May 2018 Democratic Party Candidate in Focus – Report

May 2018 Democratic Party Candidate in Focus – Report

Democratic Party Candidate in Focus – Report

Rufus Gifford, a candidate for the US House of Representatives from the Massachusetts 3rd District, spoke at a meeting of the “F Street Democrats” at Dacor-Bacon House, April 19. Gifford, who most recently returned from serving as US Ambassador to Denmark, was formerly finance director for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012.

Discussing his own campaign, Gifford agreed with a questioner that in selling himself it was better to keep his focus local. He said, however, that there were a number of exceptions. Education was a big focus for his constituents and he thought it was useful that they should know that in Europe, college students’ tuitions were paid by the government. Those European students did not emerge from their higher education in debt, as so many students do in the US. He also thought that what he could tell voters about Denmark was highly relevant to the debate in the US on climate change, particularly on the President’s focus on reviving the coal industry. It should be pointed out to American audiences, he said, that the clean energy industry – wind power in the case of Denmark – creates jobs, and significantly, good jobs. Piling up low-paying jobs to make ends meet, as is so often the case in the US, does not create a healthy society.

Gifford made a point of how strongly he finds American voters distrust public institutions. For that reason, Gifford favors an old fashioned approach to campaigning: making phone calls, knocking on doors, shaking hands, and having face-to-face conversations.

Concluding his talk, Gifford made a point of saying he was not going to run a negative campaign. He doesn’t plan to talk about Trump at all, but instead plans to articulate strong, positive Democratic Party programs and policies.

–Elizabeth Clark, Chair, Committee on Public Policy and Political Action