“The untainted Republican has not yet been invented,” wrote Rahm Emanuel in Campaigns and Elections magazine in August of 1988.
“The untainted Republican has not yet been invented,” wrote Rahm Emanuel in Campaigns and Elections magazine in August of 1988. Parts of the article penned by the man who is now President Obama’s chief of staff were featured on Meet the Press and in the New York Times recently. Since the piece offers a look into Emanuel’s more combative side, and because we’ve received lots of requests, we decided to put it up in its entirety on politicsmagazine.com. So for the few who don’t happen to have the August ’88 issue of our magazine lying around, you can read Rahm’s full piece here. Entitled, “How to Beat a Republican,” Emanuel detailed the strategy he thought could bring Dems victory in 1988. Some of the issues are dated, but many of the tactics are still very much applicable. One section still relevant from where Emanuel sits today is the one in which he advocated “championing the middle class” as the core of what he called “a winning platform” for Democrats. Rahm wrote, “Everybody knows Republicans are insensitive to the poor. That is a given. But Democrats rarely win by emphasizing the needs of the poor. Rather, they do best when they position themselves as staunch advocates to the middle class … Whatever you do, do not try to devise a new program to solve every problem. Nothing sinks a Democrat faster than a big spender label.” Shane D’Aprile is Senior Editor at Politics magazine. firstname.lastname@example.org