Accentuating the Negative

We’ve written several times about the risk the Democrats are taking this year by not trying to articulate any positive program or vision. Today confirmation of that view came from an unlikely source: Virginia Democrat Doug Wilder, who gave an interview to the Washington Times, in which he expressed dismay at the negative Senate campaign being waged by James Webb:

“The question is, what reasons will Jim Webb give people to vote for him,” Mr. Wilder, 75, told The Washington Times. “There are so many people in the middle that want to have a reason to lean this way or that.”
He said that Mr. Webb still trails Republican Sen. George Allen, in part, because he has failed to articulate a message beyond opposing Mr. Allen and President Bush.
Mr. Wilder said that he has spoken with both nominees — and with Mr. Webb as recently as Thursday. “I told him that I think a lot of people are looking to see which of the candidates has a concise clear message that distinguishes one from the other,” he said. “It’s not a matter of voting against somebody but reasons that people would want to vote for Jim Webb.”

Republicans are clearly resurgent, with signs everywhere that momentum in the campaign has subtly begun to shift their way. I think the Democrats’ decision to avoid taking clear positions, and run on a platform of negativity that often amounts to hate, is a key reason why.

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