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Former Kerry Adviser Discusses Election Fallout


Election Fallout

A former Kerry adviser offers advice to both major political parties.

Stanley Greenberg, Ph.D., an adviser to Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) 2004 presidential campaign, is also the president and CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

Photo by Bruce Gilbert

America is in the midst of a political deadlock, with both Republicans and Democrats battling to energize their loyalists while continuing to court swing voters.

That’s according to Stanley Greenberg, Ph.D., who served as an adviser to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) during the 2004 presidential campaign. In his book, The Two Americas: Our Current Political Deadlock and How to Break It (Thomas Dunne Books, 2004), Greenberg presents his “100 Percent America” initiative, which offers advice to both major political parties.

Republicans need to offer a Ronald Reagan-like plan, emphasizing hope, independence and industriousness, while Democrats should return to classic democratic themes of opportunity, said Greenberg during his Feb. 17 lecture in the 12th-floor lounge on the Lincoln Center campus.

Greenberg said the contrast between the 2004 presidential campaigns of Kerry and President George W. Bush was striking. Sen. Kerry ultimately addressed too many issues, while President Bush was strategic and focused.

“Bush’s campaign, centered around the safety of the country and the importance of family, produced a significant turnout in the deep-red states,” said Greenberg. “[This strategy] created two Americas, and when [the issues are about] a way of life, the stakes are much higher.”

As a result, value tactics, not “material issues,” such as social security, health care and the economy ultimately decided the election, according to Greenberg.

Greenberg’s lecture was sponsored by the Fordham Dialogue on Public Affairs, the Department of Political Science, the Interdisciplinary Social Science Program and the Office of the Dean of Students.

— John Blakeley

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