Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obama Presses for Big Democratic Gain in the Senate

Obama Presses for Big Democratic Gain in the Senate; Greg Hitt; Washington Wire; WSJ; 16 October 2008.

Barack Obama is joining efforts to build a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate.

Running strong in his race for the White House, the Democratic presidential contender is throwing his weight behind efforts to strengthen his party’s majorities on Capitol Hill.

In a fund-raising appeal circulated Thursday, Obama urged donors to support the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the political arm of Senate Democrats. The DSCC is trying to raise $2.5 million for an end-of-campaign blitz on behalf of Democratic candidates around the country. The money will be used for television ads and party-led efforts to get Democratic supporters to the polls on Election Day.

Democrats control the Senate 51-49, with two independents caucusing with the party. The party began the year with a good shot at picking up six or seven seats. But as the weakened economy has moved to the forefront of the campaign, political analysts suggest a jump to 60 votes—the number needed to break a filibuster—could be within reach for Democrats.

Obama says the success of his domestic and foreign policy agenda will “require nine more Democratic seats on November 4.”

Last summer, Obama urged donors to support efforts to build a “gridlock-proof Democratic majority.” The appeal reflected Democratic hopes at the time that the party could come within a few seats of a 60-vote majority, and then count on the support of Republican moderates to break logjams on issues like climate change and health care. But now party leaders are raising the stakes.

“Imagine what we can accomplish with a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate majority,” Obama wrote. “We have never been so close to achieving it.”

Comment: Imagine how much damage he'll do to the country and the Constitution; probably as much as Bush.

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