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At Seattle's Elliot Bay Book Company on November 3, the night after the midterms, The Nation's Ari Berman joined Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning New York Times commentator Tim Egan and The Stranger's associate editor Eli Sanders for an examination of the Democrats' future after their significant electoral losses this fall.
For Berman, Obama's grassroots victory in 2008 built heavily on the fifty-state electoral strategy which Howard Dean pursued as DNC chairman, a point Berman makes in his new book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics. The key to Obama's early successes lay in his campaign's emphasis on transparency and increased involvement, both of which the Democrats have left behind in the political scuffles of the past two years. How then, Berman asks, can the Democrats harness this populist power once again in a much-changed political climate?