The New York Times is reporting that the Obama Democrats are weighing a bold new ad strategy for the crescendo of the fall campaign. I’ll let the Times describe it (for the record, the White House is denying this):
President Obama’s political advisers, looking for ways to help Democrats and alter the course of the midterm elections in the final weeks, are considering a range of ideas, including national advertisements, to cast the Republican Party as all but taken over by Tea Party extremists, people involved in the discussion said.
White House and Congressional Democratic strategists are trying to energize dispirited Democratic voters over the coming six weeks, in hopes of limiting the party’s losses and keeping control of the House and Senate. The strategists see openings to exploit after a string of Tea Party successes split Republicans in a number of states, culminating last week with developments that scrambled Senate races in Delaware and Alaska.
When I first read this, it all sounded familiar to me. It took all of 10 seconds to remember why. The Democrats tried this identical tactic last year, and it didn’t work for them (the fact that they did this last year is why I don’t buy their current denial).
Here’s what happened. After the 2009 August recess, the Democrats were reeling when townhall meeting after townhall meeting blew up in their faces. In Texas, for instance, Dem. Rep Lloyd Doggett got caught on camera running away from his constituents at a grocery store in Austin, after they started asking him tough questions about ObamaCare that he didn’t want to answer. I was working for the Republican Party in Texas at the time, and had more than a little fun with Doggett’s cut and run act.