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Democrats Launch Message Offensive

House Democrats are launching a major message push this week in an attempt to reverse their sagging approval ratings as Congress tackles a heavy legislative docket before the end of the year.

Late last week, the top aides to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) called a mandatory meeting for top Democratic staff on Monday afternoon to announce "a major member-driven message campaign" the leadership aides hope to sustain through the end of the year.

This comes on the heels of a renewed drive by Pelosi herself this fall to tout Democratic achievements so far this year in the face of polling that indicates support is slipping for the new majority.

Pelosi's Chief of Staff John Lawrence, Hoyer's Chief of Staff Terry Lierman and Clyburn's Chief of Staff Yelberton Watkins sent a joint e-mail late Friday afternoon asking all chiefs of staff, legislative directors, communications directors and press secretaries for both members and committees to meet at 1 p.m. Monday in the spacious Ways and Means hearing room in the Longworth House Office Building.

"We will discuss a major member-driven message campaign that the New Direction Congress will be carrying out in the coming weeks," the aides wrote in an e-mail.