Former Kerry Adviser Reflects on ElectionContact: Suzanne Stevens
New York - America is in the midst of a political deadlock, with both Republicans and Democrats battling to energize their loyalists, while continuing to court swing voters.
That’s according to Stanley Greenberg, Ph.D., who served as an adviser to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) during the 2004 presidential campaign. In his book, The Two America’s: Our Current Political Deadlock and How to Break It (Thomas Dunne Books, 2004), Greenberg presents his “100% America” initiative, which offers advice to both major political parties.
Republicans need to offer a Ronald Reagan-like plan, emphasizing hope, independence and industriousness, while Democrats should return to classic democratic themes of opportunity, said Greenberg during his Feb. 17 lecture in the 12th-floor lounge on the Lincoln Center campus.
Greenberg said the contrast between the 2004 presidential campaigns of Kerry and President George W. Bush was striking. Sen. Kerry ultimately addressed too many issues, while President Bush was strategic and focused.
“Bush’s campaign, centered around the safety of the country and the importance of family, produced a significant turnout in the deep-red states,” said Greenberg. “[This strategy] created two Americas, and when [the issues are about] a way of life, the stakes are much higher.”
As a result, value tactics, not “material issues,” such as social security, health care and the economy ultimately decided the election, according to Greenberg.
Greenberg’s lecture was sponsored by the Fordham Dialogue on Public Affairs, the Department of Political Science, the Interdisciplinary Social Science Program and the Office of the Dean of Students.
Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to approximately 15,800 students in its five undergraduate colleges and six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan and Tarrytown, and the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y.