A Democratic strategist argues the party's playbook to sway Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on major legislation, like infrastructure or a minimum wage increase, should be "to propose something that's two or three ticks to the left" of "whatever you want the ultimate resolution to be." That way, the anonymous strategist told The New Yorker, "Manchin can look like he dragged you toward the middle," referring to the centrist senator's determination to restore bipartisanship to the Senate.
Sean McElwee, a progressive activist and head of the polling firm Data Progress, doesn't think that's the way to go, however. "If you're talking about this stuff in the way you would talk about it with your liberal friends, you're almost certainly f---ing up," he told The New Yorker.
McElwee thinks the party needs to alter its messaging and try to speak Manchin's language. Regarding infrastructure, for example, McElwee believes Democrats would be better served by not focusing so heavily on how their plan would combat climate change and should discuss job creation more often instead. Manchin is wary about clean-energy standard proposals because "too often, when we have something in mind like tax credits for electric vehicles, the batteries are not even American-made," McElwee said. But the senator is likely "gettable on a clean-energy standard if it can create jobs, because he understands that West Virginia needs a part of that," McElwee argued. Read more about Manchin in The New Yorker.