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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Obama Should Share Some Love

HuffPo Founder Arianna makes the case that it’s time for Obama to spread some of his campaign wealth around with other Dem candidates. It’s an important suggestion, and one which is sure to provoke some strong disagreements within the Democratic Party.
It’s a tough decision, arguably THE toughest decision going forward. “With victory within sight,” she asks, “the question becomes: how much change can he deliver if Democrats don’t reach a filibuster-proof 60 seats in the Senate?”
There is an understandable tendency within every political campaign to deploy all political assets within the campaign. There’s always the potential for an upset, and it’s hard to accept that things are going so well that the campaign can spare a little jack for the down ballot Dems. The very idea of surplus money does not compute, especially for Democrats, who are more often playing catch-up with their GOP competitors in terms of cash assets. Yet, as Arianna notres:

Republicans, while still holding out hope for a “McCain Miracle,” are increasingly worried that McCain is losing in a way that, as David Frum put it, “threatens to take the entire Republican Party down with him.” As a result, Frum and other Republicans are urging party officials to shift the emphasis off the presidential race and on to preserving as many Senate seats as possible.

Because we Dems have been out of the white house so long and have lost the last two presidential elections by small margins, we can be forgiven for a little monomania, when it comes to protecting Obama’s lead and securing a big win on Nov. 4. And then there is the argument that a huge Obama margin will lift all Democratic boats.
But there are a number of very close House and Senate races that could be won with a timely cash infusion. Think about Dems on the cusp of victory, who just need a little more cash to bring it home. Think about the filibuster-proof majority and what it could do for America. As Arianna notes,

In the just-ended 110th Congress, obstructionist Senate Republicans, led by human roadblock Mitch McConnell, mounted a record 104 filibusters (and that was with Bush in the White House; imagine how much more intransigent they would be with Obama). To put that number in context, in the previous Congress, the 109th, in which Democrats were in the minority, there were just 54 filibusters.

Think about empowering Obama to not merely occupy the white house, but to actually lead congress.
Here’s how she urges Obama to do it:

…Immediately guarantee a loan to the DSCC that will allow Democratic Senate candidates to spend whatever amount is necessary to secure a 60-seat majority. With Obama’s donor list, he’ll be able to wipe out that loan with a single post-election email. Money should not be the reason Democrats don’t put themselves in a position to defang the obstructionists.

Obama is going to face daunting challenges in securing peace, economic and health care reforms. Every extra Democrat in the House and Senate will help him succeed and win re-election. In that sense, every unleveraged dollar in his campaign coffers when the polls close on November 4 is a failure of strategy that works against his success.
For her best clincher, Arianna quotes a Norm Coleman ad echoed in numerous other GOP candidate ads this week

“Want real change? Put Democrats in control.”

Oh hell yes.

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