White House Allies Address Persistent Unpopularity Of Healthcare Reform. Politico (8/20, Smith) reports, "Key White House allies are dramatically shifting their attempts to defend healthcare legislation, abandoning claims that it will reduce costs and deficit, and instead stressing a promise to 'improve it.'" According to Politico, "The messaging shift was circulated this afternoon on a conference call and PowerPoint presentation organized by" FamiliesUSA, "led by a staffer for the Herndon Alliance, which includes leading labor groups," and "based on polling from three top Democratic pollsters, John Anzalone, Celinda Lake, and Stan Greenberg." Politico says that the "confidential presentation...suggests that Democrats are acknowledging the failure of their predictions that the healthcare legislation would grow more popular after its passage." In the Time (8/20) Swampland blog, Kate Pickert says, "The really interesting material, however, can be found in a much longer Herndon document," which includes a "lot more fascinating information, like that AARP has lost a lot of credibility as a trusted source, bashing insurance companies doesn't really work anymore, and elderly men are more skeptical of reform than elderly women."