Supporters of the new healthcare law have tapped a top Democratic strategist to help defend it against Republican criticism as they settle in for what many expect will be a protracted battle to shape the public's view of the law through the 2012 elections and beyond. "There's a growing recognition that with respect to this big healthcare reform legislation there's no such thing as a final victory or a final defeat," said Ron Pollack, executive director of the consumer lobby Families USA, one of the groups behind the effort. The initiative is being headed by Paul Tewes, a political consultant who directed field operations in key states for President Obama's campaign. Two other Democratic campaign veterans, Tanya Bjork and David Di Martino, have joined the team, according to sources involved with the planning. They expect to open an office in Washington within the next few weeks; it will have about 10 staffers from the dozen or so advocacy groups that are part of the coalition. Organizers declined to say how the project will be funded.