President Obama stood yesterday in front of the Brent Spence Bridge, connecting Ohio and Kentucky, and asked John Boehner (Ohio) and Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) to pass his American Jobs Act. It was a carefully crafted bit of political theater, effective on the margins. But I don’t think even the President believes it will suddenly shift Boehner and McConnell into a conciliatory stance, enabling the bill to pass.
But a more interesting part of this political battle over the American Jobs Act is that the Obama 2012 campaign is asking its supporters with Republican representation in Congress to call their lawmakers and ask them to support the bill. They even supplied a call script. Here is the email, from Jim Messina, to Obama 2012 supporters (apparently, if you live in a blue state with all-Democratic representation, they’re routing you to call John Boehner).
Today, President Obama stood on the Brent Spence Bridge that connects Ohio to Kentucky and spoke about how the American Jobs Act could help rebuild that bridge and thousands like it, and put construction workers and manufacturers back to work.
It has been exactly two weeks since President Obama proposed the American Jobs Act — a fully paid-for plan made up of ideas that both parties have endorsed in the past and ought to be able to get behind now. A wide majority of Americans who have heard about the Jobs Act want to see it passed right away.
But Congress has yet to take any action on it whatsoever.
There’s no excuse for any more delays. The President is out there bringing this plan straight to the American people. It’s on us to help put the pressure on Congress.
House Speaker John Boehner — who will be leading the Republicans in negotiations — needs to hear what Americans like you think.
Call Speaker Boehner’s office now at (202) 225-0600 — tell him not to let politics get in the way of creating jobs, and ask him to help make sure Congress passes the American Jobs Act.
The President vaguely asked people to call Congress during the debt limit debate, but this is something different. If you follow the process, there’s an actual call script and a way to let the campaign know you made the call.
Hello, my name is __________ and I’m a voter calling from __________ (your city or town).
I’m a voter who supports the American Jobs Act, and I’m asking my representative to back it, too.
Will you support the American Jobs Act?
(Allow them to respond)
Any member of Congress who backs these policies to get Americans back to work will have my thanks.
I see this as a test for phone banking in the 2012 election campaign. Those who call Congress based on an email are likely to volunteer to make calls in support of the President. So by making this pitch, the campaign is identifying key supporters to whom they will return.
Oh, wait, you thought this was about passing a bill? If it was, this is the technique that would have been used in 2009-2010, against Democrats holding up priorities when they controlled Congress.