Magazine article The American Prospect

Simon Does

Magazine article The American Prospect

Simon Does

Article excerpt

THE NEWEST DEMOCRATIC Party think tank won't be focusing on ideas, big or small. It will be devoted entirely to the art of politics. "My whole fear," said a trim, new-model, salad-munching Joe Trippi at the New Democratic Network's (NDN) lunchtime launch of the new project at the NDN offices on North Capitol Street, "was we [at the Dean campaign] were the Japanese at Pearl Harbor: We had woken up the conservative movement to another whole medium they needed to own." Now, "the Republicans and conservatives are pouring millions of dollars into this."

So it is that NDN leader Simon Rosenberg, with the financial assistance (to the tune of $1 million to $1.5 million a year) of Andrew and Deborah Rappaport, have founded the New Politics Institute (NPI). There is broad agreement in the Democratic Party that the Republicans, in the last election, paid more attention to the techniques of persuading, mobilizing, reaching, and organizing voters. The NPI's agenda is to pull apart political practices from arguments on policy so that every wing of the party can be as fully invested in--and skilled at practicing--the most up-to-date campaigning techniques.

"If only one small part of the progressive family is using modern means, we will always be a minority party," warned Rosenberg. …

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