The Secret Weapon Democrats Don’t Know How to Use Magazine
The Bustos blueprint, she told me in January as the Taurus dodged raccoon road kill outside a speck of a village called Maquon, is rooted in unslick, face-to-face politicking. She shows up. She shakes hands. She asks questions—a lot of questions. “Don’t talk down to people—you listen,” she stressed. When she does talk, she talks as much as she can about jobs and wages and the economy and as little as she can about guns and abortion and other socially divisive issues—which, for her, are “no-win conversations,” she explained. And at a time when members of both parties are being tugged toward their respective ideological poles, the more center-left Bustos has picked her spots to buck such partisanship. She’s a pro-choice Catholic and an advocate for limited gun control, but she has supported the Keystone pipeline and called for improvements to Barack Obama’s “imperfect” Affordable Care Act. It’s worked. She’s the only Democratic member of the Illinois’ congressional delegation from outside Chicagoland.