carville (40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation, 2009, etc.) and Democratic pollster Greenberg (Dispatches from the War Room: In the Trenches with Five Extraordinary Leaders, 2009, etc.) discuss campaign strategy and why a focus on the middle class is crucial to the Democrats’ chances this November.

The authors both advised Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, the mantra of which was “it’s the economy, stupid”—a relentless focus on economic policy that helped propel Clinton into the White House and shaped his domestic programs. The authors take a similar tack here, asserting that President Obama and other Democrats must zero in on the needs of the middle class in order to win the upcoming election: “When we think of an issue and a solution, we have to stop and think, How does this protect America’s middle class?” It’s a logical campaign aim, as the middle class makes up a majority of the electorate, especially if one defines “middle class” expansively, as the authors do, from families in poverty to those making up to $125,000 per year. Carville and Greenberg lean heavily on polling data to bolster their arguments. Among many other issues, the authors focus on health care reform and increased spending on education, and they suggest that “voters are not divided on the issue of raising taxes on rich people.” The book is aimed squarely at Democrats, and, as might be expected, there is a certain amount of preaching to the choir. To the authors’ credit, however, they are refreshingly specific in some of their policy recommendations in areas such as energy investment and campaign finance reform.

For Democratic political junkies who enjoy straight-talk policy discussion.