Belmont Club

The train is leaving the station

The NYT reports how Republican Senators who refuse to get with the Obama stimulus package will be targeted on television.

WASHINGTON — Senator Judd Gregg awoke to the bad news on Thursday morning that a coalition of Democratic groups had planned to run television advertisements in his state to pressure him to support President Obama’s economic recovery plan. …

It isn’t that President Obama needs the votes. He just aims to fulfill his promise that he will get bipartisan support. If television attack ads are necessary to make everyone a big happy family, then so be it.

Given Democrats’ majority margins in the House and Senate, Mr. Obama is expected to get the stimulus measure he wants. But he also wants some Republican support in keeping with his separate campaign promise to change Washington’s polarized ways. In his latest overture, Mr. Obama invited senators from both parties to the White House to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, the eve of the Senate debate. …

Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, said both Senate and House Republicans should be worried about appearing as obstructionists. Mr. Plouffe said of Republican opposition, “It’s almost as if the election didn’t happen and that the message wasn’t received: that people in Washington need to cooperate a lot more than they have in the past.”

Is life is like football, a game of inches? Or is the vote on the stimulus package really like another kind of train, where guilt must be shared?

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