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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 09:41 AM ET, 03/10/2011

Can Obama’s political operation make a difference in budget fight?

Senate Democrats are practically begging Obama to insert himself into the budget fight with House Republicans. They want him to use his bully pulpit to make a broad case against GOP budget cuts as a job-killer (to coin a phrase) and a drag on economic growth.

In this context, it’s worth noting that Obama’s political operation does seem to be trying to insert itself into the budget battle. Organizing for America is out with a new email to supporters promising a hard line against GOP cuts and vowing to rally supporters behind the idea that our economic recovery is at stake:

President Obama is calling on both sides to come to the table and reach a reasonable solution -- a plan that builds for the future while eliminating wasteful spending in the present. A plan where cutting spending is done judiciously -- not recklessly. A plan with investments that create jobs -- not cuts that eliminate them...

So we’re standing with President Obama in a very public way -- with an open letter calling on Republicans to work with him and Democrats in Congress to pass a commonsense budget that works for the American people. Supporters will hand-deliver the petition, with your signature, to House Republicans -- making sure our combined voices ring loud and clear...

President Obama knows that this must be a shared sacrifice, and that some cuts must be made -- and he stands ready to work together to find a commonsense solution.

But the current Republican plan would knock this country down just as we’ve begun to stand back up.

This email, by the way, is the first to go out from new DNC executive director Patrick Gaspard.

Will this kind of thing make a difference? The problem for Dems has been that no one really has had a clear sense of what their bottom line is in the budget fight. We haven’t had a clear sense of what priorities Dems will go to the map for and what they view as expendable. We haven’t had a clear sense of what Dems are for, so all Organizing for America can do for the time being is attack the GOP plan as too extreme.

That’s beginning to change, however. Dems today laid out a clearer and broader road map, one calling for tax hikes on the rich, and cuts to unnecessary subsidies, to be part of the discussions. As Dems bring more specificity to their vision, Dems hope it will be easier to rally troops behind it. There will come a point in the negotiations where Dems will have a specific negotiating position from which they will be refusing to retreat. In theory, anyway. That’s where OFA comes in -- it will crank into gear in order to create a show of public support for that firm position. Or so Dems hope.

By  |  09:41 AM ET, 03/10/2011

 
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