Chamber of Commerce: Democrats Want to Intimidate Our Donors
Is Obama preparing for 2012?
3:18 PM, Oct 13, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Why, oh why, is the Obama administration spending so much time three weeks before the election attacking the Chamber of Commerce? There are different theories.
Democrats might actually believe that it will help them win votes--remember, they thought suing Arizona over its immigration law would boost Hispanic support (they were just badly mistaken). The DNC sent out a Bloomberg poll that shows 47 percent of voters are less likely to vote for a candidate whose "campaign was aided by advertising paid for by anonymous business groups." But the real question is where this "issue" falls on the list of voters' priorities. It seems unlikely that it's high enough to actually motivate people to vote.
Glenn Reynolds thinks that the attacks are all "about constructing a narrative of defeat for their base, so that when they get clobbered in November they can blame it on scheming billionaires and evil foreigners instead of admitting that they elected an empty suit, and proceeded to push a wildly unpopular program over the clearly stated objections of a large majority of American voters." That seems like a plausible theory. They don't want 2010 to be seen as a referendum on Obamacare.
But I think that the attacks on the Chamber aren't so much about 2010 as they are about 2012. Obama might not be able to stop the Chamber from funding attack ads now--but he may be able to deter other corporate groups from spending big money against him. The Obama administration may deter other groups by showing them that they will pay a price for their political activites. Democrats in Minnesota effectively beat Target into submission for funding a group that backed the state's GOP gubernatorial candidate, and that was probably the goal here with the attacks on the Chamber. As a Chamber of Commerce official tells ABC's Jake Tapper:
Of course, at this point most of the money for the 2010 cycle has already been given away. Considering the blowback the administration has faced this past week, the hope of deterring corporations from spending on 2012 may have backfired.