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Can vulnerable Dems' surrogates solve a problem like Obama? (The Mooch appears)
The Hill ^ | 5/11/14 | Alexandra Jaffe

Posted on 05/11/2014 3:45:03 AM PDT by Libloather

Vulnerable Democrats are reaching out to first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden and other surrogates this fall instead of President Obama, whose low approval ratings make him a cancer for many campaigns.

The party may face flagging enthusiasm from the base, but the president, the figure typically best able to counteract that, has lost most of his luster and may do more harm than good this fall.

Strategist and former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Doug Thornell admitted that the president won’t be much good in red states where Democrats are up for re-election, like North Carolina and Louisiana.

“It would certainly be better if his numbers were stronger in those states,” he said.

But Thornell and others touted the deep bench of Democratic stars that the party has to make up for Obama’s pitfalls this cycle.

“There is not a Republican that’s even in the same league as the top surrogates in the Democratic Party, in terms of fundraising powers, creating positive headlines, turning out the base,” he argued.

First lady Michelle Obama is already hitting the trail, and made one of her first midterm campaign stops in Louisiana on Saturday to meet with veterans’ wives alongside Sen. Mary Landrieu (D). A new poll out this week gave Landrieu her lowest approval rating yet, just six points ahead of President Obama's 64 percent disapproval rating.

But the first lady is much more popular than her husband, posting a 66 percent national approval rating in March of this year.

Vice President Biden is expected to be useful as well this cycle. Even though he has much of the same baggage as the president, but is perhaps more likeable and personable than Obama.

In those red states, Democratic strategists also see a role for some of the more centrist senators, like Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), both of whom won tough campaigns last cycle in red states that mirror some of the party’s top races this cycle.

Heitkamp recently campaigned with West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who’s facing a fierce campaign for Senate similar to the one that Heitkamp won last cycle.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), another more pragmatic female senator, will also be on the campaign trail for Democrats this cycle and notably helped out in Kentucky, where the Agriculture Committee chairwoman touted Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’ commitment to farmers and slammed Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on the issue.

And of course, up and down the ballot, Democratic candidates and incumbents are clamoring for the party’s uber-surrogates: Bill and Hillary Clinton, almost universally well-liked within the party and capable not only of exciting the base but of convincing swing voters as well.

Bill Clinton has already campaigned in a Florida House special election and Kentucky’s Senate race. Hillary is expected to hit the trail as well, her potency enhanced all the more by the likelihood of a presidential run in two years.

But the issue for Democrats isn’t just that Obama could be a problem in the red states; it’s also the fact that he doesn’t have the same effect on the base he once did.

Progressives have expressed frustration in recent months over what they see as too much compromise from the president. And as Chris Kofinis, Manchin’s former chief of staff, pointed out, after nearly six years of Obama pontificating on the trail, his stump speeches may not pack the same punch.

“A president’s ability to influence voters and turn the base out has diminishing returns in the second term, because they’ve heard it. They’ve heard it so many times, it can become stale,” said Kofinis.

That’s where rising progressive stars like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) come in. Booker is expected to help raise money for candidates and may hit the campaign trail for some as well. Warren, a hero of the left, has already been on the road and has a fundraiser planned for Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), a newly-minted Republican target, later this month.

Other surrogates may be helpful in appealing to specific subsets of the Democratic base that are in danger of not turning out this November.

One national party strategist said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards could be out on the trail for female candidates, pushing the party’s message on the GOP’s “War on Women” to single female voters. Another noted San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D) and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) could be useful for House candidates and lawmakers, making their pitch to Hispanic and African American voters, respectively.

Still, Obama won’t entirely disappear this cycle.

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), one of those red-state Democrats running in a state where Obama’s more of a bane than a boon to his campaign, actually appeared alongside him this week to survey tornado damage in the state. But the backdrop of the tragedy was hardly a campaign event, and it’s unlikely the president would be back in a political capacity for him again.

Where the president’s appearance can emphasize the advantage of a senator’s seniority, he may be greeted more warmly.

Obama’s already committed to raise money for each of the Democratic campaign committees and just completed a fundraising swing for them through California this week. And one national strategist involved in House races said he could be helpful in some of the party’s top congressional contests.

"We do want Obama out there. A lot of our races are in places like New York and Illinois and California, where his numbers are stronger and he helps with turnout,” the strategist said.

But Democratic operatives cautioned that surrogates can only go so far, and candidates would do well not to lean too heavily on them, even with a daunting political climate and turnout woes dogging their party this cycle.

“Here’s the cold reality: Surrogates aren’t going to win you the election. You are,” Kofinis said. “At the end of the day, you’re either capable of painting a contrast with your opponent, or you’re not.”

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: elections; landrieu; louisiana; louisianapurchase; mooch; obama; obamacare; surrogates
More golf time for Hussein.
1 posted on 05/11/2014 3:45:03 AM PDT by Libloather
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To: Libloather

So they actually think that Mrs. Obama and Vice President Biden are popular? How insulated can you be?

2 posted on 05/11/2014 3:50:26 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: Libloather

Yes, a FLOTUS who only became proud of her country when her husband ran for the Presidency - a FLOTUS known more for her lavish girl-friends-and-friends-included exotic vacations - a FLOTUS known for exorbitantly expensive haute couture, footwear and high-style coiffes - a FLOTUS whose only activism to date has been telling school children “do as I say, not as I do” with respect to the food they can eat - and a FLOTUS who finally took a chic stand on 300 abducted Nigerian Girls by Muslim Boko Haram along with several Hollywood do-gooders (after the entire world has overlooked and abetted Sharia’s mistreatment and enslavement of girls and women the world over on ten-a hundred-a thousand - ten thousand times more?)

Yeah, finally a FLOTUS that can do some good for her hubby?

3 posted on 05/11/2014 4:05:35 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: All
Vulnerable 2014 Democrat candidates are reaching out to first lady Michelle Obama, and other surrogates b/c Obama's low approval ratings make him a cancer for many campaigns.....and, besides, many Democrats are asking him to stay away.

Mmmmmmmm....I just can't wait til Michele campaigns in her diamonds and $12,000 dresses. Voters struggling to survive in the dismal Obama economy will appreciate the "vision thing" she lends to Democrat campaigns.

4 posted on 05/11/2014 4:10:19 AM PDT by Liz
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To: Liz

Not to worry, she’ll don her Walmart sweater & ugly belts.

5 posted on 05/11/2014 4:18:49 AM PDT by FES0844
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To: All
Michelle Obama campaigned for an increasingly desperate Sen. Mary Landrieu. Landrieu keeps sinking in the polls; her last rating is just six points ahead of President Obama's 64% disapproval rating.


One astute observer points out that the Democrat-controlled Senate passed Obamacare on an historic straight party-line vote "after a series of unsavory transactions that purchased the assent of several shrewdly extortionate Democrats."

The most unsavory was Landrieu's $4.3 billion "Louisisana Purchase."

THE PAPER TRAIL IS HUGE Sen Landrieu (Scumocrat-LA) sold her aye vote in what Forbes Magazine dubbed "The 'Louisiana Purchase" that included a massive $4.3 Billion to Landrieu.

FORBES REPORTED the Democrats’ nailed Landrieu’s support for Obamacare w/ a greenback bribe. Landrieu, critics believe, pledged her vote in exchange for some $200 million more additional federal funds for Louisiana. Except that, due to a drafting error, the law ended up giving Louisiana $4.3 billion: more than twenty times the assigned amount. MORE HERE

How $4.3 billion to Landrieu was attached to the Obamacare bill, and how Obama and Reid failed to catch and fix it, is yet another indictment of the Obamacare atrocity. The payoff to Landrieu should be investigated as an indication of how EVERY Democrat came to vote for Obamacare.


BACKSTORY In the fall of 2009, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was trying to get the necessary 60 Dimocrat votes to pass the Affordable Care Act. He needed every Dim on board, which gave waffling senators a great deal of leverage. In Landrieu's case, she connivingly saw that selling her aye vote could get her maybe $200 million federal dollars. Obama complied--- Reid chalked up another vote for Obamacare---and the $4.3 Landrieu giveaway was attached to the Obamacare bill.


MEMO TO LOUISIANA VOTERS--- Tolerant and compassionate Landrieu:

(1) sold her vote to the Democrat party apparat,

(2) she voted for throwing Louisianans off affordable health plans,

(3) voted for nationalizing 1/6 of the US economy,

(4) voted for IPAB's,

(5) for decimating intergenerational transfers of wealth (grandma/pa's holdings go to the govt---not to you),

(6) for pulling $750 billion out of Medicare,

(7) for drug-rationing,

(8) for abandoning seniors and the chronically ill.

When she had the chance to restore affordable care to worried voters, Landrieu voted AGAINST Sen Mike Enzi's 2010 bill that allowed Americans to keep their existing Dummycrats swore they could.

6 posted on 05/11/2014 4:21:40 AM PDT by Liz
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To: Libloather

From messiah to a problem, there goes the utopia!

7 posted on 05/11/2014 4:31:31 AM PDT by ronnie raygun
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To: ronnie raygun

“.....the president... has lost most of his luster and may do more harm than good this fall.”....

And now the demodummies are resorting to the Mooooooooooooch? They ARE in DEEP DOODO!

8 posted on 05/11/2014 4:35:18 AM PDT by DaveA37
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Drowning man...anvil.

9 posted on 05/11/2014 5:06:15 AM PDT by relictele (Principiis obsta & Finem respice - Resist The Beginnings & Consider The End)
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To: ronnie raygun

“From messiah to a problem, there goes the utopia!”

From your lips to G-d’s ears.


10 posted on 05/11/2014 5:21:06 AM PDT by ripley
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