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- January 23, 2013

Democrats Are Showing Signs Of Frustration With Obama's 'All About Me' Approach

STATE PARTY DEMOCRATS AREN'T THRILLED WITH OBAMA'S NEW ADVOCACY GROUP

Some Key Democrats Are Worried That Organizing For Action "Will Marginalize The Traditional Party Apparatus, Cannibalizing Dollars And Volunteers." "Some key Democrats worry that President Obama's new Organizing for Action group will marginalize the traditional party apparatus, cannibalizing dollars and volunteers while making it harder to elect down-ballot candidates." (James Hohmann, "Dem Officials Fret Over New Obama Nonprofit," Politico, 1/23/13)

Pennsylvania Democrat Party Chairman Jim Burns On Organizing For Action: "If They Don't Engage With Us Will Be Stepping On A Lot Of Land Mines." "'We speak Pennsylvania,' said the Pennsylvania Democratic party chairman Jim Burns, 'so if you come into Montgomery County and set up shop, you better talk to the party chairman there before you start walking in his backyard. If they don't engage with us they will be stepping on a lot of land mines.'" (Beth Reinhard, "Democrats Grumbling About Obama Lobbying Shop," National Journal, 1/23/13)

Virginia Democrat Party Vice Chairman Fred Hudson: "We Need A Unified Organization That Will Bring About Victories In 2013 And 2014, And We Don't Need To Be Splitting Our Efforts." "Fred Hudson, vice chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, said OFA would inevitably weaken the traditional party structure. 'We need a unified organization that will bring about victories in 2013 and 2014, and we don't need to be splitting our efforts,' said Hudson, alluding to his state's high-stakes race for governor this year."(Beth Reinhard, "Democrats Grumbling About Obama Lobbying Shop," National Journal, 1/23/13)

  • Hudson: "It's A Recipe For How To Lose An Election. We've Been Told There Will Be No Competition For Fundraising, But That's Difficult For Me To Accept, And There Will Certainly Be Competition For Staff And Volunteers." (Beth Reinhard, "Democrats Grumbling About Obama Lobbying Shop," National Journal, 1/23/13)

Minnesota Democrat Chairman Ken Martin: "You Can't Strip The Party Bare And Expect In Four Years That We're Going To Be Able To Pick Up The Pieces And Get A Democrat Elected President." "State party leaders grumbled Tuesday at the Democratic National Committee's meeting in Washington about a lack of detail on how exactly the new tax-exempt advocacy organization will work. 'It's still a big question mark right now,' said Minnesota Democratic chairman Ken Martin. 'We were told before the end of this campaign that all of that [the Obama campaign machinery] would fold into state parties. Now we're being told something different, which is they're going to set up this 501(c)(4).' Martin backs the idea of the new structure in theory but worries that the organizations responsible for actually electing Democrats will get left behind in the chase for donors and activists. 'I'm not a dummy,' he said. 'I understand post-Citizens United the necessity to set up vehicles for different types of money to flow, but the reality is you can't strip the party bare and expect in four years that we're going to be able to pick up the pieces and get a Democrat elected president if you've completely stopped building capacity within the party.'" (James Hohmann, "Dem Officials Fret Over New Obama Nonprofit," Politico, 1/23/13)

North Carolina Democrat Party Chairman David Parker: "People Are Very Concerned." "'People are very concerned. They don't know where it will lead,' said North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman David Parker. 'The concerns vary. Nothing in particular, and everything in general. … There's always a question of what does a successful reelection campaign do after the show is over. Is there another play to be involved with? Or what? And we're in the 'or what' stage?'"(James Hohmann, "Dem Officials Fret Over New Obama Nonprofit," Politico, 1/23/13)

Democrat State Party Chairman: "Essentially, It's An End Run Around The DNC And State Parties." "Other Democratic leaders huddling at the Omni Shoreham Hotel would not go so far on the record the day after the president's inauguration, but they view the post-election shuffle with just as much apprehension. 'Essentially, it's an end run around the DNC and state parties,' said a third state chairman. 'For the long-term health of our party, I don't think it is the way to go. I don't think fighting for donors is the way to do it. ... We've won five of the last six popular votes in the general elections, so something's working." (James Hohmann, "Dem Officials Fret Over New Obama Nonprofit," Politico, 1/23/13)

  • Democrat State Party Chairman: Organizing For Action Is "Going To Push The President's Agenda" And Not "Help Democrats Elect Democrats." "'The simple truth of the matter is that OFA 4.0, or whatever it is now, is not going to work to elect our local legislators,' the chairman added. 'It's not going to work to elect our local governors. It's going to work to push the president's agenda. I come from a state where the president's not very popular. My elected Democrats are not always going to line up with him, and getting the activists all juiced up over it doesn't help elect Democrats.'" (James Hohmann, "Dem Officials Fret Over New Obama Nonprofit," Politico, 1/23/13) 

OBAMA'S VICE PRESIDENT HAS STARTED TO SET THE GEARS IN MOTION FOR HIS OWN PRESIDENTIAL RUN

"Biden, According To A Number Of Advisers And Democrats Who Have Spoken To Him In Recent Months, Wants To Run, Or At Least Be Well Positioned To Run, If And When He Decides To Pull The Trigger ." "He's right. Biden, according to a number of advisers and Democrats who have spoken to him in recent months, wants to run, or at least be well positioned to run, if and when he decides to pull the trigger. Biden has expressed a clear sense of urgency, convinced the Democratic field will be defined quickly - and that it might very well come down to a private chat with Hillary Clinton about who should finish what Barack Obama started." (Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin and Jim VandeHei, "Joe Biden 'Intoxicated' By 2016 Run," Politico, 1/23/13)

  • "'He's Intoxicated By The Idea, And It's Impossible Not To Be Intoxicated By The Idea,' Said A Democrat Close To The White House." (Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin and Jim VandeHei, "Joe Biden 'Intoxicated' By 2016 Run," Politico, 1/23/13)

Yesterday, Biden Met With Democrat Delegates, "The Latest Move He's Made Over The Past Few Days" Indicating That He's Considering A Presidential Run In 2016. "Vice President Joe Biden met with Democratic Party delegates Tuesday afternoon, the latest move he's made over the past few days that could be considered an early signal that the vice president may be laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 run for the White House." (Paul Steinhauser, "Biden's Moves Spark Talk Of A 2016 Presidential Bid," CNN, 1/23/13)

  • "Tuesday's Outreach To Influential Democratic Leaders And Activists From Across The Country Follows A Weekend Of Hints That Biden May Be Gearing Up For What Would Be His Third Bid For The White House." (Paul Steinhauser, "Biden's Moves Spark Talk Of A 2016 Presidential Bid," CNN, 1/23/13)

During Inauguration Weekend, Biden Attended The Iowa State Society's Inaugural Ball. "Saturday night the vice president stopped by the Iowa State Society's inaugural ball in Washington, and Sunday Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire's Democratic governor, attended Biden's swearing-in ceremony at the Naval Observatory, which serves as the vice president's residence. Top state party officials from Iowa also were in attendance. Iowa's caucuses and New Hampshire's primary just so happen to lead off the presidential primary and caucus calendar." (Paul Steinhauser, "Biden's Moves Spark Talk Of A 2016 Presidential Bid," CNN, 1/23/13)

On Sunday, "Biden Invited 200 Democratic Insiders Over To His Home And The Guest List Included Some Of The Most Influential Figures In National And Early-State Democratic Politics." "Biden's most revealing move may have been to hold a little-discussed Sunday night party at the vice president's mansion. He invited about 200 Democratic insiders over to his home and the guest list included some of the most influential figures in national and early-state Democratic politics. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson , former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, NAACP head Ben Jealous, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon all were in attendance." (Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin and Jim VandeHei, "Joe Biden 'Intoxicated' By 2016 Run," Politico, 1/23/13)

  • "What Really Raised Eyebrows Among The Attendees Were Just How Many Democrats From The Traditional First Nominating States Made The Trek To The Naval Observatory." "But what really raised eyebrows among the attendees were just how many Democrats from the traditional first nominating states made the trek to the Naval Observatory. There were big names such as South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat and a Palmetto State powerhouse, but also lesser-known activists." (Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin and Jim VandeHei, "Joe Biden 'Intoxicated' By 2016 Run," Politico, 1/23/13)

During The 2012 Campaign, Officials Were "Struck" By How Biden "Always Seemed To Have One Eye On A Run", "Aggressively Courting The President's Donors" And Campaigning In Early States. "And the intoxication is hardly new. Officials working on the Obama-Biden campaign last year were struck by how the vice president always seemed to have one eye on a run, including aggressively courting the president's donors. Obama aides at times had to actively steer Biden to places where he was needed - like Pennsylvania - because he kept asking to be deployed to Iowa, New Hampshire and other early states." (Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin and Jim VandeHei, "Joe Biden 'Intoxicated' By 2016 Run," Politico, 1/23/13)

  • "Biden Was Way More Into The Donors Than Obama Was." "'He wasn't just doing fundraising the campaign assigned to him,' said a campaign adviser. 'He was inviting people to the mansion to hang out and have dinner.' Biden was way more into the donors than Obama was. 'He embraced it with a tirelessness and a gusto that even the president didn't,' another campaign official said." (Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin and Jim VandeHei, "Joe Biden 'Intoxicated' By 2016 Run," Politico, 1/23/13)

New Hampshire State Sen. Lou D'Allesandro: "There's No Question" That Biden Is Thinking About 2016. "Joe Biden summoned more than 200 Democratic insiders to the vice presidential residence Sunday night to chat about the 2012 triumph - but many walked away convinced his rising 2016 ambitions were the real intent of the long, intimate night. 'I took a look at who was there,' said longtime New Hampshire state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, 'and said to myself, 'There's no question he's thinking about the future.''"(Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin and Jim VandeHei, "Joe Biden 'Intoxicated' By 2016 Run," Politico, 1/23/13)

Iowa Democrat Party Chair Sue Dvorsky: "I Imagine We Might See Quite A Bit Of Him Again." "Outgoing Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Sue Dvorsky, who saw Biden Saturday night at her state's inaugural ball and who attended Biden's Sunday swearing-in ceremony, says 'I imagine we might see quite a bit of him again.'" (Paul Steinhauser, "Biden's Moves Spark Talk Of A 2016 Presidential Bid," CNN, 1/23/13)

OBAMA'S SECOND-TERM AGENDA NOT NECESSARILY ALIGNED WITH SENATE DEMOCRATS' PLANS

The New York Times ' Jeff Zeleny Said That Much Of Obama's Top Priorities Couldn't Pass The Democrat Senate. MSNBC's JOE SCARBOROUGH: "They could do this on every one of the President's top priorities. And chances are good the President's top priorities, as stated today, wouldn't pass the Democratic Senate. " JEFF ZELENY: "I think a lot of them would not." (MSNBC's " Morning Joe," 1/23/13)

Obama Senior Adviser David Plouffe Reiterated That Obama Wants To Continue Increasing Taxes, Rather Than Focus On Cutting Spending. ABC's GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "Both the House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell said the revenue debate is over. No more taxes. Are you saying that the President will only sign a budget deal if it includes new revenues?" DAVID PLOUFFE: "Yes, it's got to be balanced. And by the way, they weren't saying that a matter of weeks ago. Remember, Speaker Boehner said $800 billion in revenue from closing loopholes. What's changed in the last four weeks? Nothing. So there's plenty of loopholes whether it's people shipping jobs overseas who gets preferential tax treatment. The subsidies to the energy companies. Loopholes for, you know, billionaires, there are things we can close here to make our taxes…" STEPHANOPOULOS: "So you're saying no deal if they don't give on taxes?" PLOUFFE: We need balance, George. We need spending cuts, entitlement reform, and revenue. Have to have that." (ABC's "This Week," 1/20/13)

"No Matter How The Debt Ceiling Battle Turns Out, Obama Is Almost Certain To Face New Pressure From 2014 Senate Democrats Over Cutting Deeper Into The Budget." (John Bresnahan and Manu Raju, "Red-State Democrats May Break With White House," Politico, 1/18/13)

  • Twenty Democrat-Held Senate Seats Are Up For Grabs In 2014, Many In States That Obama Lost In November By Double-Digit Margins. "For Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his top lieutenants, the challenges of balancing the 2014 Senate map and President Barack Obama's second-term agenda could cause as many headaches as anything Republicans throw at them. Overall, 20 Democratic-held Senate seats are up for grabs next year, versus 13 for Republicans. Democratic incumbents face reelection in solidly red states like Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana and South Dakota, all of which Obama lost by double-digit margins in November." (John Bresnahan and Manu Raju, "Red-State Democrats May Break With White House," Politico, 1/18/13)

Voting For A Senate Democrat Budget Could Be Perilous For Democrats Representing Red States. "Republicans wasted no time in casting those efforts as just the Democrats' latest tax-raising enterprise, and could find an effective cudgel against a half-dozen Senate Democrats - including the chairman of the tax-writing Finance Committee, Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.) - seeking reelection in states that Mitt Romney carried in 2012." (Erik Wasson and Bernie Becker, "Budget Tax Increases Would Put Red-State Dems In Tough Spot," The Hill 's On The Money, 1/22/13)

  • Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT), Mark Begich (D-AK), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), And Mark Pryor (D-AR) All Could Face Political Backlash In Their States In 2014 Should They Decide To Vote For A Budget That Includes Tax Increases. "In addition to Baucus, Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) are seeking reelection in 2014 in states that went red in last year's presidential election. A seventh Senate Democrat, Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.), is retiring instead of running for another term in a state that voted overwhelmingly for Romney." (Erik Wasson and Bernie Becker, "Budget Tax Increases Would Put Red-State Dems In Tough Spot," The Hill 's On The Money, 1/22/13)
  • Sen. Begich (D-AK) Said "The President Must Propose - Or We Should - A Combination Of Spending Cuts. We Cannot Do This Budget Just On The Revenue Issue That We Did At The End Of Last Year." "'I'm going to underline something very strong here: The president must propose - or we should - a combination of spending cuts,' Begich said. 'We cannot do this budget just on the revenue issue that we did at the end of last year.'" (John Bresnahan and Manu Raju, "Red-State Democrats May Break With White House," Politico, 1/18/13)
  • Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) Said "We Have To Do A Budget. We Aren't Going To Do Anything Of Consequence Here Until The Budget Is Done." "Yet some of Mr. Obama's most ambitious goals still require action from Congress, and Republicans still control the House. Even the Republicans' decision to agree to an effective three-month extension on the debt ceiling creates complications, by keeping the budget fight high on the agenda. Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, expressed the uphill climb with fiscal matters looming over the Capitol Hill, declaring: 'We have to do a budget. We aren't going to do anything of consequence here until the budget is done.'" (Jeff Zeleny, "In New Term, First Year Is Crucial For Obama Agenda," The New York Times, 1/23/13)

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