Despite the numerous signs that the Dems are poised to lose their majority in Congress this fall, Newsweek says that may not be the case. It just seems that way! The Dems are actually, cunningly, setting up the biggest political head-fake in history. The article that appeared today, titled “The Dems’ Plan to Hold Congress“, starts out like this:
Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on much these days. But lately it seems that they’ve been willing to set aside their vast, irreconcilable differences and publicly concur on at least one thing: that the Democrats are going to do really, really badly in November’s midterm elections.
OK. They even show that other news outlets are also predicting doom and gloom for their beloved Democrats.
(The press, for what it’s worth, agrees as well. Charlie Cook, Washington’s wizard of electoral predictions, puts 62 Democratic House seats and nine Democratic Senate seats in the “lean” or “toss-up” columns—that is, just enough to flip control of both chambers of Congress to the Republicans, provided everything breaks their way.)
(Not sure why that is in parenthesis, but I’m not, officially, a journalist, so what do I know). Anyway… is there some lingering hope, some Jedi Knight midichlorian inspired reason to have hope?
Case closed, right? The Democrats are “going down.” Well, not quite. In politics, winning may the most important thing, but managing expectations is a close second.
What’s really happening here is that the Dems are downplaying their chances in November for the same reason Barack Obama’s campaign team compared Sarah Palin to every orator short of Cicero in the run-up to her 2008 debate against Joe Biden: political results are only as useful as they are unexpected.
Oh. Wow! Clever!!! They’re using reverse psychology on the public!
Dig a little deeper at the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC, and you’ll find that the Democrats in charge are actually rather confident about getting their fellow Dems elected this year. The reason? They have a plan—a plan that they believe will produce much better results on Election Day than anyone expects.
So, what’s the plan Stan… er, Andrew?
The first part of the scheme involves the man at the top, whom readers might remember as the (somewhat successful) manager of Obama’s improbable 2008 campaign: Mr. David Plouffe. A boyish, buzzcut logistical whiz, Plouffe departed Obamaland after the election in order to write books, give speeches, and make money. But after Martha Coakley lost to Republican Scott Brown in January’s Massachusetts Senate special election, Obama asked Plouffe—who was always to supposed to assist with the 2010 midterm effort—to take on an expanded role. Since then, he’s been communicating “daily” with the DNC about campaign strategy. Plouffe isn’t on the DNC’s payroll, nor does he work at the White House. He doesn’t answer to anyone but Obama. As such, he’s the only person on the Democratic side with the power to “make the gears move more efficiently,” as Marc Ambinder has put it—to sharpen the message, to tweak the field operation, to decide where best to deploy the president. All from 35,000 feet.
Wow. Sounds impressive! Tell me more.
Plouffe’s main goal, though, is to focus on turning out the 15 million people who voted for the first time in 2008—an effort that Democrats believe could wind up affecting the outcome of many of this year’s 70-odd contested races. After the 2008 election, the Obama field operation, Obama for America, was renamed Organizing for America and folded into the DNC. All of its electoral assets—the 13 million–name e-mail list, the hundreds of thousands of volunteers and “community organizers,” the precision Internet tools—came along with it. Now Plouffe & Co. plan to bring those resources to bear on getting 2008’s newbies back to the polls.
And, then there’s this:
While Republicans hammer away at national themes targeted at right-wing activists—Obama’s “socialist” insurance reforms or the size of the stimulus—Democrats plan to focus on bread-and-butter regional concerns like jobs and … well, jobs.
Oh, you mean like this? (There are some assertions make in this article that need some analysis, but that will have to be addressed later).
Funny thing is, while I was reading this Democratic chearleading piece from Newsweek, I couldn’t help thinking back to the election cycle of 2006, and remembering all the similar stories I saw emanating from Fox news. Insert Karl Rove where you see David Plouffe, and “war on terror” where you see “jobs”, and it looks so similar, it’s eerie. And speaking of, I’m also reminded of this NPR interview of Karl Rove right before the election.
I’ll go with Aldo Nova, just because the leopard leotard this is just sooooo weird, yet captivating!
Oh hell, I’ll do the Ratt one to. I love Milton Berle. He was awesome! And the banquette scene, with all the assumed privileged, kind of reminds me of the Democratic party. Hey, isn’t that EPA chief Lisa Jackson at 40 seconds in?