The White House and its allies are focusing on the campaign spending of outside quasi-political organizations -- most notably American Crossroads -- in the final weeks of the 2010 midterms, trying to turn these groups into bogeymen for voters.
"These groups deserve a lot more scrutiny because they're not bit players," said David Plouffe, who managed Obama's 2008 campaign, at a round table for reporters Thursday. "I think our candidates have been spending a lot of time on this, the President's talked about this, we're going to continue to raise this."
And, at a campaign stop in Maryland on Thursday, the President himself devoted a considerable amount of time to groups like American Crossroads, the idea for which came from former Bush White House senior adviser Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, and the Chamber of Commerce, both of which he argued are unduly influencing the election.
"This is a threat to our democracy," said Obama at a rally for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). "The American people deserve to know who's trying to sway their elections."
Democratic leaders are trying anything and everything to ensure that the party's most reliable voters turn out this fall. Raising the image of Rove -- a hated figure in the Democratic party -- in the context of outside money being spent to influence elections could well help set the stakes for the party base.
But, it's a message almost certainly lost on -- and ignored by -- independents looking for answers on the economy.
Friday, October 8, 2010
American Crossroads as Boogeyman
Chris Cillizza reports at The Washington Post: