Thursday, April 18, 2024

GUEST BLOGGER SERIES: Maria Cardona “The message from Massachusetts”

Latinovations would like to thank our very own Maria Cardona for her contribution to La Plaza.

As featured in Politico

There is no way to sugar-coat what happened tonight for Democrats in Massachusetts. It was a confluence of circumstances that led to a perfect storm including a very well-run campaign by Brown, taking voters for granted, and most of all, a textbook case of letting your opponent define you first. For sure there is voter anger and frustration, and no question that there was a message that was being sent to Washington that voters want action – quickly.

What is so interesting to me is that Massachusetts voters seemed to be frustrated that Democrats were not bringing the change that Obama promised fast enough, and so they voted for someone that will undoubtedly stop any change dead in its tracks.

So what do Democrats do now? We adopt a laser-like focus on our message of standing by America’s working class and middle class families, small businesses, the people vs the big insurance companies, the fat cats on Wall Street, and defending the status quo which is what the Republicans have been fighting for. This is a message and a fight we need to take to the people and a message and fight we can win.

On health care reform, Dems need to underscore what they want to deliver: protections and security for families and individuals who have health insurance but who can loose it tomorrow if they get too sick, keeping the insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, choice and increased competition for those who currently can’t get it, and an assurance that prices and the deficit will go down. These in fact, have always been the three key principals that President Obama has talked about from the very beginning. And then let the Republicans decide whose side they are on.

Democrats must also develop better methods of delivering their message to the under-served communities that stand to lose the most if Republicans succeed their primary goals, including derailing the healthcare bills and suppressing any comprehensive immigration reform that actually respects the importance of Latino immigrants and their families.  In fact, going forward it will be necessary for Dems to court and rally Latino voters as vigorously as Republicans have engaged the “tea-party” fringes of the right.

With 41 votes, Republicans will need to decide whether they are serious about helping to govern and actually solve our biggest challenges and the mess they helped create after eight years of their failed policies, or whether they will continue to be the Party of obstructionism and wanting to see the President fail. The American people will certainly be watching.

Maria Cardona is a seasoned Democratic strategist, public affairs and communications professional with more than 18 years experience in the political, government, public relations, campaign, community and coalition building arenas. She currently is a Principal at both the Latinovations and the Public Affairs Practice at the Dewey Square Group (DSG) – a premier national public affairs firm. Maria is a former senior advisor to both the Hillary Clinton Presidential Primary Campaign and the Obama/Biden Presidential Campaign and a frequent contributor to MSNBC, Univision, CNN, FOX, CNN en Español and Telemundo. Cardona was named by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the country.