They say it’s one of hope and strength.

But will the electorate listen?

“There is a hunger in America, a hunger for a sense of national community, a hunger for something big and important and inspirational that they all can be involved in,” Edwards, the party’s 2004 vice presidential nominee, told delegates at a weekend convention of Florida Democrats.

“Americans don’t want to believe that they are out there on an island all alone,” the former North Carolina senator said.

This is not a new theme. As first lady, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York wrote, “It Takes a Village,” a book arguing that a community is an important part of a child’s development. Her husband, President Clinton, tried to create a sense of national purpose when he asked Americans to help “build a bridge to the 21st century.”

The difference now is that six of every 10 people tell pollsters that the country is headed on the wrong track. Democrats believe they can put Republicans on the defensive by articulating the public’s sense of malaise and offering hope to erase it.

Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean has commissioned confidential polling and analysis that suggest candidates in 2006 and 2008 should frame their policies � and attacks on Republicans � around the context of community.

It seems to be the emerging message from a party that has been bereft of one.

Note to Dem leaders: Get some new ideas and get them fast. Framing only worked when people didn’t really know what “framing” was. You have a chance to create a new “Contract With America.” Do it now or risk becoming political doormats for the next decade.

Home Politics Dems’ 06-08 Message