New York Times' Zeleny writes, GOPers are "expanding the battle for the House" into districts that Dems had once considered relatively safe, while Dems "began a strategy of triage" 10/11 to "fortify candidates who they believe stand the best chance of survival." Dem leaders took steps to pull out or cut back of their financial commitment to Reps. Steve Driehaus (D-OH), Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL) and Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA), as they acknowledged that these races "and several others were slipping out of reach."
The DCCC instead has spent money in districts that "is starkly different" from the map of targets when the campaign began. And the NRCC can "afford to make new investments" because the US Chamber of Commerce and others have "come to the aid" of GOP candidates who have far less money than Dem incumbents (Zeleny, New York Times, 10/12).
Dems "fear" 2010 could be the "year of the women's wipeout." Three Dem women senators elected in the class of '92 -- the original Year of the Woman -- "are at risk." Nearly a quarter of the 56 Dems in the House are "considered vulnerable" including a spate of rising stars. The ousting of a wide swath of Dem women would "chip away at a generation of female politicians inspired by the '92 election" (Cogan, Politico, 10/12).
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested to Dem activists in a letter that "if they don't donate and show up to vote in the midterm elections, it could mean a rollback of women's rights." Pelosi, in the letter: "Republicans have pledged to dismantle our most historic achievements for women and families, including a repeal of health insurance reform that has ended the days where being a woman in America qualifies as a preexisting condition" (Persaud, CBS, 10/12).
The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition is "headed for a major transition" after the midterms with the retirement of key founding Rep. John Tanner (D-TN) and many of the group's remaining members "under siege." Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) said the group could lose up to half of its 54 members. Cooper: "We don't know what the leadership positions will be like, because we don't know the outcome of the election." With Tanner's absence, the next in line would be Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL), though he faces a very tough re-election bid. Senior Dem aides also point to Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) as a potential future chair (Dennis/Palmer, Roll Call, 10/12).
A Foreclosure Feud
The "swelling outcry" over "fast-and-loose" foreclosures has "thrust the Obama" admin. back into the "uncomfortable position of sheltering the banking industry from the demands of an angry public."
Senior congressional Dems are joining "the calls for a national moratorium on foreclosures" but the WH is "once again is arguing against punishing the industry" as it did in '09 "amid the outcry over the unbreakable habit of paying large bonuses."
The admin's "basic logic has not changed." "Hitting the financial industry, officials argue in private and in public, hurts the broader economy. A moratorium on foreclosures may provide short-term political satisfaction in an overheated election climate, but the administration fears it will only delay the inevitable and necessary process of forcing many Americans out of homes they cannot afford. "
The "intramural argument" between Dems "reflects the political divisions between" and admin with 2 years to improve the economy and members facing an "angry electorate in less than a month" (Appelbaum, New York Times, 10/11).
Civil rights leader Joseph Lowery has recorded a radio ad for the DNC aimed at getting African-Americans to vote in the November election. The ad will run on nationally syndicated radio shows with strong black audiences and on urban radio in states such as PA, MO, IL, OH and FL (Wall Street Journal, 10/12).
To hear leading Dems tell it, "few things are scarier" than the prospect of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) as chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, where he could "scrutinize and criticize" the Obama WH on an array of topics, ranging from the stimulus to the federal response to the Gulf oil leak (Goad, Press-Enterprise, 10/11).