Marc Ambinder has what Tim Kaine will be rolling out for 2010, selling what the Democratic Congress has done right. Here’s a snippet:
** We’ve gone from recession to recovery.
** We’ve made more progress in the war on terror in the last eight months than was made in the preceding eight years.
** We’ve strengthened our relationships with our allies around the world.
** Two million people or more have jobs today who wouldn’t have without the bold action taken by this President and Democrats in Congress.
** We have the first Latina and only the third woman ever on the Supreme Court.
** We’re using science and fact in policy making instead of ideology and politics.
** We have the most transparent Administration in modern history, with tough ethics standards, and we are wringing the influence of special interests out of the policy making process.
The next part spells out why that even though people are sick of incumbents, when it comes to Republicans they’re still not convinced they’ll actually do anything. Obstructionism isn’t a strong selling point for legislators in a time when people want action.
Republicans have obstructed the President and worked to defeat his and the Democrats’ agenda for one primary reason – political calculation. They have placed their own politics above progress on our nation’s most pressing issues. Americans expect and appreciate a loyal opposition Party whose opposition is based in principle and genuine policy differences. But, we know for a fact that the Republicans set out before President Obama was even sworn into office with a plan to obstruct his agenda at all costs, no matter what the details, and notwithstanding that the American public wants to see meaningful cooperation at a time of significant economic crisis. From saying they wanted the President to fail and to break him politically, to trying to obstruct everything from health reform and the jobs bill, to blocking Administration appointments to sensitive national security posts, Republicans have failed to offer any positive vision for the country and instead just decided to go all in on a strategy of fighting against the President.
As for the Wall Street v. main street argument, Republicans blocked finreg for the third time today. Claire McCaskill was on with Andrea Mitchell promising that the Senate would stay all night tonight to get the bill passed so they can begin debate. That’s right, Republicans won’t even allow debate on finreg.
The new ABC poll offers reasons why, while revealing incumbent support is lowest since 1994.
Intensity on some issues, though, is another challenge for the Democrats. More Americans “strongly” disapproved than strongly approved of Obama’s performance on the economy (39 percent vs. 24 percent), on financial regulation (33 vs. 22 percent) and especially on the deficit (42 vs. 20 percent). To the extent that strong sentiment can motivate voter turnout, it’s a risk for Obama and an opportunity for the Republicans.
Consider this the topper.
In a party-to-party measure, Americans by 46-32 percent said they trust the Democratic Party over the Republicans to handle the main problems the country faces during the next few years. That slipped for the Republicans from a 43-37 percent division in February. Still, it’s nothing like the Democrats’ thumping 56-23 percent lead — the biggest in polling back to the early 1980s — a month after Obama’s election.
This “trust to handle” measure is one on which the Republicans pulled even with the Democrats in October 1994, making it one to watch closely as the 2010 campaign unfolds. The “inclined to reelect” result, meanwhile, matched its low, 32 percent, in a 1991 ABC-Post poll; it was similar, 34 percent, in October 1994.