Hirono: Dems Struggle Appealing to Voters' Hearts Because 'We Have to Tell Everyone How Smart We Are'

December 4, 2018

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) said Tuesday that Democrats have a hard time connecting with voters because they "know so much" and need to tell people "how smart" they are.

Hirono's comments came at the Bend Towards Justice conference in Washington, D.C., where journalist Dahlia Lithwick asked the senator how Democrats can make voters care more about the judicial system.

"I wish I had the answer to that, because one of the things that we Democrats have a really hard time is connecting to people's hearts instead of here," Hirono said, pointing to her brain. "We're really good at shoving out all the information that touches people here," she continued, again pointing to her head, "but not here," she said, touching her chest.

"I have been saying at all of our Democratic Senate retreats that we need to speak to the heart, not in a manipulative way, not in a way that brings forth everyone's fears and resentments, but truly to speak to the heart so that people know that we're actually on their side," Hirono added.

"We have a really hard time doing that, and one of the reasons that was told to me at one of our retreats is that we Democrats know so much that is true," she said. "We have to kind of tell everyone how smart we are, so we have a tendency to be very left brain and we think, this—really, that is not how people make decisions."

Hirono, who has served in the Senate since January 2013, has gained prominence within the Democratic Party following her staunch opposition to the nomination of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who she said did not deserve a presumption of innocence for the allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him.