One of the things I have spent a lot of time doing in my career is independent expenditure projects like this new pro-Clinton operation:
ABC News has learned that a group of Democratic politicos have set up a new independent 527 organization called the American Leadership Project (ALP) with the express purpose of helping Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, beat Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, in Ohio, and possibly Texas and Pennsylvania as well.
Free from campaign finance rules, ALP will not be legally permitted to coordinate with the Clinton campaign, but it is clearly intended to help her.
The group is targeting through TV ads, mail, and phone communications white women under 50 in the Ohio area -- specifically Cleveland, Columbus, Youngstown, Charleston (WV), Wheeling- Steubenville, Zanesville, and Parkersburg (WV).
White men will also be a focus, and if there are any excess funds Latinos in Texas and middle class families in Pennsylvania will also be targeted.
ALP has developed three ads aimed at pushing the idea that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, is a talker and not a doer -- the ads are called "If speeches could solve problems" -- and they will contrast Obama and Clinton on issues of importance to middle class voters, such as the economy, health care, and the mortgage crisis.
"Our purpose is to encourage audiences to look beyond the campaign speeches and political rhetoric to specific proposals to address these core issues," says an ALP mission statement obtained by ABC News.
The plan right now is for the TV ads to never actually mention Obama -- rather, the statements about rhetoric vs. reality will go after him through implication, the contrast between Clinton and Obama already being so well-known.
Here's the ad:
I have some big questions about the legality of this new organization, but I haven't looked at all their paperwork or talked to their lawyers, so I will leave that aside for now.
I think the approach, though, will backfire. The "I've got experience, Obama, just gives speeches" theme really is not working for her, and it doesn't work any better when an independent group does it. For me, it just raises this question: if Hillary's getting such great results with all her experience, why is the economy so shitty?