The Corner

‘Now, Mr. Coelho, I See from Your Resume . . .’

Tony Coelho has an article in Politico titled “How Dems Can Win with Health Care.” The byline reads: “Former Rep. Tony Coelho was chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 1981 to 1986 and House majority whip from 1987 to 1989.” 

That line leaves out one relevant detail: Mr. Coelho was also the Democratic National Committee’s chief strategist during the 1994 midterm election, when Republicans won both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. A 1995 piece in The New Republic — titled “The Undertaker: Tony Coelho and the Death of the Democrats” — quoted key administration officials:

White House Political Director Rahm Emanuel: “Tony was instrumental in the whole development of how to use the president’s time and where he goes, as well as resources and strategy.” Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes: “Tony was here on a regular basis. I relied on him heavily. He was the first person to urge strongly that we take a hard look at the Republican contract and use it to frame the elections as a collision between Reaganomics and Clintonomics. He pushed hard on it.…He was key to our focusing on it.”

Perhaps some Republicans are hoping that Democrats again take Mr. Coelho’s advice.

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