I've always wondered why political leaders in both parties refrain from running ads outside of election season. When hot issues present themselves, shouldn't parties be the ones making sure the people are hearing their side of the story? It would help gain them public support for the policy when it matters, and furthermore, it would ingrain their narrative into the minds of voters, making it harder for the other side to sully when the campaign comes around.
They're expensive, but they could be a worthy investment, and what better way to mobilize contributions when donors aren't tuned into politics?
The high-speed rail debacle would be a good example for the Democrats.
There's no doubt about it -- this is big news no matter what happens to the train. But it will be especially big news if Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood's threat holds true, and Wisconsin is forced to spend millions for an abandoned project, as well as sacrifice the bulk of the $810 million to some other state, such as New York, Florida or Iowa.
If that scenario plays out, the first thing the Democratic minority needs to do is make sure the public understands what a major league mess-up this is for Walker. If he chooses to play to the base on this issue -- at the expense of the job-creation message that voters in the center find appealing -- he must pay a political price. If he doesn't, it is a failure on the part of the Dems.