Time To Play Offense

January 29th, 2009at 10:57pm Posted by Eli

Sounds like Labor gets it, Senate Democrats (as usual) don’t, and Obama?  Maybe.

The White House said Obama had no regrets about his week-long courtship of Republicans, all of whom rejected his advances and voted “no” as the Democratic House majority passed the 819-billion-dollar measure.

“The president wouldn’t do anything differently,” Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said after the 244-188 vote sent the pitched political battle to the Senate. “His hand is, was, and will always reach out.”

The White House signaled that it expected the Senate to include more Republican-friendly items in the measure, leading to a House-Senate compromise bill that would be more likely to win Republican support in the end.

So far, not exactly promising.  I’m not sure how to parse that last paragraph – was that a prediction or a command?

Gibbs declined to comment on a labor union media onslaught designed to heap pressure on a handful of Republicans to support the plan in the Senate, saying Obama was “not going to referee” the actions of outside groups.


The strategy called for millions of union members to telephone Republicans from hard-hit states, coupled with an aggressive television advertising campaign targeting potentially vulnerable Republican senators.

The ad invites voters in Maine, New Hampshire, Alaska, and Iowa to tell their senators to “support the Obama plan for jobs not the failed policies of the past,” according to the script.

And the White House did not deny a report by Politico.com that it planned a state-by-state effort, highlighting job losses, to pressure lawmakers on the stimulus plan — even as Republicans called on Obama to repudiate the threat.

After eight years of Dubya and the Republicans repeatedly playing the existential crisis card (Scary terrorists coming to get us!  Social Security about to go bankrupt!  Scary terrorists still coming to get us!) to try to shape public opinion into political pressure, I simply do not think it would be out of line for Obama to use the same playbook now that we’re facing an Actual Real Crisis.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy,Labor,Obama,Politics,Republicans

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