Democrats are rolling out a new theme today for election season: moving forward. More specifically, moving forward from the days of President Bush and Republican control of Capitol Hill.
The Democratic National Committee this morning began airing its first ad of the midterm season on cable stations nationwide, featuring a brief Bush appearance at the end:
On top of that, the DNC is closing out its annual summer meeting in St. Louis today, and Vice President Biden, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine are all delivering speeches on this theme.
The theme is Bush-centric, but it covers more than just the former president. It ties in with David Axelrod's stated goal of presenting the midterms as a choice between two alternatives; reminding voters of the days of Republican rule is a logical extension of that strategy.
Analysts have wondered how long Democrats can keep up the anti-Bush game, especially in an election year where President Obama's own approval ratings may factor into contested races in swing states where he remains particularly unpopular. The DNC, however, sees advantage in bringing the unpopular former president back into the discussion, after having taken over Washington in the past two election cycles on the reverse coattails of his unpopularity.