Greg Sargent (The Plum Line), with video (00:30):
Now this is a pretty in-your-face move: The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which yesterday unveiled a new ad hitting Obama as weak in the Bush tax cut fight, is now going to run the ad in Iowa.
Yesterday, PCCC announced that the ad -- which you can watch below -- would run only on D.C. cable, which meant it would only be seen by political elites. But Adam Green of the PCCC says that the group has since yesterday raised more than $50,000 from some 3,000 people to fund the ad, allowing the group to put it on the air in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.
This means actual voters will see the spot, the first hitting Obama from the left of the new cycle. Iowa has special significance, because it's there that Obama made his 2007 campaign promise to let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire, which is the centerpiece of the ad. The spot demands that Obama stick to his promise and not "cave" to Republicans by extending the tax cuts for the rich.
"We're bringing our ad to the place President Obama made his core campaign promise of letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire," Green tells me. "There is no room for compromise on an issue where the promise is so clear and where the Republicans are standing with the wealthiest 2% of Americans against the entirety of the American people."
Between this spot and the new one unveiled this morning by MoveOn, it's clear that the left has settled on a strategy of actively trying to damage Obama politically with the base and with left-leaning independents by painting him as weak, to force him to draw a harder line against Republicans. The left, clearly, has no intention of stopping with these efforts.
Surely some will insist that it only helps Obama to be attacked from the left. But efforts to encourage the perception that Obama is weak and refuses to fight -- which is gaining some traction with the mainstream media, whether fair or not -- could very well damage Obama politically over the long term. And the White House will probably have to deal with it sooner or later.