Dems should avoid the ‘R’ word (recovery) like the ‘P’ word (plague)

Dems should avoid the ‘R’ word (recovery) like the ‘P’ word (plague)

From time to time, we all read something where suddenly words jump out from the page, grabbing our attention. This happened to me the other day while reading a memo from Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and strategist James Carville….

The key phrase in the Greenberg/Carville memo was, “As a start, Democrats should bury any mention of ‘the recovery.’ ” The full paragraph went like this:

Democrats have to be hard-hitting and focused on the economy. As a start, Democrats should bury any mention of “the recovery.” That message was tested in the bipartisan poll we conducted for NPR, and it lost to the Republican message championed by Karl Rove. The Democratic message missed how much trouble people are in, and doesn’t convince them that policymakers really understand or are even focusing on the problems they continue to face. That framework gets in the way of a direct economic message.

Technically speaking, the recession lasted 18 months, starting in December 2007 and ending in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of when business cycles and recessions begin and end.

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