"Let us look west"
From the Oregonian:
Let's face it: For all of his strengths, average middle-class American families simply couldn't identify with John Kerry. He may be a decorated veteran and an extreme-sports athlete, but he and Teresa always came across as prep-school liberals, part of the brie-and-chablis scene back East.
Conversely, George "Dubya" Bush has portrayed a regular-guy image, comfortable with the NASCAR-and-barbecue crowd. While Kerry tried to fake it with L.L. Bean camouflage hunting gear, Bush looked at home in his blue jeans and cowboy boots.
....Can a Western Democratic Party succeed? Absolutely. If the 29 electoral votes in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada had swung from red to blue, John Kerry would have won 281 to 257. And in all 50 states, a Western candidate would signal a fresh start.
While it's perhaps too early to start naming names of possible presidential candidates, we might pay attention to the lessons learned from the politics practiced by Gov.-elect Brian Schweitzer of Montana, Sen.-elect Ken Salazar of Colorado, California Insurance Commissioner (and possible gubernatorial hopeful) John Garamendi, U.S. Rep. Mark Udall of Colorado and former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, who represented Douglas County timber country before being elected statewide.
Update: My comment on BlueOregon.com:
I woke up the day after election day convinced that only a Western Democrat, a Brian Schweitzer or Ken Salazar, could bring us back to the White House. Unfortunately, I think Zell Miller is correct, we have lost the South for the time being, but as Schweitzer, Salazar and several other Western Dems have proven, we can win from the West.
I think Bill Richardson, a governor, former Clinton appointee and someone with foreign policy experience, seems to be the natural leader if we're talking about Presidential candidates from the West.
Your Personal Note:
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(and yes, we know that sometimes they're very, very wrong. Other times, they're right on.)