Dems seek Clinton luster at Democratic National Convention; move Obama's big speech
American Crossroads planned to spend $6.6 million over the next 10 days on an ad that criticizes the economy under Obama's watch and Americans for Prosperity is spending another $6.2 million on ads criticizing the Democrats' health-care overhaul.
Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayor who served under both Clinton and Obama, made the rounds of morning talk shows Wednesday to trace a connection between the two presidents, speaking of "similar values, similar policies and similar objectives."
Clinton "can do nothing but help" Obama, Emanuel said, rejecting any notion that Clinton's ability to get things done and work with Republicans would somehow diminish perceptions of Obama.
But former Republican New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, writing in the New Hampshire Union Leader, said Clinton's speech "will serve to remind the world of a time when the leadership of the Democratic Party took fiscal responsibility seriously. It might even induce nostalgia for the days of balanced budgets and bipartisan accomplishments such as welfare reform."
The GOP released a new Web video showcasing the story of a man who lost his job and got back on his feet through the welfare-to-work requirements enacted under Clinton. Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus repeated the widely debunked claim that Obama was gutting the work requirements, "holding back the prosperity of so many who are scraping to get by."
Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, making the case for Obama's economic policies in an appearance on MSNBC, said the president has a strong argument to make that people are doing better, but she acknowledged that "Americans are sitting around the breakfast table trying to figure out to make ends meet, so we have work to do."
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, spoke at a breakfast with Iowa delegates and urged party activists to get fully behind Obama in the next two months.
"We have 60 days to turn to our neighbors, to find common ground, to appeal to their good intentions and to create a country of more by re-electing Barack Obama president of the United States," he said.
The Obama campaign insisted the decision to relocate his speech had nothing to do with worries about filling the stadium.
"Our concern was more about turning people away than about filling the stadium," Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One as Obama made his way to Charlotte.
Not only were there 65,000 people with tickets to Obama's speech, Psaki said, but another 19,000 were on a waiting list.
On the day after her big speech to the convention that sketched her husband in warm and personal terms, Michelle Obama told supporters at a luncheon promoting gay rights that it was time to get to work.
"We need you out there every single day between now and Nov. 6," she said. "You see my face? I'm serious? It's my serious first lady face. "My 'mom' face."
Woodward reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Jennifer Agiesta and Jack Gillum in Washington, Kasie Hunt in Vermont, Thomas Beaumont and Steve Peoples in Iowa, and Ben Feller, Ken Thomas, Matt Michaels and Jim Kuhnhenn in Charlotte contributed to this report.
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