19 Dec 2010

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Daniel J. Galvin, Presidential Party Building: Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush

During the summer of 2006, when Rahm Emanuel and Howard Dean were engaged in a strenuous fight over the future direction of the Democratic Party, I stumbled upon a very astute op-ed in the New York Times by an emerging politician scientist, Daniel Galvin, entitled “How to Grow a Democratic Majority.”

Galvin argued that “since the New Deal, Democrats have given party building short shrift.” Republicans, on the other hand, had assiduously built up their party election after election, a critical reason for their continued and long-term success. It was that very imbalance that Dean wanted to correct when he became chair of the Democratic National Committee in 2005 and instituted a far-reaching fifty-state strategy. “As the Republicans have shown, creating a durable electoral majority requires a firm organizational funding, something the Democrats don’t have. But if Mr. Dean can hold fast to his plan, they just might be on the way to getting one.”