Third Way Perspectives
Archive for April, 2009
April 17th, 2009
Originally published on The Atlantic: Washington with Marc Ambinder
10.8% unemployment, 6.2% inflation, and a doubling of the deficit over the previous year. Those were the cold truths that President Reagan and Republicans faced in November 1982. Yet despite this bleak economic news, and widespread predictions that Republicans would lose the Senate, they retained their 54 Senate seats and limited House losses to 27 seats, many as a result of redistricting. In 2010, the shoe could be on the other foot. President Obama and congressional Democrats could be riding out the worst recession since, at least, 1982. And Republicans will be salivating at the chance to pick up seats by tying Democrats to Obama and the economy.
So exactly how did Reagan emerge unscathed in ’82 – and what lessons does it hold for Democrats today? Looking back, Reagan and the Republicans did three things successfully – all of them replicable by Obama and Democrats.
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