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Politics

Democrats begin picking up the pieces

Opening sequence

Opening sequence

Politics

Democrats begin picking up the pieces

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COMING UP:Democrats begin picking up the pieces

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> As Donald Trump plans his White House, shell-shocked Democrats taking the first steps to salvage what they can from the wreckage, and start to rebuild. And it wont be easy, after the party coughed up both houses of Congress, scores of state houses and governors seats, and the biggest prize of all, in less than a decade.
00:00:19
Political correspondent Jim Oliphant.>> Basically the party, from the people I spoke to, has to be rebuilt from the ground up. A lot of progressives who say, we cannot afford to ignore the lessons of the Bernie Sanders campaign, and we need to reorganize ourselves around that sort of progressive populism.
00:00:35
>> It is not about me, it is about you.>> And other Democrats say, no, look, we have to develop a new middle-class message. We've gotta reach this white, working-class voters. We've gotta start building the party up again, beyond the thin base that we have now. But the bottom line is investing in local races, identifying good local candidates, trying to start winning races at the state level.
00:00:58
And what the party has done is, they've done a really poor job of cultivating its next generation of stars.>> This is not all fun and games.>> Oliphant says President Obama is not immune to the finger pointing.>> No, if you go back to the midterms of 2010, this was the first real referendum on the President's policies.
00:01:16
At the time, it didn't seem like the White House was really engaged in those midterm elections, that Obama didn't build a political machine beyond his own personal political apparatus to support the Democratic Party.>> Sure, factors like the 2010 Census helped Republicans to tighten their grip through redistricting.
00:01:34
But many local Democratic leaders say they tried to sound the alarm and were ignored.>> Look, Democrats are very frustrated right now. Not only because Clinton lost what really appeared to be a very winnable race, but also that the party infrastructure has been allowed to rot in the way that it has been.
00:01:50
So much of the party now has been built around a couple of things. Demography, microtargeting, all these strategic tools. And somewhere in all of that, strategists tell me the actual message, what the Democratic party stands for, what it's going to do for people, has gotten lost.>> I ask you to stay engaged.
00:02:10
>> The first big battle for the party's future comes in March, when the democrats will select a new chair of their National Committee, with Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison going up against former chair and Vermont Governor Howard Dean.