Bernie Horn, author of "Framing The Future: How Progressive Values Can Win Elections And Influence People" is coming out with a new book on Progressive framing this summer, so we decided to get to know Bernie a little bit, and introduce him to our readers ahead of its much anticipated release. We asked Bernie some pretty hard-hitting questions about "Framing The Future" so we could learn more about this critical aspect of winning elections, and he was gracious enough to take the time to answer them for us. "Framing The Future" is chock full of really important points and we had a lot of questions, so we'll be posting this interview in parts.
The Winning Words Project: Thank you so much for agreeing to talk to us and our readers about your book. First, tell us a little about your background. Why did you decide to work in the field of Progressive Messaging?
Bernie Horn: I’ve worked full-time in politics since 1988. I’ve been a campaign manager, a political consultant, a lobbyist, and currently I work for the Progressive Majority Action Fund and its 501(c)(3) sister organization. From 2000 to 2008 I served as the Policy and Communications Director at the Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA). CPA had a fellowship program for state legislators which stressed “values-based leadership.” Our hundreds of legislator-fellows included Gabby Giffords, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Keith Ellison, Jon Tester, Chellie and Hannah Pingree, and Kendrick Meek. I feel like they taught progressive values to me and I have tried to spread those ideas to others.WWP: Your book, “Framing the Future: How Progressive Values Can Win Elections and Influence People," was written just before the 2008 Presidential Primary season got under way. What inspired you to write it? Were any of your recommended frames used by either of the two major candidates, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, and if so, how did they effectively use them?
Bernie Horn: After writing about progressive values for about four years, The Nation magazine published one of my essays and that led to an invitation from Berrett-Koehler to expand it into a book. So my inspiration was the enthusiasm of that wonderful publishing house.Join us for the rest of the interview ...
Obama and Clinton are two of the best communicators in the Democratic Party and don’t really need the structure I suggest. For several years, I have been focused on state and local officeholders and candidates; many of them have been part of the Progressive Majority “farm team.” I think we have made a difference there.
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