Republican presidential candidates have been stumping in the state of Iowa for weeks, but, six days before the Ames Straw Poll, Democrats have decided to make an entrance to the scene, as well:
The Democratic National Committee announced Monday morning that it’s launching a campaign to define the Republican presidential candidates as extremists trying to please “the far right Tea Party wing of their party and they are following the extreme agenda of Congressional Republicans instead of leading.”
As part of the push, the DNC is putting up a web video titled “Extreme Aims: Wrong for Seniors. Wrong for the Middle Class.” The party committee says to make its case it will put up a website that profiles the records of each GOP candidate. The DNC also promises an “innovative” Twitter campaign and events on the ground in Iowa throughout the week.
And DNC campaign materials won’t be the only Democratic presence in the Hawkeye State:
And President Obama himself will visit Iowa on Monday as the first stop on his bus tour of the Midwest, a tour that’s being billed as official White House business, but carries clearly political overtones.
It amounts to a concerted effort by Democrats to prevent the crop of Republican candidates from dominating the news cycle this week, and the attention of voters in a state that will be hotly contested in the general election. A Mason-Dixon poll earlier this month had Obama losing to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the arguable frontrunner for Iowa’s caucuses.
That the DNC chose to make the “extremity” of the GOP candidates’ position its focus is interesting. After all, to anyone steeped in the reality of what faces entitlement programs if no reform is attempted (i.e. they go bankrupt) and to anyone aware of the reality of the debt ceiling debate (i.e. Democrats presented no real alternative to Republican plans), the DNC’s approach just seems off and, well, a little too obvious:
The video clearly aims to capitalize on low congressional approval rates and a supposedly waning perception of the Tea Party, but Iowa — a state that has received what amounts to a substantive education in the Republican candidates’ views — is the wrong place to attempt that (i.e. Iowans won’t fall for it, at least not right now).
Overall, like the obnoxious Tea Party “terrorist” comments, the Democrats’ launch of a weeklong blitz in Iowa betrays their panic at growing conservative momentum.