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Five things Obama must do to avoid lame-duck status ["It's not personal"]
The Hill ^ | December 31, 2013 | Amie Parnes

Posted on 12/31/2013 4:20:20 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

President Obama endured a terrible 2013, raising GOP hopes of a Senate takeover in next year’s midterm elections that would turn him into an early lame duck.

The GOP needs to win six seats in the upper chamber to take a 51-49 edge, something clearly obtainable with Democrats defending difficult seats in South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana and North Carolina.

With the Senate and House in GOP hands, Obama would have little if any hope of moving his legislative agenda, and would be left to play defense against a GOP Congress in his final two years in office.

The White House has signaled the importance of keeping the Senate blue in a number of ways, most notably by hiring former aides close to Senate Democratic leaders and ramping up its communications.

In 20114, White House allies say Obama must focus on five things to keep both chambers from turning red:

Minimize the liabilities

Unless Obama and the White House can get the president’s signature healthcare law humming smoothly, it will pull the president’s and the Democratic Party’s approval ratings underwater in 2014.

“The biggest weight on the class of ‘14 is the success of Obamacare,” said one former senior administration official. “I’m sure there are Democrats up for reelection who are lighting candles into the New Year with the hope that it all goes well in 2014 or it’ll be like 2013 never left.”

White House confidence is bolstered by the surge of people who have enrolled in the law in recent days. More than 1.1 million people have now enrolled, and while that is lower than what the administration had hoped for, it makes reaching the 7 million enrollees projected by the Congressional Budget Office more realistic.

The hope is that the New Year will amount to a fresh start for Democrats, and that Obama will be able to tout the number of people newly insured under the law.

Yet problems will be hard to avoid. Starting on Jan. 1, people will begin going to hospitals and clinics to use ObamaCare. Every time someone’s insurance doesn’t cover the charges they’d expected, it will likely get written up.

How many problems pop up, and how well the administration does in explaining and responding to them, will go a long way toward shaping public perceptions of the law.

“You have a public that still doesn’t understand how Obamacare makes life better and a media obsessed with the glitches surrounding it,” the former senior official added. “The White House needs to put a full stop to that.”

Keep the base engaged

Midterm elections even more than presidential elections can be decided on voter turnout, and Democrats face a much tougher task with Obama off the ballot.

A CNN poll released late last week highlights the White House’s dilemma.

It found that 55 percent of registered voters say they are more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who opposes Obama than one who supports him.

This means the White House must pull all the levers they used in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns to get its base excited enough to support Obama’s party in 2014.

Democratic strategists say the White House needs to rally women, Hispanics, African Americans and young voters to the polls.

“In a midterm election, you need everybody to go out to the polls the way they do in a general election,” the former senior official said. “He needs the liberal base to turn out in droves just as Republicans have been good about getting their extremist base out for these elections.

Obama can also cater to the base’s needs by keeping his campaign arm ‘Organizing for Action’ engaged in these issues, Democrats say.

In recent months, the Democratic National Committee decided to lease some information on voters to OFA along with other Democratic Party committees to ensure that this process gets underway.

Hold the line against the GOP

When Obama has used the bully pulpit to take a hard line with Republicans, he’s seen a bump in his approval ratings.

A good example was during the government shutdown, when the White House refused to negotiate with the GOP over concessions on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government.

“Democrats won in a huge way when Obama didn’t back down on the CR,” the former senior official said.

Allies say Obama also benefitted because the shutdown divided the GOP. They say the White House needs to identify more policies that drive a wedge between mainstream and Tea Party Republicans.

“Every time [Senator] Ted Cruz threatens to default, [Senator] Mark Pryor’s staff breathes a little easier,” the former official added. Pryor (D-Ark.) is a top GOP target in 2014.

Picking the right fights also telegraphs a message of strength from the White House.

“People respect strength and every time the president exhibits it, he does well,” Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons said.

Take a page out of the Clinton playbook

Yes, Bill Clinton’s approval ratings at this time in his presidency were much higher than Obama’s.

(Clinton had an approval rating hovering around 57 percent at the end of the first year in his second term while Obama has a 39 percent approval rating—with a 54 percent disapproval rating, according to the latest Gallup poll.)

But the former president’s approval ratings climbed over the course of his second term—even as he was dogged by the Monica Lewinsky scandal – because he was able to tout the growing economy and surrounded himself with the right advisers in the West Wing.

Last month, Obama hired John Podesta—a key force behind Clinton’s surge in the second term. The move was welcome news to top Democrats, many of who urged the White House to consider a staff shake-up.

Obama should take additional cues from the so-called ‘Explainer in Chief’, Democrats say.

“They need to capture an aspirational economic message and talk up the economy,” Simmons said, adding that it’s something Clinton did well.

He also said the White House needs to decide upon a message and be consistent about delivering it.

“The White House is good at a lot of things but message consistency is not one of them,” Simmons said, adding that White House should “bring back the perpetual campaign.”

Go undercover

Sometimes the best thing Obama can do to help his party is to get out of the spotlight.

Candidates running in tough Senate races, for example, will need Obama’s support and his money. But the don’t always need him standing on stage with them.

Natalie Tennant, a Democrat from West Virginia taking on GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito for an open Senate seat, is proof of that.

Tennant attended a New York fundraiser where first lady Michelle Obama urged donors to write big-dollar checks for candidates like her. Afterwards — trying to prevent criticism from voters who don’t support Obama — she said the fundraising didn’t amount to an endorsement from Obama’s wife.

The White House may experience more of this as Election Day approaches, just as Republicans were quick to distance themselves from George W. Bush near the end of his second term.

“Every president is going to have folks who are less enthusiastic about having them stand beside them,” the former senior administration official said.

“It’s not personal, just business,” Simmons added.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Alaska; US: Arkansas; US: Louisiana; US: Montana; US: North Carolina; US: South Dakota; US: Texas; US: West Virginia
KEYWORDS: 3rdpartytrojanhorse; alaska; arkansas; campaign; changestaff; jamalsimmons; johnpodesta; louisiana; markpryor; montana; natalietennant; northcarolina; rossperot; shelleymoorecapito; shutup; southdakota; stayfocused; tedcruz; texas; westvirginia
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Stop the bleeding. --- Lie.

Agitate. --- Lie.

Don't compromise with GOP. --- Lie.

Campaign. --- Lie.

Lie low.


Messaging to the Obama media.

1 posted on 12/31/2013 4:20:21 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

With the Zerocare disaster and a host of other issues dems are running from it is hard to imagine any scenario where Zero is not already a lame duck.

2 posted on 12/31/2013 4:23:53 AM PST by Fzob (Jesus + anything = nothing, Jesus + nothing = everything)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

RESIGN. . . . . .

3 posted on 12/31/2013 4:26:06 AM PST by DeaconRed (ZERO: We made a -Big Mistaka- Lets send him to Jamaica -NOW! ! ! !)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The Undocumented One must
Resign OR be the first pRes_ _ent
to be Impeached and Convicted for treason.

4 posted on 12/31/2013 4:26:43 AM PST by Diogenesis
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Too late.

5 posted on 12/31/2013 4:27:03 AM PST by Rocky (The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. George Orwell)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Biscuits & Gravy - Intellectual Froglegs S2E18
6 posted on 12/31/2013 4:28:45 AM PST by Berlin_Freeper (Mia San Mia)
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To: Fzob
The irony is that Obama effectively became a lame duck after 2010. Obamacare is the only Federal policy of note that he's accomplished up to this point, and the unpopularity of it pretty much guarantees that he'll spend the rest of his term in office just figuring out how to keep Democrats from paying a steep political price for it.

It's pretty pathetic, but Barack Obama isn't even an important player in his own administration anymore.

7 posted on 12/31/2013 4:30:44 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("I've never seen such a conclave of minstrels in my life.")
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To: All
SIGNS OF DESPERATION The DNC sent out a warning letter that the Repubs planned to impeach Obama. They're desperate to save O's sorry a** and 2014 midterms.

The DNC calculates that by baiting the Pubbies into impeaching him---they turn Obama into a hapless, lovable, beleaguered "victim" up against those evil Repubs.


The DNC Kabuki Theatre will play all the way to 2014....and beyond. Their "Bait the Pubbies" act is in high gear.

The idea is to trap the Pubbies into "overreaching."

STRANGE BUT TRUE When Clinton was impeached, Republicans actually lost ground at midterms---Pubbies were in high dungeon b/c Clinton got lewinskied in the Oval Office. However, voters saw Pubbies actions as "overreaching"---unbelievable, I know, but true all the same.


Dems hope history will repeat itself.

8 posted on 12/31/2013 4:31:36 AM PST by Liz
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
amie parnes is one of them... she is a liar and schemer and she is telling obama to do more of the same. 1.1 million people is a lie... more like 750,000 actually tried to "RECEIVE" healthcare (not buy) and when you look into who they are and what they did... 90% of those are medicaid welfare parasites that had no insurance... couldn't afford any premiums of any kind and/or are on welfare, unemployment, food stamps and all other federal and state welfare freebie handout programs and have no intention of working. Think obamaphone lady. Wow... what a success story! NOT! amie must be on dope... lots of strong delusion inducing pain killers and alcohol!
9 posted on 12/31/2013 4:32:37 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS! BETTER DEAD THAN RED!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

get ready for the biggest kind of voter fraud

10 posted on 12/31/2013 4:33:01 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Fzob

He’s better off in Hawaii.
Stay there.

11 posted on 12/31/2013 4:33:25 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks ("Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth.")
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To: DeaconRed

ding ding ding we have a winner!!!

12 posted on 12/31/2013 4:33:37 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The one thing he won’t avoid, God willing, is IMPEACHMENT!

13 posted on 12/31/2013 4:35:06 AM PST by Road Warrior 04 (Molon Labe! (Oathkeeper))
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

They have to depend on their lap-dog news media to downplay NSA spying, 0bama’s terrible foreign relations disasters with Russia, China, Bolivia, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Germany et al, plus keep major scandals such as 0bama’s illegal FastNFurious gun-running to Mexico and the assassination of U.S. Ambassador Stevens out of the news.

They have to hype 0bamacare instead of fixing it or ditching it.

Which is to say, to “win” in 2014 the Democrats have to hope for and enable anti-American policies at home and abroad.

14 posted on 12/31/2013 4:35:45 AM PST by Southack (The one thing preppers need from the 1st World? .)
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To: Diogenesis

“The Undocumented One must
Resign OR be the first pRes_ _ent
to be Impeached and Convicted for treason.”

The political class, even if they despise each other, stick together like ancient royalty when it comes to dealing with the peasants. It’s important not to puncture the imbued-with-power-by-God image for fear that if one of the anointed is deposed that the peasants might see them all for what they really are. So, Obama will be treated with respect by his peers in Congress even though some of them would like to see his head on a stick, because each of them fears that if one falls that they will eventually be mounted on the stick too.

15 posted on 12/31/2013 4:36:44 AM PST by Gen.Blather
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Apologize to the US for his sheer existence.
Turn himself in to authorities.
Work in prison laundry.
Drop the soap.

16 posted on 12/31/2013 4:37:40 AM PST by albie
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
All lies, and targeted not to the public but to a friendly news media, providing advance instruction on how to spin things in 2014.

I'm guessing that the source for this article (the unnamed former "senior official") is David Plouffe, once Obama's senior adviser. It might be Van Jones or Anita Dunn, but I'm guessing Plouffe, because it sounds like him: a political radical to the core, with nary a hint of compromise, and now well-ensconced at the home of the Permanent Obama Campaign, a/k/a Organizing for Action.

17 posted on 12/31/2013 4:41:28 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (Cogito, ergo armatum sum.)
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To: yldstrk
get ready for the biggest kind of voter fraud

I second this. The midterms are going to be the culmination of 10 years of honing the practice of voting fraud. Expect modest but unremarkable gains by the GOP but more notably that the Senate will not change hands.

This will be proof that the Democrat machine has perfected this practice and will become more emboldened to push socialism and outright communism on us because they know they'll never lose. It's like having an inside track on a horse race.

18 posted on 12/31/2013 4:42:18 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: rarestia

Pretty damn sad if you ask me

19 posted on 12/31/2013 4:43:22 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Five things Obama must do to avoid lame-duck status ["It's not personal"]

Way too late for that.

20 posted on 12/31/2013 4:44:15 AM PST by DoodleDawg
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