The Campaign Spot

Meet the Grassroots, or, ‘I am reading it right now!’

Steve Portnoy of ABC News offers a pretty balanced take, covering another meeting of freshman Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil of Maryland and his constituents. It’s worth noting that Kratovil won his seat by the skin of his teeth last year, and is one of the top targets of the National Republican Congressional Committee. So he’s not eager to alienate his constituents. Thus, his answer, “I am reading it right now!”

There’s an interesting move that the Obama administration and the Democrats have made in the past 48 hours, trying to change the story from “What are constituents telling their representatives on health care this August?” to “Are these angry protests genuine, or are they some sort of manufactured Astroturf?” By sheer numbers, it’s clear turnout is going well beyond health-insurance company employees and Glenn Beck viewers. The polling indicates widespread skepticism of current legislation.

Beyond that, if people are motivated enough to show up to a town-hall meeting and ask tough questions, they seem like the kinds of folks who will knock on doors, lick envelopes, and drive people to the polls next November, don’t they?

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