The Establishment Reaction To Obama

It didn’t take long for the Democratic Party establishment to react to Hillary Clinton’s stunning loss in Wisconsin yesterday. A new 527 will raise money for a messaging onslaught in Texas and Ohio, funded by political strategists and deep-pocket donors who have ridden to Hillary’s rescue:

Looking to boost Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s sagging fortunes, a group of Democratic political strategists has assembled an organization that will raise money from wealthy donors and run ads promoting her views in Texas and Ohio.
Called the American Leadership Project, the organization has been formed as a so-called 527 committee, which can raise unlimited amounts of money from some of Clinton’s most deep-pocketed benefactors.
The group is targeting Texas and Ohio, the battleground states that hold primaries on March 4 and are considered Clinton’s last best chance to keep her campaign alive against a surging Barack Obama. By law, the group cannot coordinate its activities with Clinton.
“We want to shine a light on issues that matter most to the nation’s middle class — health care, freezing foreclosures, those sorts of things,” Roger Salazar, the president of the new group, said in an interview. “Obviously Senator Clinton is a recognized champion on these issues.”
The group, whose principals are mostly in California, has already prepared at least one ad to begin airing in Ohio. It does not mention Obama, but it echoes what has become Clinton’s refrain that while Obama gives speeches, she offers solutions.

Perhaps it might be more accurate to say that while Obama gives speeches, she loses elections. The group started discussing the possibilities of organizing after Hillary lost Iowa, but they didn’t take action until last Thursday, when they formed as a 527. By that time, she had lost eight states in a row, and now has added two more.
The 527 will allow these rich backers to spend as much money as they want to support Hillary’s bid. They cannot do that directly, but they can buy advertising to focus on the issues they believe will help differentiate Hillary from Obama in a positive way. They pledged to keep from going negative in either state.
Unfortunately, both candidates have settled on a populist message that has almost no differentiation at all. Hillary’s big argument is that she has more experience than Obama to succeed in implementing similar agendas. Since 527s cannot back or oppose specific candidacies, this may not allow for much impact to support Hillary, although it might strengthen the party brand. If they cross the line, the FEC could recategorize them as a PAC and limit contributions to $5,000 per individual, making the entire effort worthless.
Barack Obama has the Democratic Party establishment scared now. This attempt sounds like far too little and far too late to keep Obama from potentially running the table.
UPDATE: Changed “incorporated” to “formed”. I meant it in a non-legal sense, but obviously it’s a little sloppy to use that word in this context. Thanks to CapQ commenter Mark1971 for pointing it out.