Jordan Michael Smith at the Washington Monthly has an interview with Mike Dukakis, who is living well:
WMSmith: You stumped pretty hard for Obama in 2012. What did you think of the election as a whole?
MDukakis: Remember also that Kitty and I were deeply involved in Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. It was the best election night I’ve ever experienced, including my own victories [laughs]. I’m serious. I thought it was a terrific result, obviously coming from where I come from. There’s a reason Mitt Romney loss Massachusetts by 23 percent points: we’ve seen him in action. In fact, I think only John Fremont in 1856 lost his home state by a greater margin. So the prospect of a Romney presidency was [laughs] frightening, to put it mildly. We also had huge battles in Massachusetts, and Elizabeth is I think going to be a terrific Senator.
And in both the national and Senate race in our state, serious grassroots made the difference. Frankly, I hope that my party now gets that. I’ve been [laughs] rather obsessively hammering this line for a long time. If after the result we had in the Massachusetts in the Senate race and the result we had in the presidential race hasn’t convinced Democrats that precinct-based grassroots organizing is the way to win elections, then we don’t understand just how important that is. I hope and expect we do, and I don’t think we ought to buy into this notion that in the off-year inevitably the party that is in power loses seats. I think we have a real chance to take the House back. And I think that effort ought to begin the day after tomorrow, on a precinct-based, grassroots level, which is where the president won this election, and where Elizabeth Warren won this election.
WM: You don’t think the redistricting that the Republicans have done will prevent that?
MD: It’s a problem, and it’s outrageous, and voter suppression is, too. And Citizens United is one of the two or three worst decisions ever handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States. But I think clearly at the national level, and certainly in my state, we demonstrated without any question that if you’re serious about grassroots organizing at the precinct level, you can win, and you can beat big money anytime. That’s something we Democrats have to understand, and we have to practice that every election cycle. Quite frankly, we haven’t been doing it, except in the presidential campaigns, and some Congressional and Senatorial campaigns. But the Warren campaign stands out as being a great example of that. I’ll take a little bit of credit for that, but not much. She deserves it, because she listened, and she said, “okay that’s what we’re going to do.” On election day, she had 26,000 volunteers out. That was the culmination of an increasingly powerful grassroots campaign that just blew Brown out of there. Not surprisingly, he had money, but no grassroots support. In fact, he was bringing young people in from DC, which gives you just some sense of how weak his grassroots support was in comparison to hers….
Repubs have always been better than Democrats at remembering that in politics there are no lost causes, only abandoned ones. And the causes they refuse to abandon are always so godsdamned toxic…
Apart from old memories and new battles, what’s on the agenda for the evening?