Democrats have been crowing all year that they can’t wait to run on ObamaCare in 2014. In fact, they believed the law was deliberately structured to use as an issue in the 2014 election.
That’s what House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Nation back in August:
“The fact of the matter is, we will be running on Obamacare in 2014. In fact, we set it up to run on it in 2014,” Clyburn said. “All that you’re talking about right now kicks in as of January 1, 2014. We will start doing the exchanges on October 1, 2013.”
So the Democrat strategy all year has been, “go on offense.”
Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina will face voters in 2014 for the first time since voting for the Affordable Care Act — also known as “Obamacare” — three years ago. They aren’t apologizing for their vote, and several are pursuing an aggressive strategy: Embrace the law, help voters use it and fix what doesn’t work.
“I don’t run from my votes,” Begich told The Associated Press. “Politicians who sit around and say, ‘That’s controversial so I better run from it,’ just ask for trouble. Voters may not always agree with you, but they respect people who think about these issues and talk about them.”
The Politico reported back in June that the Democrats’ 2014 strategy was “own ObamaCare.”
Scarred by years of Republican attacks over Obamacare, with more in store next year, Democrats have settled on an unlikely strategy for the 2014 midterms: Bring it on.Party strategists believe that embracing the polarizing law — especially its more popular elements — is smarter politics than fleeing from it in the House elections.
Now that the ObamaCare launch has thus far been an unmitigated disaster, what are Dem strategists telling Politico? Oh, you’ll love this:
Democratic political strategists are racing to find the safest ground for 2014 House and Senate candidates who support the law but don’t want to be dragged down if things don’t get better — and fast. “Democrats running in 2014 need to be for fixing health care and need to run hard against those that want to repeal and defund it. They shouldn’t own responsibility for problems with the law or its implementation,” said one Democratic Party operative.
The Democrats’ campaign slogan for 2014 should be, “don’t blame us!” Which will be a great precursor to Hillary’s 2016 campaign slogan, “What difference does it make?!”