Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The Cult of Shor

As cults go, it's one of the best. The reasons why people listen to David Shor are simple. He is very smart. He has very good data. He is completely uninterested in promulgating advocacy group/Democratic Party talking points on how everything Democrats stand for is popular and anything to the contrary is Fox News/GOP propaganda. He is keenly attuned to the actually existing views of the actually existing electorate rather than the views of activists and advocates. He recognizes that Democratic party strategy is frequently set by socially liberal college-educated professionals whose views are very far from those of the median voter. He realizes there is no escape from the fact that popular policies are popular and unpopular policies are unpopular and that electoral strategy must be shaped by these realities. And above all, he wants to win and is unafraid to say out loud what so much of the progressive infrastructure is afraid to: the bullshit, performative, unpopular stuff has to go if Democrats are to achieve their goals.
If this is a cult, sign me up!
From Politico's West Wing Playbook:
"Democratic data scientist DAVID SHOR was fired in 2020. Now, he’s got an audience in the White House and is one of the most in-demand data analysts in the country.
There are the MSNBC hits, the recent guest appearance on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” and the innumerable podcast interviews. At just 29 years old, he is one of the few party strategists right now whose interviews tend to run Q&A style — the ultimate status symbol for the political elite.
BARACK OBAMA approvingly tweeted out one such interview from New York Magazine in March. And some Biden White House officials have taken notice, too. Some aides in the White House pay close attention to Shor’s analysis and have talked with him about his data, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
That may be because Shor sings from the same hymnal as many — but not all — of Biden’s political advisers. He’s advised Democrats to stand against “defund the police,” not talk too much about immigration, assume that Twitter is not real life, and talk about things that already have approval instead of trying to make unpopular things popular.
The White House declined to comment. Shor declined to comment on any conversations with clients or talks with the White House but agreed to talk about politics generally.
“I like to joke that I feel like I've stolen my ideas from JOE BIDEN much, much, much more than the other way around,” Shor said.
“The advice I give to every Democrat that I ever get a chance to talk to is talk about popular things that people care about using simple language,” Shor said. “I think it's as simple as that.”
May be an image of text that says 'The cult of Shor By ALEX THOMPSON LAURA BARRÓN-LÓPEZ and THEODORIC MEYER 05/24/2021 06:58 PM EDT'

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