The Winston Group is a strategy and research firm dedicated to making ideas matter.

Bill Gates at TED 09 on malaria and education

by canderson

At this year’s TED, Bill Gates discussed his goal to change the world with a new form of philanthropy. While this talk got press for Gates opening a jar of mosquitos on stage, it’s well worth watching for both his pleas regarding malaria in Africa and his passionate stance on improving education in this country. The education portion of the talk is about halfway in and is definitely worth a view!

The Right Idea, Episode 1 – The Obama Budget

by Lisa Mathias


The Right Idea, Ep. 1 – The Obama Budget from The Winston Group on Vimeo.

The first episode of The Winston Group’s new podcast is up! “The Right Idea” is a video podcast that comes out twice a week featuring discussion of both current events and long-term strategy with some of Washington’s brightest young minds in politics and policy.

This week, Kristen Soltis talks to Matt Moon from The Tax Foundation and Nicole Kurokawa from the Cato Institute, about Obama’s budget proposals.

AU School of Public Affairs 75th Anniversary Conference

by Lisa Mathias

American University’s School of Public Affairs recently held a conference themed “What Do We Expect From Our Government?” – celebrating American University’s 75th anniversary. David has been a part of AU in the past, having taught campaign strategy at the Campaign Management Institute as well as an adjunct professor at the Communications College. He helped celebrate the anniversary by participating in the ‘Campaigns and Elections’ panel, held on March 27th.

AU School of Public Affairs “What Do We Expect From Our Government?” Conference

European Ideas Network: Energy+Environment: New Options

by Lisa Mathias

David is in Madrid, Spain at the end of March participating in “Energy+Environment: New Options,” a seminar held by the European Ideas Network and organized by the Fundacion para el Análisis y los Estudios Sociales (transl. Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies). He is representing Washington among several other panelists from around Europe, speaking about the Obama Administration’s plans on developing a greener economy.

EIN Seminar Program

AIG Bonuses Raise Questions About Obama’s Leadership

by David Winston

Last Thursday, as the American International Group scandal exploded in Washington, Congressional Democrats and Team Obama, panicked by live cable coverage, provided one of the most surreal moments in recent political memory. It was a perfect storm of political posturing.
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David talking about the Obama honeymoon in the WSJ

by canderson

David is quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article by Greg Hitt and Naftali Bendavid. While the article’s focus is on the Limbaugh controversy, it also discusses the opportunities for the GOP in the start of the Obama presidency. David discusses how Republicans can find their voice on specific issues.

“There are clear opportunities for Republicans,” says party strategist Dave Winston, who suggests party leaders are starting to find their voice on targeted issues. Republicans are painting newly Democratic Washington as a hotbed of higher taxes and spending.

Still, Mr. Winston said, Mr. Obama continues to benefit from the goodwill created in 2008. “The question is when do we get to the point where the afterglow of the election dissipates,” he said. “That’ll be an important inflection point.”

The GOP’s Limbaugh Dilemma [WSJ]

David Quoted in the Washington Post about the need for GOP alternatives

by canderson

David was quoted by Kerry Bacon, Jr, in a Washington Post article about the GOP beginning to escalate its discourse against President Obama. David mentions that instead of being the opposition party, the GOP needs to offer real alternatives, such as it did last summer regarding additional oil drilling.

At the same time, Republicans are wary of appearing to be a party that simply opposes Obama. David Winston, a GOP strategist who advises House Republicans, said offering alternatives that voters like is crucial to any opposition strategy. He cited the GOP’s success last summer in calling for expanded oil drilling to be part of any effort to reduce gas prices.

“When you ask the public, ‘Which party do you have more confidence in to handle the issue of the economy?’ and in the future they say Republicans, Republicans will be in good shape,” Winston said. “Right now, public polling has Republicans trailing in that question.”

GOP Looks to Escalate Attacks on Obama [WP]

Winston Group poll in a Fred Barnes column

by canderson

Fred Barnes, in his column for “The Weekly Standard”, cites a Winston Group poll which showed that the ideology of the electorate remains center-right, even during the election.

A majority coalition of centrists and conservatives is a long shot for the near future. In Clinton’s case, it didn’t spring into being until his second year in office. But in Obama’s case, the same elements are already present. Pollster David Winston found in a survey last fall that the electorate’s ideology hadn’t changed. Most voters, including independents, remain right of center. This was ratified by the exit poll on Election Day. Only 22 percent identified themselves as liberal, while 34 percent were conservatives and 44 percent moderates.

Enemies of the White House

Obama Opens With a Very High-Stakes Game of Chess

by David Winston

Ben Franklin wisely called life “a kind of chess.”

For the past six weeks, Democrats and Republicans have been engaged in the biggest, riskiest, most costly game of political speed chess in the nation’s history.
A chess game starts with the “opening,” a series of moves that define the basic structure and direction the game is likely to take.

Sometimes chess players will begin with an unexpected opening to throw the opponent off. Then they execute a series of moves that takes the game back to a more familiar opening. That’s called transposition. (more…)