The White House's villain du jour: John Boehner

But political scientists and strategists aren’t sure that demonizing Boehner, generally unknown outside Washington, and a few other notable Republicans is a winning strategy, since most voters generally don’t closely follow national politics. Outside the Beltway, they say, not that many people even know whom the president is talking about.

“Folks like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Joe Barton don’t even have 50 percent name recognition nationwide,” Tom Jensen, a pollster for the liberal group Public Policy Polling, said in an e-mail. “And for the most part, people who do know them are hard partisans whose voting preferences are pretty set in stone. This is the kind of thing where people who work in politics need to keep perspective about just how unfamiliar average people are with most of the movers and shakers in D.C.”…

White House surrogates have gone after Boehner specifically and often since the end of June. Most recently, Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden’s chief economist, wrote in a blog post last Wednesday insisting that Boehner “wants a lot of people to lose their jobs.” On Friday, he wrote another entry calling Boehner “confused” and mentioned his name seven times. A month before, he took the Ohio Republican to task over a stimulus report that he said was “full of half-truths and mistakes.”