Feb 15 2013

 

 

 

Shrum1

The President seems liberated knowing he will not have to seek one more term. Never again does the President have to seek re-election. However commentator and author Robert Shrum makes the case in his Daily Beast column that the President must run one more election in 2014. He feels it is essential for the President to keep the Senate and win back the House in order to become of the greatest President's in history.

Here is an excerpt from Shrum's column:

But what can and should Barack Obama do to secure his landmark objectives and assure that his final two years aren’t a token presidency in the domestic arena? He will have to invoke the full persuasive power of the bully pulpit—and sustain the full firepower of his vaunted political organization in 2014. In effect, he will have to run all out for a third term in the midterms.

Precedent is nearly uniformly against him, although JFK in the wake of the Cuban missile crisis saw Democrats gain four seats in the Senate—gaining nearly a two-thirds majority—while losing only four of their massive majority in the House. Similarly, under less fortunate circumstances, Bill Clinton’s party actually picked up five House seats in 1998. Democrats might have taken control then, if the president had had his way despite skittish party strategists, and advanced a decisive argument sooner than in the last two weeks: why are Republicans so obsessed with impeachment when the country wants Washington to focus on Social Security, education, the environment, and Medicare? I helped make the ads; it was too late for a sea change, but late enough to break the midterm jinx.

To confound the conventional, almost ominous predictions about 2014, Obama will have to articulate and amplify the narrative of his campaign last year. He will have to argue not intermittently but consistently that it’s time to do the country’s business and fulfill the voters’ mandate. He will have to say to them: You elected a president who’s on your side. Now will you elect a Congress on your side so we can move America forward? And he will have to be as totally engaged as he was in 2012.

He may have to explain why Republicans are responsible for a sluggish economic recovery. He will have to demand economic fairness. And if it doesn’t happen, he will have to insist day after day on real immigration reform. He will have to stand against the war on women. He can—and must—bring Hispanics, African-Americans, women, young people, and gays to the midterm polls in unexpected and unprecedented numbers. The changing contours of the American electorate shaped his triumph last fall. They are a demographic reality—but in November, the president and his state-of-the-art, ahead-of-the-arc campaign made certain that demography was destiny.

And that’s the heart of a second imperative. Yes, from the bully pulpit, Obama can provide air cover; he can even appeal to national-security voters by holding the GOP accountable for the indiscriminate slashing of the defense budget. But something more will be required. On the ground, Obama for America, now renamed Organizing for America, will have to wage a nonstop battle to reach and mobilize the sometime voters who can make the difference if they just turn out. If you receive the OFA emails, you are looking at the early signs of just such an effort.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and campaign chair Steve Israel have identified the districts where Democrats can capture the 17 seats that will give them a majority. I was at a meeting last week where they made a convincing case that this was more than possible. Pelosi, the most effective speaker in memory, is now the most tireless campaigner and fundraiser. She did more than 600 events in the last two years—and will do 600 more in the midterm season. But she and the members of her party—in House contests and in vulnerable and winnable Senate seats, too—absolutely need the full weight of the Obama enterprise: social media, granular voter contact, and tailored messages that push and follow potential supporters all the way to the ballot box. Democrats also need a relentless, OFA-led movement to combat suppression and persuade voters to wait in long lines if they have to.

Finally, money matters—even if it couldn’t buy Mitt Romney and Karl Rove a win because they were so plainly out of touch and out of the mainstream. The president’s already agreed to 14 fundraising events for House and Senate Democrats this year—“an aggressive schedule,” according to one party official. There will be more such events. But there should be—and I think will be—a more intense offensive on a wider front. OFA should launch and fund a super PAC targeted on the most promising and perilous races—and designed as well to replace Republican governors and legislators in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

No past president has ever pulled off something with the scope and impact of what I’m suggesting here. But Obama has already written singular chapters in American politics. In 2014, for the sake of his vision, his legacy, and the land he has twice been elected to lead, he may—and probably will—have to upend the settled order of things one more time.

He called last year his last campaign. He has another one in him. And that may decide whether his last two years, and even these two, are truly consequential and not just a case of counting down the days.

You can read the entire column by clicking here.....