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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

MJ Lee reports at Politico that Herman Cain picks up the cudgel after Romney smartly disavows the Super-PAC planned Rev. Wright attacks (for now). Presumably, Cain’s entry into the fray is designed to soften the race-baiting criticism. But it still looks like a concerted “high” road/low road dog and pony show.
From WaPo, quoth an aide to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: “The Mayor was livid when he read that the Ricketts were going to launch a $10 million campaign against President Obama – with the type of racially motivated ads that are insulting to the president and the presidential campaign…He is also livid with their blatant hypocrisy.” Well. Friggin. Done. When hypocritical rich wingnuts ask for huge taxpayer/public handouts, while funding Super-PAC ads attacking Dem leaders and government as fundamentally evil, they should get pushback from elected officials, especially Dems.
Nate Silver crunches the stats at FiveThirtyEight, and concludes that “Democrats’ Odds of Retaining Senate Improve.”
The Obama campaign is about to launch a new website, “Gotta Vote” to help voters navigate through the maze of voter suppression laws passed by the GOP in the states. According to Politico’s Brian Tau, “The online tool — which will be live shortly — gives voters detailed state-by-state information on how and when to register. It also collects phone numbers and email addresses, offering to remind potential voters when to register. It also seeks volunteer attorneys to become “victory counsels” to help “voter protection efforts” across the country. It also has a Tumblr where voters can ask process questions.”
Here we go again with filibuster reform. Maybe it would be wise to wait a few months.
From John Nichols’ update on the Wisconsin recall in The Nation: “Barrett spent around $1 million to win his primary; Walker has already burned through $21 million, and his billionaire backers have spent millions more on “independent” ads. The unprecedented spending on behalf of Walker and his allies has made these recall elections an example of what campaigning has come to look like in the Citizens United era: Democrats can’t hope to match the staggering level of corporate cash raised by the GOP, so they will have to accelerate grassroots organizing and get-out-the-vote drives. Wisconsin will test the prospect that people power might yet beat money power.”
Ronald Brownstein’s “The Political Class Divide Deepens” at the Atlantic discusses polls indicating that “All whites expect their financial situation to improve over the next year, but those with college-degrees are more optimistic…Non-college whites are somewhat more restrained in their expectations: 50 percent of both blue-collar white men and women expect to be better off, about double the share that expects to lose ground.” Brownstein also notes of Obama’s prospects re the white working-class, “…the “polls consistently showing him falling below his showing last time among whites — especially the blue-collar whites cool to his social agenda and still glum about the economy.”
In his NYT ‘Campaign Stops’ op-ed, “Reaching Catholics,” Jim Arkedis, senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute argues that there is a strategy that can enable Obama to maximize support from Catholics. In a nut graph, Arkedis explains: “…The Ryan budget imposes “a particular burden on the middle-class and the most vulnerable.” This argument should form the bedrock of Obama’s faith-based appeal to persuadable Catholics…A broad, upbeat theme of social justice will be enough for Obama to reach persuadable Catholics, who can interpret the message in concert with their beliefs. The president might quote Pope John Paul II, who once said, “Radical changes in world politics leave America with a heightened responsibility to be, for the world, an example of a genuinely free, democratic, just and humane society.” They must hear the message often and at least 15 percent of the time in Spanish.”
Blue Dog John Barrow (D-GA12), makes the case in his WaPo op-ed, “Fewer moderates? Blame redistricting” for “nonpartisan commissions to draw district lines” to reduce what he sees as hyper-partisanship.
A sobering read awaits Dems at Talking Points Memo, where Benjy Sarlin’s “Forget Jeremiah Wright: Democrats’ Real Worry Is GOP Money” notes among his worrisome observations: “…Overall, though, Republicans — and especially Romney — have proven more adept by far at raking in game-changing amounts from big donors…The bigger impact may be on down-ballot races, which will help determine the effectiveness of the next president regardless of party…”Somebody dumps $15 million on the presidential election and they won’t be overwhelming the race,” Hasen said. “But $15 [million] on a Senate or congressional race will be huge and have a major effect, especially with control of the Senate up for grabs.”

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