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  • Writer's pictureLisa DiRado

Sell the Brownie, Not the Recipe

Anat Shenker-Osorio reminds us to ‘sell the brownie, not the recipe’. The brownie is the vision, the emotional description of the future desired state. The recipe is the policy, the tedious details that provoke arguments. When we look at President-elect Joe Biden’s 150k victory in Michigan, without any expansion in congressional or state house seats, the brownie analogy seems fitting.

Go to the website and see ‘A Presidency For All Americans’: ( You see a beautiful video of Ray Charles singing ‘America the Beautiful’ ending with the statements: A Country for all Americans, A Future for all Americans, A President for all Americans ( Here we have a vision of America for us all, without division.

President-elect Biden’s November 7th victory speech goes even further. He offers a vision of a united America “… a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify. Who doesn’t see Red and Blue states, but a United States.” Biden’s victory speech goes on to explain how he will lead us to become the United States again, and in the process solve our nation’s afflictions.

You can imagine Biden’s future; you can see it in your mind’s eye. In contrast, Peters hits you with a checklist of to-dos. Senator Peters ( starts with ‘Fighting for Michigan’ but quickly goes to policy – protecting Michigan families from COVID, strengthening Michigan’s economy, defending the Great Lakes and environment, and expanding access to affordable health care. Peters vision for a better Michigan or a better America gets lost in the policy.

The Michigan House Democrats ( also lack the brownie. They begin with ‘Building opportunity for all’ and then discuss the policy: access to affordable healthcare, a good education, and a shot at working hard to get the good-paying job and life they want. No vision here either.

If we want to elect Democrats, we must have a vision. President-elect Biden’s vision of one America is compelling – just like the mouthwatering brownie on the cover of the box. Voters aren’t interested in the policy because there a means to an end - only the recipe for the vision. Biden shows us how Democrats can message with a vision and by ‘selling the brownie’ can win!


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