The Trib followed Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rahm Emanuel throughout this campaign season and gained access to strategy meetings. An article in the paper details what they observed.
Moving forward, Democrats need to take this opportunity given to them by voters to regain the confidence and trust of those who until this past election have largely voted Republican. The populist mantra has been hijacked by people like County Exec Scott Walker, Rush Limbaugh and George W. Bush. In the next Congress, Dems can reclaim it by focusing on issues like affordable and accessible health care, raising the minimum wage, job training, tax reform, college tuition, and energy prices to name a few.
Conservatism is not a governing philosophy, it's a critique of government. It's easy to regurgitate the idea of lower taxes, and shrinking government, but Republicans haven't defined where the threshold is on either of them. They've also grown the size of government while failing to fund it thereby ballooning the deficit.
The opportunity for Democrats is to restore faith that government can work for the citizenry where the private sector fails to, and do it in a fiscally sound manner. When run competently, government can open doors that have been shut in the past for workers, and provide hope for those who have lost it.