Real Time host Bill Maher had some tough words for Democratic candidates who believe that bashing President Obama will help them win in November. Maher said that Democrats need to stop chasing voters who will never support them.
Maher had this to say about the story that infuriated him most in The New York Times,
Q. What story incited the most fury?
A. Clay Aiken unable to make himself say anything positive about Obama, and saying he didn’t want Obama to come campaign for him. Really, Clay? You’re going to lose. How much worse could it be if the president of the United States came to campaign for you? This is what’s so frustrating about the Democrats: always trying to get votes that are never there, while not exciting their own base. Obama gave people health care, not herpes. Own it. You’re gay in North Carolina. I think the redneck vote has sailed. This could wind up as the beginning of a show-ending monologue on “Real Time.”
Bill Maher is right. When a Democrat begins to act like a Republican in order to win an election, they will lose. Red state Democrats are always tempted to transform into Republican lite in order to attract conservative voters, and it never works. Mark Sanford got elected to the House in a special election because Elizabeth Colbert Busch transformed herself into a Republican clone.
The idea that a visit from the President of the United States would hurt Clay Aiken’s House campaign is self-defeating. A visit from the president would bring national media attention and increase fundraising to any campaign. Cutting the president out of the campaign only helps the Republicans. A visit from the president does fire up the base. Why red state Democratic candidates insist on playing into Republican hands by making President Obama the great unmentionable is a mystery.
George W. Bush ended up in the White House, because Al Gore made the colossal error of being intimidated by Republicans into cutting Bill Clinton out of the 2000 campaign. If Bill Clinton would have been on the stump for Gore in 2000, the election may never have come down to Florida. One of the worst things that many Democratic candidates do is ignoring their own base while courting voters that would never vote for them.
Trying to attract voters who hate your party and think the president is a Kenyan Marxist socialist is a strategy that is always destined to fail. Republican voters in many states will never give a Democratic candidate a chance, so instead of chasing support that will never be there, Democrats would be well served to pay attention to the people who will actually vote for them.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association