A Preview of Things to Come

Our Country Deserves Better Committee, a conservative political action committee that's also the parent organization of the Tea Party Express, has released a one minute spot this weekend running the ad in Nevada. The spot is entitled titled "Barack Obama's Legacy of Failure."

Joe Wierzbecki, the executive director of the organization, told CNN that air time was being purchased in ad time being purchased in Michigan and Wisconsin, two states where the group has been running ads in support of their union-busting governors. Wierzbecki says his plan is to eventually also run the commercial in Colorado, Missouri and Ohio. The group is currently fundraising to pay for the ad buy.

According to Sourcewatch, officers of the Our Country Deserves Better PAC overlap extensively with current and former leaders of the pro-war organization Move America Forward (MAF) based in California. These include MAF co-founder and former chair Howard Kaloogian, who chairs the PAC; PR executive Sal Russo, who serves as chief strategist for both MAF and the PAC; Russo Marsh & Rogers principal Joe Wierzbicki, who serves as grassroots coordinator for MAF and coordinates the PAC; and Marine mom Deborah Johns, who is MAF's director of military relations and the PAC's spokesperson.

The group was formed in 2008 as Obama's candidacy gained steam. Our Country Deserves Better PAC launched the Tea Party Express national bus tour on August 28th, 2009 to rally "Americans to oppose the out-of-control spending, higher taxes, bailouts, and growth in the size and power of government."

In 2009, the group ran an ad comparing President Obama to Hitler and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while indulging in just about every right wing conspiracy that there is. Right Wing Watch has more on the group and its activities.

Obama to Outline Deficit Reduction in a Speech

Appearing on the Sunday morning talk show circuit, David Plouffe, White House senior adviser, revealed that President Obama plans to deliver a major speech this week laying out a more aggressive path for deficit reduction -- including reform of entitlements, particularly Medicare and Medicaid. Plouffe said Obama will continue calling for higher taxes on the wealthy but will resist any attempts to raise taxes on the middle class. White House communications director Dan Pfieffer later added that Obama would deliver the address on Wednesday.

Plouffe also commented on Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposals. Via Politico:

Plouffe indicated that Obama would address finding savings in Medicare and Medicaid, but would not endorse many of the proposals in the long-term deficit reduction plan offered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee.

“It may pass the House. It's it's not gonna become law,” Plouffe said. “I don't think the American people are gonna sign up for something that puts - most of the burden on the middle class, people trying to go to college, on senior citizens while not just asking nothing of the wealthy - giving them at least a $200,000 tax [break] and so that's a choice you're making.”

Plouffle also indicated that Obama would propose rescinding the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy as part of his deficit reduction plan.

“For upper income Americans he does believe that they need to contribute to deficit reduction in this country,” Plouffe said on Fox News Sunday.

But when host Chris Wallace asked whether such a proposal would pass in light of opposition from House Republicans, Plouffe indicated that Obama would make the point that the GOP proposal is cuts services for seniors and the poor in order to give tax cuts to the wealthy.

“They’re plan is a trillion dollar tax cut,” Plouffe said. “So again, the reason you have to ask more for seniors, the middle class and the poor… is because you’re giving the rich these tax cuts.”

How Jonathan Chait Sullies His Reputation

By writing nonsense like this:

I think (Minnesota Congresswoman and Tea Party darling Michelle) Bachmann is a legitimate dark-horse possibility to win the nomination.

In no known universe does the fact-averse, conspiracy-laden, gaffe-prone Bachmann have a shot at winning the GOP nomination. Yes, the media adores her, as they do Palin, because she says nutty things but at some point her inconsistencies will doom her. For now, Bachmann performs like some demonic seal in front of adoring crowds of the similarly insane and the utterly delusional but if she is seriously to contend for the nomination she will have to, you know, at some point speak to the reality-based community.

Much is being written about how Bachmann outraised Mitt Romney in the quarter just ended but all the analysis I've seen omits the fact that Bachmann has been actively fundraising and Romney has yet to fully engage. I have no doubt that Michelle Bachmann could do well if not win the Iowa caucuses next year but then again that's hardly a guarantor of the nomination. Just ask Mike Huckabee. The reality is also that Bachmann appeals to a narrow far-right evangelical base and she will face competition for those votes from likes of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to name just two.

Even more egregious than Chait holding out hope that Michelle Bachmann has some sort of path to the Republican nomination is this tidbit:

The best parallel I think consider is Howard Dean. No, Dean is not anywhere near as crazy as Bachmann. That's not the point. Both tap deeply into a well of activist anger against a sitting president that is not being fully satisfied by other candidates. Both inspire passionate activist volunteers, and make their rivals look phony by comparison. And both inspire terror among the party leadership -- Democrats in 2003 considered Dean just as unelectable as Republicans now consider Bachmann.

The bold is mine. How the normally erudite Jonathan Chait can compare Howard Dean to Michelle Bachmann in terms of sanity is beyond me. It is frankly reprehensible. 

Eye on 2012: Kaine and LeMieux Announce Senate Runs

Two announcements today. Former Virginia Governor and current Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine announced that he is running for the Virginia Senate seat currently held by Senator Jim Webb who is retiring after just one term in office. Kaine will resign as DNC chair immediately. More from the Washington Post. Above is Tim Kaine's introductory video and here's a link to his website.

Meanwhile in Florida, former interim Senator George LeMieux announced that he will enter the GOP primary and seek his party's nomination in a bid to unseat the incumbent Democrat, Bill Nelson. LeMieux served 16 months in the Senate after being appointed by then-Governor Charlie Crist to fill a vacancy created when Senator Mel Martinez quit early. So far only one major candidate has declared, Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos with others expected to join the fray.

 

 

President Obama Launches His Re-election Campaign

President Obama formally launched his 2012 re-election campaign bid releasing a two minute video entitled "It Begins with Us" and by filing the necessary paperwork with the Federal Electoral Commission. The video is above all an appeal to the vast grassroots network that the Obama campaign built in 2007-2008 to rejoin the effort.

The video brings together five supporters from the first campaign, each representing a key component of the Obama coalition that helped to propel Barack Obama to the presidency. First off there is Ed, a white, middle-aged man from North Carolina that Obama narrowly captured in 2008, says that although he doesn't agree with Obama "on everything, I respect him and I trust him." Then there is Gladys, a Hispanic mother from Nevada, another key battleground state, who admits to being "nervous" but adds this is an "election that we have to win". The third Obama supporter is Katherine from Colorado, another state that Obama won in 2008 and would need to hold in 2012, who argues that "politics at the grassroots level is individuals talking to other individuals and making a difference. "

Representing the critical under 30 demographic is Mike, a student from New York, a state not likely to be a battleground, who resurrects the H-word saying "I just saw the energy and hope he had for this country. Even though I couldn't vote at the time, I knew that someday I'd be able to help re-elect him. And that's what I plan on doing." The last Obama supporter is Alice, an African-American from Michigan, a rust-belt state that continues to be battered by the economy, who makes the argument that this time around it's incumbent upon Obama supporters to get the President re-elected given that President has a job to do.

The video does not include Obama’s voice nor does it tout any of the President's accomplishments. However if there are takeaways to be gleaned, it seems clear that the President is going to run more on character and judgment than on his record and that women will be a key demographic come November 2012. In 2008, 56 percent of the female vote went to Obama, exceeding the usual Democrat gender advantage. And by choosing supporters in states like Nevada, Colorado and North Carolina, the Obama campaign is signaling that it intends to replicate some of the surprising if narrow wins in the states that normally vote GOP.

In conjunction with the video, the Obama campaign sent out an email to supporters. That email is below the fold.

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