TPM News

Organizing for America, the DNC's campaign arm set up to support President Obama's agenda, has a familiar target today: Sarah Palin.

Mitch Stewart, OFA's director, told supporters in an email just now they need help to raise "$500,000 in the next week to push back against Sarah Palin and her special interest allies."

His argument is that Palin's "lies" about health care are "widely covered by the media, then constantly echoed by right-wing attack groups and others who are trying to defeat reform." He uses her death panels meme as an example.

In his book "The Audacity to Win," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said he was shocked that Palin was such a good fundraising driver for the team.

He writes that he looked at the online fundraising numbers a few hours after Palin made her big debut at the Republican National Convention going after Obama as his only experience being a community organizer.

"I couldn't believe what I saw," Plouffe wrote.

More from the book:

"We had taken in millions of dollars in the three hours since Palin had started speaking. We hadn't even asked for most of it; we had sent out just a single unplanned fund-raising email highlighting her attacks on community organizers, but it was just starting to hit people's in-boxes as I checked the numbers. So the big response from the last three hours meant people were merely venting via contribution. Her speech might have ginned up their base, but apparently it had sent ours into orbit."

He said he thought, "I hope she keeps this up. Sarah Palin has now become our best fund-raiser."

Sounds like that hasn't changed much.

Stewart's email from today after the jump.

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Doug Hampton's campaign to bring down the man who slept with his wife continues.

Hampton's latest blast at Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) came in a sit-down with ABC News's Nightline. In excerpts teased on the ABC News site, Hampton doubles down on his contention that the $96,000 he and his wife received from Ensign's parents, after the affair was discovered, was a severance package, not a gift as Ensign has claimed. A severance payment would have violated campaign-finance laws.

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Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) spoke to reporters last night about her intentions going forward on health care reform. I wasn't present, but a colleague passes along the audio. The short version is, Landrieu is still uncommitted on tomorrow's test vote on the motion to proceed, but she's looking forward to changing the bill (particularly the public option) on the floor, indicating she doesn't imagine the bill will falter at this stage.

"I have leverage now, I'm using it to the best of my ability, I'm going to use it on the Senate floor," Landrieu said. "I have people voting for me who are liberal Democrats, independents, conservative Democrats, and some moderate Republicans. I understand what my base is. My base is very broad."

And in that spirit, Landrieu says that even if her vote is there tomorrow, it won't necessarily be there down the line.

"The other thing that remains a concern to me is the shape of this public option," she says. "We have made a lot of progress taking it from a robust, government run [plan] to now something that is more mainstream, more narrow, more private sector oriented, I'd like to take it a step or two even further. So that will be debated on the floor. And if it's not done that way, maybe my vote's not there at the end."

The author of the book Muslim Mafia, which was based on documents taken by the author's son while he was posing as a Muslim intern at the Council on American Islamic Relations, has agreed to return all documents and recordings obtained during the time at CAIR, according to a draft consent order filed in court yesterday.

The draft order, agreed to by attorneys for CAIR as well as for Dave Gaubatz and his son Chris, was filed along with a joint motion asking the judge to enter the order.

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President Obama and NFL players Troy Polamalu, Drew Brees and DeMarcus Ware are starring in a public service announcement to air during three Thanksgiving Day football games.

The PSA, which promotes Play 60 and United We Serve, encourages kids to exercise and adults to volunteer in their community.

Watch Obama make a slow-motion catch (and try not to cry):

Sen. Mary Landrieu's state of Louisiana is still ailing years after Hurricane Katrina devastated its largest city. So Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could be killing two birds with one stone by including in his health care bill $100 million in federal Medicaid aid for any states (aka, Louisiana) that have suffered a natural disaster in the last seven years. That's much needed help for the poor in Louisiana, and also a sweetener for Landrieu, whose support for health care reform has never been terribly certain.

That appears to be a more justifiable offer from Reid than a separate concession to Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), another health-care fence sitter. In a move that appears designed to win Nelson's initial procedural votes, Reid decided not to include a measure ending anti-trust exemptions for the insurance industry.

Reid originally fought hard to lift the exemption, even testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the need to end insurance companies' monopolistic practices. But his decision may be paying political dividends, as Nelson inches toward supporting a key health care test vote on Saturday.

The only remaining question: What's in it for Arkansas?

Congressional procedure can be confusing even for politicos, but the reform campaign Health Care for America Now has boiled it down. The group has distributed polling data to its largest member organizations indicating that voters in key swing states believe health care shouldn't be stymied by procedural supermajority requirements in the Senate.

The polls were taken in Nebraska, Louisiana, and Arkansas, home of reform skeptics Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, and Blanche Lincoln, don't believe their senators should kill reform by voting with Republicans to block either a debate or a vote on the bill.

"In the Senate, before a bill can be voted on, there must be a vote to allow it to be debated," reads the first survey question. "Regardless of whether you support or oppose the health insurance reform plan itself, do you believe that it should be debated on the floor of the Senate?"

In all states, voters overwhelmingly said the Senate health care reform bill should be debated on the floor. Nebraska: 88-9, Louisiana: 82-9, Arkansas: 84-11.

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President Obama is facing an uprising from some of his allies in Congress over the economy. The Washington Post reports on "a wave of criticism and outright anger directed" at the White House as unemployment numbers continue to rise.

Many of the strongest critics are among Obama's strongest allies on the Hill, and the growing furor threatens to derail Obama's plan to reform the financial sector.

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A new Rasmussen poll finds that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) could potentially be in trouble with Republican voters back home in Arizona, where he's often faced criticism from the right for his views on immigration.

In a potential Republican primary for his 2010 re-election, the 2008 GOP nominee for President is in a dead heat with former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, a hard-line conservative who lost his seat in the 2006 Democratic wave.

The numbers: McCain 45%, Hayworth 43%, with a ±4% margin of error. A third candidate who is already in the race, former Minuteman leader Chris Simcox, gets 4%.

From the pollster's analysis: "For McCain, the GOP Primary appears to be his biggest challenge since no major Democrats in the state have stepped forward yet to run against him."

On the Daily Show last night, Jon Stewart took GOP Reps. John Shadegg and Louie Gohmert to task for describing "nightmare scenarios" on the House floor that could happen at the upcoming trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

"You're in a windowless room plotting terrorist acts while America sleeps. You're what you're warning about!" Stewart said.


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