OFA eyes House Dems, too

OFA EYES HOUSE DEMS, TOO…. On Wednesday, Organizing for America, the outgrowth of the Obama presidential campaign, launched its first television ad, targeting senators in eight targeted states: Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Ohio. It wasn’t subtle. The ad might as well have begun, “Dear Sens. Lincoln, Martinez, Bayh, Landrieu, Nelson, Snowe, Collins, Conrad, and Voinovich….”

As it turns out, senators aren’t the only ones being targeted. Ben Smith reported last night, “The ad doesn’t say this, but a look at the media markets indicates that the White House political operation hasn’t backed off targeting Democrats — and indeed, has stepped up that program. The ad will appear in 15 markets, all of them within districts of members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the key body for a health care bill. All 15 are occupied by members seen as swing voters inside the committee, and 12 of those 15 members are Democrats.”

Smith added, “The markets where the ad will run, according to the DNC press release, are: Savannah, Palm Springs, Seattle, Nashville, Bloomington, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Little Rock, Columbus, Marquette, Grand Rapids and Medford.”

To a certain extent, it may seem discouraging that Organizing for America and the DNC have to worry about Democratic votes at all. After all, at this point, with this historic opportunity within reach, one would like to think Dems would be on the same page, and wouldn’t need pressure to do the right thing.

But there are conservative Dems on the Hill, and their reluctance to change is obvious. I’m glad OFA isn’t hesitating to lean on these, shall we say, skeptics of reform. They’re certainly going to get plenty of pressure from the right, so perhaps these ads will help establish some kind of lobbying equilibrium.