Mitt Romney, chatting on the phone with donors to his campaign, "attributed his rival’s victory to 'the gifts' the administration had given to blacks, Hispanics and young voters during Obama’s first term."
That's a funny way of phrasing it, but I feel like Romney basically has this right. Obama offered policies that he believed would make people's lives better, and the people who deemed those promises credible tended to vote for Obama. The question is why can't Republicans learn from this strategy? As I wrote, it's silly for Republicans to focus on some kind of narrowcasting effort to win the Hispanic vote—the issue is that they need a basic economic policy message that most people think will make their lives better. Lower tax rates on people earning over $250,000 just isn't an agenda with much appeal. There are blocs of people out there who strongly identify with religiously-motivated social conservative or white identity politics but those are shrinking groups. In the longer term you need to make the "people think people will be better off in concrete ways if you win" thing work.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.