You Have to Tell Your Story

Messaging is generally the most overrated aspect of electoral politics. But it’s not nothing. And Democrats need to do better at it. I just wrote a way too long post on this. But it really comes down to this. President Biden has to learn a lesson from President Trump and brag more about the economy. A lot more. And do it consistently. In every public setting. And about COVID too.

Job reports have been up and down this year. But they’ve actually been consistently revised upward after the fact. That’s happened every month for the last six months for a total of 625,000 additional new jobs. In August the number doubled. But this gets drowned out. Revisions of earlier months don’t make headlines. That’s life. But the power of the presidency is to push these things to the front of the conversation.

News reports frequently note the huge numbers of people quitting their jobs as bad news. In fact, those people in the great majority of cases are quitting their jobs because they’re getting other jobs at better wages, often ones they prefer for various reasons in addition higher wages. (It’s simple math. Lots of quits with the number of people employed remaining high means they’re quitting because they can and are getting new jobs. That’s good.) This may figure into the debate about inflation. But really, you can’t expect anyone to tell a positive story if you won’t do it yourself. Rising wages is good news. Lots of jobs available is also good news. It is. So say so.

COVID is a similar story. Boosters are good. They’re going to help get the country back to normal. It’s an example where a President may see things more clearly than public health experts. Two extremely effective antivirals are also coming up for emergency use authorization – one from Merck and another from Pfizer. Combined with boosted vaccines that really puts the country in a position where close to no one should ever need to end up in the hospital because of COVID. Biden doesn’t need to pretend he invented these drugs like Trump did. But he needs to tell the public story. He’ll be judged on it regardless. So it’s folly to let anyone else do it for him.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: