"We will deploy every tool and tactic at our disposal," said Brad Woodhouse, a former Democratic National Committee spokesman who now heads a group called Americans United for Change, during a recent conference call with reporters. "Events with supportive members (of Congress), administration officials, protests at Republican events, editorial board meetings, social media, press releases, op-eds, emails, videos, ads ... to hold Republicans accountable and go on offense in explaining (Obamacare's) benefits to people."
Woodhouse listed the groups, in addition to his own, that are part of the new effort: Health Care for America Now; the Center for American Progress; Protect Your Care; the Service Employees International Union; the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; Planned Parenthood. They are just one segment, or "hub," as Woodhouse described it, in the broader effort to sell Obamacare run largely by Organizing for Action, a carry-over group from the Obama 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.
Much of the attention paid so far to the pro-Obamacare campaign has focused on efforts to promote the plan's features. What will distinguish the new group is a strategy to counter the GOP's continuing efforts against Obamacare. In assessing the defense effort, Woodhouse, who recently moved from the DNC to Americans United for Change, felt something was missing.
"The first place I noticed some space that needed to be filled was going after the GOP on Obamacare, rather than us being gone after all the time," he said in an email exchange after the conference call. "That's why we're jumping into this."
Woodhouse wouldn't say how much money his organization has, other than it will be "enough." He's also got some resources money can't buy. For example, Stephanie Cutter, a former Obama campaign spokeswoman, will be advising the group on messaging -- at the same time she is starting a new role as co-host of CNN's revived "Crossfire." Don't look for her to stray off-message.
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