Republicans Find Election Winning Formula in Rahm Emanuel Politics

Republicans are getting inspiration on how to rebuild their party in the U.S. Congress from an unlikely source: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

California Representative Kevin McCarthy, the chief recruiter for House Republicans, said he wants his party to select candidates based less on ideology and more on their chances of winning. The goal, he said, is to seek out prospects who are ethnically diverse, female, less partisan and even supportive of abortion rights. So far, these efforts are more concept than reality.

Emanuel, a former U.S. representative from Illinois, put the template into practice in 2006 when he was leading the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Candidates he recruited won in Republican districts by holding positions uncommon for Democrats such as opposition to abortion and support for gun rights.

“Have you read ‘The Thumpin’?” McCarthy, 44, asked, citing a book about Emanuel’s brass-knuckles approach to winning control of the House for Democrats in 2006. “This isn’t original thought.”

In the 2006 election, Emanuel, 49, recruited anti- abortion, pro-gun candidates such as Brad Ellsworth, 50, a sheriff in Indiana, and Heath Shuler, 37, a former NFL quarterback, in North Carolina. The premise: identify candidates whose views best mirror those of their districts’ constituents rather than Democratic Party orthodoxy.

Read the rest from Bloomberg:

Above: Rahm Emanuel on inauguration day.  “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

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