(CNN) - Days after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid launched a pair of campaign ads in anticipation of a potentially difficult reelection bid, the Nevada Democrat is taking heat in his home state from liberal activists upset over the likelihood that the final Senate health care bill will not include a public option.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal political action committee with the express goal of electing progressive candidates to federal office, is launching a new ad in Nevada this week that asks, "Is Harry Reid strong enough?"
The 30-second commercial features a longtime Nevada nurse, Lee Slaughter, whose health care is refusing to pay for complications dealing with broken hips.
"I…voted for Senator Harry Reid many times," Slaughter says. "But in 2010, I'll only be voting on one issue. I'm watching to see if Harry Reid is strong and effective enough as a leader to pass a public health insurance option into law."
The ad will begin running Wednesday in the Las Vegas media market on broadcast and cable. The group, which boasts a membership of 225,000, is hoping to raise $100,000 to keep the commercial on the air. The group's recent ad taking aim at Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, raised over $230,000.
The most recent poll of Nevada voters suggests Reid trails both his Republican rivals in hypothetical 2010 match ups. According to a Mason-Dixon survey commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and released last week, Reid is down 10 points to Nevada GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden and down 5 points to businessman Danny Tarkanian. The poll also indicates that half of Nevada's voters have an unfavorable view of Reid, with 38 percent viewing him favorably.
Reid is also facing fire from the right meanwhile as the Republican National Committee begain running a radio ad in the Reno media market last week that links the Nevada Democrat to what it calls the failed economic stimulus package.
The Obama White House may have started another war it can't win.
On yesterday's Sunday talk shows - Senior Adviser David Axelrod said of Fox News, "It's not really news. It's pushing a point of view.” And he asked that other news organizations not treat Fox like it's news.
The president's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, also said Fox is "not a news organization so much as it has a perspective."
This all started when White House communications director Anita Dunn called Fox an arm of the Republican Party and said the Obama administration would treat the cable news network as they would an "opponent."
Dunn is now in a dust-up with Fox News' Glenn Beck, concerning a speech where she quoted Communist leader Mao Tse Tung. Beck calls that "insanity."
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WASHINGTON (CNN) – Will the endorsement of the Washington Post help propel Virginia Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Creigh Deeds to victory in November in the same way it did in the June Democratic primary? The Deeds campaign is launching a new ad campaign plan with that goal in mind.
The Post endorsed Deeds for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in May, weeks before Virginians voted in the primary. The Deeds camp eagerly used that stamp of approval in TV ads and yard signs down the stretch, an effort that unquestionably helped the Democrat secure his party's nomination.
The paper gave Deeds its blessing again over the weekend - this time over Republican Bob McDonnell. It wasn't exactly a surprise: No Virginia politico contacted by CNN could recall the last time the paper endorsed a Republican candidate for governor. And once again, the Deeds campaign is using the endorsement in TV ads running in the populous northern Virginia suburbs, where the paper is widely circulated.
The new Deeds ad quotes from the endorsement, which said the Democrat "offers hope for a solution" on the transportation problems plaguing the state. Deeds, as the ad and that paper said, has ideas that "hold the promise of a prosperous future."
(CNN) - Just how tightly scripted did the White House manage U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's nomination process?
Obama administration officials even picked out which suit Sotomayor wore when President Obama formally announced her as his nominee for the high court early this summer.
According to the New Haven Register, Sotomayor told fellow classmates at her Yale Law School Reunion over the weekend she had planned to buy a new outfit for the event, but the White House instead asked she bring five suits to Washington, one of which they would pick for her to wear.
Sotomayor also discussed the administration's grueling vetting process, which included the dispatch of an FBI agent to investigate a parking ticket she incurred more than two years ago, according to the Yale Daily News.
Sotomayor, who graduated from Yale in 1979, also described her first meeting with President Obama last spring.
"It was a conversation like none other that I have ever had," adding that she "almost fainted."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A slight majority of Americans think that the war in Afghanistan is turning into another Vietnam, according to a new national poll which also indicates that nearly six in 10 oppose sending more U.S. troops to the conflict.
Fifty-two percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday say the eight year long conflict has turned into a situation like the U.S. faced in the Vietnam War, with 46 percent disagreeing.
According to the poll, 59 percent of people questioned opposed sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan with 39 percent in favor. Of the 59 percent opposed, 28 percent want Washington to withdraw all U.S troops, 21 percent are calling for a partial American pullout, and 8 percent say the number of troops should remain the same.
"Has Afghanistan turned into Barack Obama's Vietnam? Most Americans think so, and that may be one reason why they oppose sending more U.S. troops to that country," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Older Americans are most likely to see parallels between Afghanistan and Vietnam - possibly because they remember the Vietnam War, rather than reading about it in textbooks."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Monday marks the occasion of Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele's 51st birthday.
The RNC doesn't appear to have anything special planned.
But Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan is celebrating with - what else? - a little snark.
"We're not Facebook friends, so I didn't know it was his birthday," Sevugan e-mailed CNN. "But he's given us so many gifts, I feel like we certainly owe him something."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A prominent foe of health care reform sent a memo to allied groups last week urging greater coordination in the health care message wars as Democrats work to hammer out a final bill.
In the memo obtained by CNN, Conservatives for Patients Rights leader Rick Scott wrote that the health care bills now emerging from the House and Senate will be "target rich environments" – but he implored reform opponents to synchronize their strategies before attacking.
"Our opponents, government-run health care advocates, would love nothing more than having all of us shooting randomly in several different directions delivering only 'glancing blows' on several different aspects of each plan rather than coordinating and targeting our efforts to deliver a decisive 'knock out' punch to each," Scott wrote.
The memo is addressed to "Conservative Leaders and Free Market Health Care Allies." Groups that have been involved in different aspects of health care reform opposition effort include Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party Patriots, the National Taxpayers Union, the Heritage Foundation and the National Center for Policy Analysis.
Scott said his organization, CPR, plans to remain focused on defeating the so-called "public option." He suggested to the other groups that they each choose to train their fire on "a single specific facet of each plan," such as individual and employer mandates, "massive tax increases" or "deep cuts in Medicare."
(CNN) – New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine gets a helping hand from some big names this week as he fights for re-election.
Vice President Joe Biden teams up with Corzine Monday afternoon at a rally in Middlesex County Community College in Edison. It's the second time this month Biden has traveled to New Jersey to campaign with Corzine, a fellow Democrat.
Tuesday former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to headline a Corzine rally at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
Wednesday Presient Barack Obama is the main attraction, as he headlines a Corzine event in Teaneck. The rally will be the second time the president has joined Corzine on the campaign trail, but the first time since July. The Corzine campaign turned Obama's appearance at a rally in July into a television commercial.
Recent polls suggest that Obama remains popular in New Jersey. Those same surveys also indicate that Corzine has pulled even over the past month after trailing his Republican challenger, Chris Christie, the former federal prosecutor in the Garden State. According to recent polls, independent candidate Chris Daggett is making an impact, with support in the low double digits.
While no big name surrogates are scheduled to join Christie on the campaign trail this week, such top Republicans as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani have all teamed up with Christie on the campaign trail.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn