So here's another anti-Obamacare ad aimed at Kay Hagan, running now across the state with the frequency that big out-of-state money can buy.
Like the spot discussed here, this commercial is carefully constructed in terms of tone and feeling. It's not a red-meat call for repeal, but a pitch to moderate voters by a soft-spoken woman who seems disappointed that she has to deliver this critique of the Affordable Care Act: "It just doesn't work."
It's another effective ad, but also one that shows how the conversation about healthcare reform is changing -- and how Hagan can fight back (as noted in the previous post, Hagan is going to own Obamacare in this race whether she wants to or not, so she'd better make the best of it). For starters, the ad reflects the reality acknowledged by the Burr/Coburn/Hatch proposal -- our healthcare system really was broken and something has to be done to fix it (another inadvertent lesson of the GOP plan: coming up with a workable strategy is not easy).
The pushback should begin by pointing to ways that the ACA is working. That means addressing claims about the damage done by Obamacare, correcting any misstatements or overstatements, and promising to fix what's not right. And it means telling the stories of real people who have benefited from the changes to date. It means saying, "It does work."
Of course, Obamacare will need to maintain the momentum it's gained for this campaign to work, so pushback ads probably can't run until April. It would be very helpful if North Carolina's surprisingly strong enrollment numbers continue to trend upward. And Hagan is going to need a whole lot of money to move the needle after the long barrage of ads against her.
But pushing back against this campaign is possible, and, again, the only choice Hagan really has.