Democratic strategists believe that House Republicans committed political suicide by voting to approve Representative Paul Ryan’s budget plan last week. “When we win back the majority, people will look back at this vote as a defining one that secured the majority for Democrats,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel told Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent.
Obama skillfully framed Ryan’s budget during a major speech on the deficit earlier in the week, contrasting his vision of “shared sacrifice” with Ryan’s “deeply pessimistic” plan to gut the social safety net and redistribute income upwards. After a week of enjoying the limelight, the “bold” and “courageous” Mr. Ryan, an instant media darling, suddenly looked like something of a fool. Ryan complained that Obama had characterized his proposal as “basically it's un-American.”
Obama plans to talk up his deficit plan in a series of campaign stops this week in Virginia, Nevada and California, and a virtual town hall hosted by Facebook. Obama’s advisers believe the president is finally on advantageous terrain on this issue. Reported the Post: “Obama faces a political necessity—claiming the debt issue as his own—and a political opportunity. Recent polls show that Americans disapprove of his record on the deficit. But sizable majorities agree that a combination of spending cuts and tax hikes on the wealthy—Obama’s vision—is the best prescription for the nation’s fiscal malady.”
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