Democrats Home in on Boehner

The average Joe likely couldn't point out House Republican Leader John Boehner in a crowd but Democrats are nonetheless launching a media blitz intended to define him.

The picture won't be pretty.

A Democratic Party official tells Fox, "There will be a full-fledged effort to define him in this critical time and expose him for who he truly is - the antithesis of reform. We will be drilling down on the cozy relationship he has with certain donors and lobbyists."

The Obama administration has attempted to elevate the minority leader in recent weeks in order to put a fine point on the differences between the two parties. President Obama himself stopped using generic references to Boehner in his political speeches and began actually using Boehner's name. The most notable example was when Mr. Obama peppered a recent economic speech in Cleveland with eight direct references to the Republican. However, recent national polls show that about half of the American public either doesn't know who John Boehner is or have yet to form an opinion on him. Even in his home state of Ohio, 42% of people asked told Public Policy Polling that they are unfamiliar with him.

Seeing an opening, the DNC kicked off a national and locally-targeted campaign Thursday set out to frame the minority leader the way they want voters to see him, "We will be laying out in specific detail episodes where Boehner benefited financially from lobbyists and donors, and favors done for him or his family by these lobbyists and donors," an official tells Fox.

Party officials promise specifics, "It will include episodes known only inside the beltway and episodes that have previously not been reported."

In the first salvo, an ad released Thursday on YouTube, Boehner is criticized for what the DNC says are his Wall Street and tobacco industry connections, prompting the announcer to ask rhetorically, "And now he wants to talk about reforming Congress?" The announcer responds, "Now that's funny."The Democratic Party's own leader, President Obama, is garnering increasingly dismal approval ratings and the party itself is in jeopardy of losing its majority status. Therefore, the man who would be speaker has become target number one.

Even Thursday's White House blog got in on the Boehner-bashing with some of the same language about the minority leader's reported connections with lobbyists.

Despite such bold talk, so far Democrats have yet to buy ad time on TV. A party official tells Fox, "We intend to air this and future ads so that the American people know what John Boehner is - the antithesis of reform - and are exploring options."