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Chicago mayor and Democratic political veteran Rahm Emanuel joined his party’s public soul-searching with a Monday speech in which he criticized fellow Dems for being more concerned about purity than about actually winning elections.
“Winning’s everything,” he said in an address at Stanford University’s school of business, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. “If you don’t win, you can’t make the public policy. I say that because it is hard for people in our party to accept that principle. Sometimes, you’ve just got to win, OK? Our party likes to be right, even if they lose.”
Long a bête noire of leftists and progressives, Emanuel defended his tenure leading the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, when he recruited a number of more centrist and hawkish candidates to stand for elections in Republican-leaning states, especially in the South and Midwest.
“I got a lot of crap for recruiting Iraqi war vets, football players, sheriffs, businesspeople. I said, ‘Well, they’re running in Republican districts,’” Emanuel said. “You’ve got to be ruthless enough. We recruited people who matched the districts. If you’re running in a Republican district, you’ve got to get somebody who can win in a Republican district.”
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