Posts Tagged ‘Pitch’
Democrats mount new sales pitch for health-care law – Washington Post
Last Updated on Sunday, 9 January 2011 08:47 Written by admin Sunday, 9 January 2011 08:47
Democrats, who were widely perceived to have blown the political messaging over President Obama’s signature law, are revving up for a campaign-style offensive in an attempt to get it right the second time around.
In the run-up to a House vote on repeal – originally scheduled for Wednesday but delayed after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and others in Tucson on Saturday – Democrats are staging news conferences and rallies outside the district offices of nearly 70 targeted Republican House members, many of whom were elected in districts Obama carried in his 2008 race.
The White House has set up a rapid-response operation and was planning to deploy Cabinet secretaries this week to make the Democrats’ case in newspaper editorials, on the radio and in satellite interviews with local television stations.
Party officials said they will also showcase regular folks who have benefited from the health-care law – such as those younger than 26 who are now able to stay on their parents’ insurance plans and people with preexisting conditions who can now get coverage – in local and national media to “put a face” on popular provisions.
“It’s not often you get a second chance to make a first impression, but [Republicans] are giving that right to us,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “Right now, people don’t realize all the good things in the bill. The more we have an opportunity to talk about them, fewer and fewer people are going to be for repeal.”
The first time around
As the bill was being crafted in 2009 and 2010, opponents seemed to gain the upper hand with their political message. Activists dressed down Democratic congressmen at their town hall meetings. They staged hands-off-my-health-care rallies. They dubbed the overhaul “Obamacare.”
Opposition to the bill helped propel Republicans to the majority in the House, and their effort to repeal it will fulfill a campaign promise and tea party priority. They scheduled a vote for Wednesday on a measure called “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” In the likely event the effort fails to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate, House Republican leaders say they will keep whacking at the law piece by piece until it crumbles.
“We’re listening to the American people,” House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters Thursday. “They want this bill repealed, and we are going to repeal it. And we’re going to do everything we can over the course of however long it takes to stop this because it will ruin the best health-care system in the world, it will bankrupt our nation and it will ruin our economy.”
Republican strategists say convincing a majority of Americans they are better off with the health-care law than without it will be a high hill for Democrats to climb.
“The fundamental problem for the Democrats is that the bill as a whole is widely perceived to raise health-care costs, raise health-insurance premiums, increase taxes, increase the deficit and hurt the quality of care,” Republican pollster Whit Ayres said. “That’s a five-count indictment that creates major public opinion problems for the health-care reform bill that the Democrats passed.”
Public opinion on the law has long been divided. A December poll by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that 42 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of it and 41 percent an unfavorable one. One in four respondents wants to repeal the law in its entirety, while another one in four wants to repeal parts of the law and keep other parts. The remainder wants to leave the law as is or expand it.
Obama, Biden Make Final Pitch to Help Save Democrats in Election – Bloomberg
Last Updated on Sunday, 31 October 2010 06:05 Written by admin Sunday, 31 October 2010 06:05
President Barack Obama made his
final campaign-trail pitch to voters as he asked for support in
helping his party retain control of Congress, while Republicans
predicted an historic election sweeping incumbents from office.
Obama appeared today with Vice President Joe Biden in
Cleveland in what was his last stop on a four-state swing to try
to stem a potential loss of his party’s majority control in the
Nov. 2 elections.
“You’ve got the chance to once again say, ‘Yes we can,’”
Obama, 49, said inside an arena at Cleveland State University.
“There is no doubt that this is a difficult election and that’s
because we’ve gone through an incredibly difficult time as a
The midterm campaign has been shaped by a national
unemployment rate at or above 9.5 percent for the last 14
months, criticism of the White House’s domestic agenda and an
anti-Washington sentiment reflected in the Tea Party movement.
Obama’s weekend schedule took him to states where Democrats
are trying to build a firewall for their continued control of
the U.S. Senate. The party’s grasp on the U.S. House is tenuous,
according to analyst rankings and polls.
Republican dominance even in one chamber likely would set
back Obama’s agenda, while the loss of Democratic governorships
could add extra hurdles to any 2012 re-election bid because of
the help they can provide in swing states such as Ohio.
The Obama-Biden rally was meant to benefit Ohio Democratic
Governor Ted Strickland, who is in a close race with Republican
challenger John Kasich, a former congressman.
“We’re going to make sure the bankrupted policies of the
Republican Party don’t knock us down again,” Biden said at the
rally. “We’re starting to get out of this God-awful mess.”
In Ohio’s Senate race, polls show Republican Rob Portman
leading Democrat Lee Fisher to fill the seat left vacant by the
retirement of Republican George Voinovich.
“President Obama has enormous political capital invested
in Ohio,” Voinovich told reporters on a conference call, adding
that Obama’s repeated Ohio visits “have been more about his
concern for his future election in 2012 than the future of
The Democratic National Committee is using the president to
make the party’s closing argument through a new ad.
“We cannot sit this one out,” Obama tells a crowd of
supporters in the ad, which will run nationally on MSNBC and BET
until the election. In footage from campaign rallies held over
the last several months, Obama warns voters that if Republicans
win the elections, the party will return the country to the
economic policies that caused the recession.
The DNC has transferred $ 2.67 million to state parties for
the final election push. States receiving the last minute influx
of funds include Illinois, Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania and
In television appearances, Democratic officials pointed out
that the election is not over.
“It’s not a lost cause,” Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee,
said on the “Fox News Sunday” program. “All these Washington
pundits are going to be surprised.”
Republicans Lead in Polls
Polls contradict such optimism. According to a CNN/Opinion
Research Corporation poll conducted October 27-30, Republicans
are leading Democrats 52 percent to 42 percent among likely
voters. A Pew Research Center poll conducted during the same
period gives Republicans a 6 percentage-point advantage.
The ratings suggest the Republican Party will win enough of
the popular vote to gain control of the House, according to Pew.
The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points for
the CNN survey and 3 to 5 percentage points for Pew.
Much of the Republican momentum is driven by independent
voters, who backed Democrats by a 42 percent to 35 percent
margin in the 2006 election. Today they favor the Republicans 45
percent to 32 percent, according to Pew.
Republicans are projected to gain a net of least 55 U.S.
House seats by the Rothenberg Political Report, a nonpartisan
publication based in Washington. Republicans need a 39-seat gain
to take control of the chamber.
Rothenberg and other analysts say Democrats have a better
chance of keeping control of the U.S. Senate, where Republicans
would need to gain 10 seats to take control.
Campaign’s Final Phase
David Axelrod, a senior adviser to Obama, said in an
interview that Obama would spend the final phase of the campaign
“calling into stations and targeted media” in local markets
with close races.
“It’s better at this point to have him in one place where
we can reach a lot of venues at once and that’s through media,”
Haley Barbour, chairman of the Republican Governors
Association, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program that if
Republicans win the House it will be a repudiation of Obama’s
policies. Barbour, governor of Mississippi, said the election is
a referendum on Obama health care and economic policies that
represent the “biggest lurch to the left” in American history.
“It’s going to be a political earthquake and the message
will have been sent to the left that they blew it,” Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential
nominee, said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine said
winning the House would force Republicans to vote for unpopular
spending cuts and tax increases in order to uphold a pledge to
voters to trim the budget deficit by $ 100 billion next year.
“The Republicans will be forced to govern,” Kaine said on
the NBC program. Kaine said Republicans, including Senate
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have a “political and partisan
agenda” of making Obama a one-term president.
Obama went to the center of his political base on Oct. 30
for a rally a few blocks from his home on Chicago’s South Side.
That stop was meant to motivate Democratic voters and boost the
man trying to win his old U.S. Senate seat.
That Obama was forced to spend part of the final campaign
weekend in Illinois, where all of the statewide elected
officials are Democrats, illustrated the defensive position he
and his party have been forced into.
Obama, who taught at the University of Chicago’s law
school, has placed his political prestige on the line in
Illinois. He has made three appearances for Alexi Giannoulias,
the Democratic state treasurer seeking the Illinois Senate seat.
That rivals his effort for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,
who is trailing in the most recent Nevada polls against
Republican Sharron Angle.
Mark Kirk, a five-term Republican congressman, and
Giannoulias have spent much of their campaign debating who is
least trustworthy. Giannoulias has dealt with fallout from the
April failure of his family’s Broadway Bank, while Kirk was
forced to apologize for exaggerating his biography.
Obama’s weekend tour also included a Connecticut stop to
support Democratic Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal, who is
leading in the polls in his contest with Republican nominee
Linda McMahon, a Tea Party favorite and former chief executive
officer of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. He also appeared
in Philadelphia with Representative Joe Sestak, a Democrat in a
close Senate race with former Representative Pat Toomey, a
To contact the reporters on this story:
John McCormick in Cleveland at
Heidi Przybyla in Washington at
Lisa Lerer in Washington at
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Mark Silva in Washington at