Laura Blumenfeld in today’s Washington Post has the first article in a while that focuses on why the campaign is so successful and gets it right. It’s not about anger, it’s not about hate. As I said back on Labor Day, “Ignore the press when they say that what fuels this campaign is anger. They don’t know what we know: that what fuels us is each other, led by a man who will be our next President.”
It’s refreshing to see the media try and understand Dean’s appeal:
Conventional wisdom credits Dean’s Bush-bashing and his stoking of Democratic anger. But to follow Dean on the stump is to see something more subtle at work.
While the other candidates focus on their humble roots or heroic feats, Dean inverts the telescope: He talks about the voters. He tells them they’re okay. Instead of trying to get them to love him, he tells them to love themselves. A doctor by training, he injects psychology into politics.
“I liked it when he said the election wasn’t about him, it was about us,” said Pierce. “He’s empowering me.”
This is the intended effect, the candidate said in an interview. “People feel horribly disempowered by George Bush,” he said. “I’m about trying to give them control back. This is not just a ‘campaign,’ it’s a movement to empower ordinary people.”
… If the emotional leitmotif of Bill Clinton’s campaigns was empathy — “I feel your pain” — Dean’s is empowerment — “We’ll fix your pain.”
Go read the whole thing. It’s well done. (Thanks to PoliticalWire for the link.)