Monday, November 22, 2004

Updated November 22, 2004 at 12:30 am
Why President Bush won or why Senator Kerry lost? Guess which Democrat could have beat President Bush- or so Dem. campaign consultant Pete Giangreco claims. Gaingreco is featured in this week' suburban edition of Public Affairs and a partial transcript of that show is included, below. See, conclusion of this blog entry, for detailed airing schedule, including a special airing this Tuesday night at 7:30 pm in 10 suburbs, below.
Pete Giangreco: I was the last man ever hired by [presidential primary candidate] Gary Hart in 1988- I guess they will put that on my tombstone.

Jeff Berkowitz: And, then he [Hart] ran into the “Monkey Business,” problem [Ed. Note, almost sounds quaint by modern day “blue dress,” standards- picture a young lady by the name of Donna Rice [no relation to Condi] sitting on Hart’s lap, with both on a boat appropriately named “Monkey Business,” after Hart had denied rumors of same to reporters and he invited them to follow him- ironically, Donna Rice was in the news in the last few years as a promoter of family values.].
Berkowitz: …Why did the Democrats lose the Presidency again?

Giangreco: Well, I think we continue to nominate candidates of limited appeal. I mean, I think John Kerry had a very elite quality about him. You know, sort of boarding school, Yale, Northeast Massachusetts Senator. We ran into the same kind of cultural problems with Al Gore, who came from a very similar background- although he was born in the south. He was essentially raised in Washington, D.C., again boarding schools [the elite St. Albans prep school in D.C., which also counts Cong. Jesse Jackson, Jr. among its alums] and Ivy League. When we nominate people who culturally can’t connect in places like the South, we lose. And when we do, we win—Bill Clinton [92, 96], Jimmy Carter [76, but lost in 80] and Lyndon Johnson [became President in 63 after Kennedy Assassination, and re-elected in 64]- all candidates who won southern states and won the Presidency. Gore, Kerry, Dukakis: none of them carried a southern state. And, it is not just candidates who live in the South because there are people who culturally have the same affinity as people in the South- they live in southern Ohio, they live in upstate Michigan, they live in downstate Illinois.

Berkowitz: So, you are saying [with Kerry], you lose those votes in Ohio, you lose those votes in Michigan. You actually won the state in Michigan, but one of the reasons why the Democrats lost in Ohio may have been the performance in southern Ohio.

Giangreco: It is clearly… southern Ohio, double-digit unemployment- a lot of these counties, the coal mines are shut down, and a lot of their jobs have been outsourced…

Berkowitz: …your point is that based on the job issue, Kerry should have won that state [Ohio], and he should have won in that particular area.

Giangreco: And, if you look at the exit polls, Kerry won 80% of the people who said jobs and the economy were the No. 1 issue. The problem is that for a lot of regions of the country and for some specific demographic groups- particularly women without a college degree, security and the war on terrorism actually ended up being more of an important issue to them than the economy and that’s why Bush won- because he was able to scare a lot of people—

Berkowitz: Women without a college degree?

Giangreco: they were the key

Berkowitz: But, married women-

Giangreco: Not so much married women, I mean married women traditionally tend to vote Republican- white, married women tend to vote Republican.

Berkowitz: Well, there were a lot of soccer moms a few years ago that people thought were starting to vote Democratic.

Giangreco: Right, that was some of the trend…but the real key here was that white women- folks without a college degree, you know more middle class, working class, white women who economically identify more with the Democrats, voted for Bush because of War and Security. I mean I think they did a very good job of presenting Bush as strong and Cheney running around the country saying John Kerry- if he gets elected we are going to get attacked again, which was one of the great lies of the campaign, but they lied very well.

Berkowitz: You are sort of treating the voters as if they are stupid.

Giangreco: No, not at all. I am treating the Bush campaign as if they are very smart. The other failure of the Kerry Campaign—

Berkowitz: But, you are putting it all on advertising. It is the John Kenneth Galbraith view-- only now [applied to] politics. In economics, Galbraith used to talk about consumers being kind of dumb and they had too many choices and they were easily fooled by advertising agencies.

Giangreco: No, what I am saying is that the Bush campaign did a much better job than the Kerry campaign. Of making security an issue, No. 1 and No. 2, I think playing what I think is a false claim, but a winning claim, that somehow Kerry would make us less safe…

Berkowitz: But, that was a trap that John Kerry set for himself. He, at the Convention…said “John Kerry, reporting for duty.”

Giangreco: I don’t disagree. They may have overplayed that hand.

Berkowitz: He was the one- John Kerry said this issue [National Security], in a sense, is about Vietnam…

Giangreco: To a lot of people, particularly older voters, there was a culture war in the 60s, and to their view, John Kerry was on the wrong side of the culture war. And, I think that was a legitimate criticism. And, I think it goes to the fact that I said earlier. When we nominate elitists or people who sound like they talk down to people- because I think your point is very well taken about Democrats, you know, treating people like they are not so smart- I think that is why John Edwards would have been a better candidate, by the way.

Berkowitz: There is one Democrat who doesn’t do that and that’s Hillary Clinton. If you heard her analysis, she has said, “We are ignoring certain voters. We are in a sense disrespecting those voters.”

Giangreco: She is right about that. Hillary Clinton could tomorrow become a NASCAR driver and join the NRA but despite the fact that she has spent her whole life fighting for people who don’t usually get a fair shake- folks in the middle class, people who are single mothers, working families…she culturally—there is a barrier between her and I think those voters and it is the same barrier that Al Gore had—

Berkowitz: You think she has a cultural problem, as well?

Giangreco: I do. I believe there is a perception about her—

Berkowitz: She doesn’t become a southerner by marriage? She was married to a southerner, but it doesn’t count? That’s what you are saying?

Giangreco: Yeah—

Berkowitz: She lived in Arkansas, but that doesn’t count.

Giangreco: You can’t fake it. I mean, voters are smart. You can’t fake it just by going hunting and bringing some cameras along…

Berkowitz: So, your view is that had your candidate…had he won the nomination, then your view is that the Democrats would have the presidency this time because John Edwards has a cultural fit, more in tune [with the voters than Kerry], am I getting that right?

Giangreco: That would be my general assertion. Now, I have to say, honestly, that the security and terrorism issues—Edwards still would have to deal with those—Bush probably still would have had an advantage on that despite the fact that Edwards spent almost six years on the Senate Intelligence committee—you would probably still give Bush the advantage.

Berkowitz. [as to the six years on the Senate Intelligence Committee, for the last two or three years he [Edwards] was running for President, wasn’t he?
Pete Giangreco, Democratic campaign consultant, in a program that was recorded on November 14, 2004, and who is featured in this week’s suburban edition and next Monday night’s City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs [Nov. 29, 8:30 pm, Cable Ch. 21].

This week’s suburban edition and next Monday night’s City of Chicago edition [Nov. 29, 8:30 pm, Cable Ch. 21] of “Public Affairs,” spotlights Pete Giangreco, Democratic Campaign Consultant and partner at the Strategy Group ( Among many other campaigns, Pete Giangreco has been involved in the last 6 Presidential elections on behalf of Democratic Candidates- and that is pretty remarkable for a guy who our viewers tell me looks no older than 32.

Giangreco debates and discusses with Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz why John Kerry and the Democrats lost the presidential election; the impact, if any, of the Veep candidates; which substantive issues were most important to the voters; strategic or structural issues that may need to be addressed by the Democrats to win the Presidency in the future; and the key 2004 U. S. Senate races. [Special airing of this show is on this Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 pm on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in lieu of the regular Friday airing of the program in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka. The regular Monday and Wednesday airings in those 10 suburbs remain unchanged].

The suburban edition of "Public Affairs," is regularly broadcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka.

Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday this Friday’s show will be pre-empted in the above referenced 10 suburbs and, because of that, there will be a special airing of the “Public Affairs,” show with Pete Giangreco in those 10 suburbs this Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 pm on Comcast Cable Ch. 19.

The suburban edition also is broadcast every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.
The City edition of Public Affairs airs throughout the City of Chicago every Monday night at 8:30 on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV].

The “Public Affairs,” show with Pete Giangreco will air throughout the City of Chicago next Monday, Nov. 29, 2004 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at