- President of NDN and the New Policy Institute
- Worked for the presidential campaign of Democrat candidate Michael Dukakis in 1987-88
- Worked for the Bill Clinton presidential campaign in 1991-92
- Says that the Republican Party is destined for permanent irrelevancy because of its inability to appeal to Hispanics and Millennials
Born in New York City in 1963, Simon Rosenberg graduated from Tufts University in 1985 and then spent five years as a writer and producer for ABC News. He also worked for the campaigns of Democratic presidential candidates Michael Dukakis (1987-88) and Bill Clinton (1991-92). From 1993-96, Rosenberg was employed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Leadership Council. In 1996 he founded the New Democrat Network (NDN), where he continues to serve as president.
Rosenberg has cultivated a reputation for his effectiveness at modernizing and developing the Democratic Party’s organization and communications infrastructure, most notably through the use of new technology. In Rosenberg’s estimation, the ultimate success of political campaigns today depends heavily on the degree to which they commit to “running an Internet-oriented campaign, relying on the web for fundraising, organizing, and messaging.”
In 2001 Rosenberg was a member of the Aspen Institute’s Class of Henry Crown Fellows. In 2004 he served on the Democratic National Convention Platform Committee, and a year later he was a candidate for chairman of the DNC, a position that ultimately went to Howard Dean.
In 2005 Rosenberg founded the New Policy Institute, a Tides Center project where he continues to serve as president. That same year, he co-founded the New Politics Institute along with Gina Glantz, Cecile Richards, and Andrew and Deborah Rappaport.
In 2006 Rosenberg wrote the foreword for the book Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics, co-authored by Jerome Armstrong and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga.
In a 2006 analysis of “what the last five years of conservative government” (under President George W. Bush) had produced, Rosenberg stated that Republicans had: (a) implemented “tax cuts targeted primarily at the rich” that had “left the middle class carrying a greater share of the overall tax burden” while “unravel[ing] the Clinton administration’s achievement of putting America on a sound fiscal footing”; (b) presided over a period where “terrorism attacks worldwide [had] increased dramatically”; (c) launched the Iraq War “with a campaign to exaggerate the [WMD] threat”; (d) employed “torture techniques” that “violated the Geneva conventions” and “undermined America’s moral leadership in the world”; and (e) created an “occupying presence in Iraq” that “fueled the global jihadist movement.”
In the same analysis, Rosenberg charged that in “one of the most shameful, xenophobic and racist acts by our government in recent American history,” the Republican House in 2005 had “voted to felonize, arrest and deport the 11 million [mostly Hispanic] undocumented men, women and children working and living among us.” According to Rosenberg, Republicans’ alleged hostility toward nonwhite Hispanics had alienated many of the latter and consequently had driven them into the Democratic Party’s camp—at precisely the time when “Hispanics … constitute the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.” “At a strategic level,” Rosenberg elaborated in 2008, “resistance to the new demographic reality is futile,” and a failure to appeal to Hispanic voters “may render [the Republican Party] … a 20th century relic.”
Rosenberg also stated that this immigration-driven leftward swing in U.S. politics would be further accelerated “by the extraordinary level of political participation of Millennials, the largest generation in American history, whose life experiences and values are much more Obama than Nixon.” In 2007 he pointed out that Millennials tend, significantly more than their elders, to describe themselves as “liberal” and to hold opinions consistent with those of the Democratic Party—e.g., regarding gay marriage, big government, business regulation, radical environmentalism, immigration, universal health care, and the war on terrorism. (For details of the opinion surveys cited by Rosenberg, click here.) As Rosenberg put it on another occasion: “indications are that this [younger] generation … leans overwhelmingly Democratic … [and] is poised to become the core of a 21st century progressive coalition.”
In 2007 Rosenberg predicted “a permanent shift in the ideological orientation of the country,” suggesting that “the election of 2006 may well have marked the end of the conservative ascendancy that began with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.” “[T]he arrival of Barack Obama and his politics,” said Rosenberg in 2008, is a welcome development for our nation.” In 2008 as well, Rosenberg wrote that: the conservative coalition “no longer works in the changing demography of the day, and is dangerously old”; “their Southern strategy … has become a relic of the past”; “their tech and media tools have not kept up with the times”; “their ideas have become spent and discredited”; and “they are an aging and frayed bunch, living off the fumes of a day and politics gone by.”
In 2007 Rosenberg was named one of “The 50 Most Powerful People in DC” by _GQ _magazine. In 2007 and 2010, he spoke at the “Take Back America” Conference hosted annually by the Campaign for America’s Future.
In addition to his aforementioned associations, Rosenberg today is an advisory board member with the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. He also sits on the boards of the Roosevelt Institute (which strives to promote “a new economic and political system … built by many for the good of all”), and Democracy: A Journal of Ideas.