Aug 09 2011

Third Way Electoral Victory!

Obama plan: Destroy Romney

Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin, Politico

Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011

The dramatic and unabashedly negative turn is the product of political reality. Obama remains personally popular, but pluralities in recent polling disapprove of his handling of his job, and Americans fear the country is on the wrong track. His aides are increasingly resigned to running for reelection in a glum nation. And so the candidate who ran on “hope” in 2008 has little choice four years later but to run a slashing, personal campaign aimed at disqualifying his likeliest opponent.

“Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney,” said a prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House.

“There’s so many wonderful ironies here: Obama spent his whole political career perfecting the best argument against Bush 43, and now he’s going to run as 43?” said Romney strategist Stuart Stevens, who also worked for Bush. “They can try anything they want – but this race is going to be about the economy.”

The Democrats who are planning the assault on Romney believe they can avoid a referendum on Obama’s handling of the economy, in part, because both political parties are in such poor public favor.

“People already knew that he’s a political opportunist of the highest order – changing his positions to suit the day’s polling,” said Bill Burton, Obama’s former White House deputy press secretary who now heads Priorities USA, an independent group expected to lead Democratic attacks on the Republican nominee. “But the last couple weeks, this lack of principles has translated into a total lack of leadership on issues like the debt ceiling.”

Oh wait, that last guy was talking about Romney.

Obama’s 2008 Hope Morphs Into 2012 Slash-and-Burn

By: Jane Hamsher, Firedog Lake

Tuesday August 9, 2011 9:47 am

(G)oing negative may be the only path available to Obama right now.  He can’t hope to activate true grassroots support and deliver what Wall Street oligarchs want at the same time.  So he is appealing to  the people who stand to benefit – wealthy donors – and asking for their support to impose austerity measures on the country.

It’s also a tell about how Obama’s campaign team views the political landscape between now and the election. They would not be going negative if his campaign gurus thought there was any possibility of turning around the Independents who have tracked with Republicans on the debt ceiling debate, and according to Gallup, now have a 34% approval rating of the President (down from 43% in early July).  It’s an indication that they think their only hope is to suppress independent voter turnout with a “slash and burn” campaign.

You ride to the White House on a campaign to rise above intolerance, negativity and partisanship, and without a moment of self-reflection, announce a campaign based on … intolerance, negativity and partisanship?  Rather than fix the economy by having the political courage to do what you said needed to be done when you were stoking people’s hope in 2008, you now plan to impose the austerity measures they overwhelmingly oppose and raise hundreds of millions of dollars to tell people your “weird” opponent in his “skinny jeans”  is not “principled and consistent”?   You want to fan the same bigotry and cultural biases the President promised to rise above, hoping win reelection by virtue (of) suppressing turnout?

And your message is that the other guy is not principled or consistent?


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  1. ek hornbeck
  2. TMC

    the hope & change voters were looking for in ’08. The president’s short speech yesterday that offered nothing more than more austerity and tax cuts that will damage the social safety network didn’t get the reaction from the stock market that was hoped for, the market plunged even further. These are the same “solutions” that plunged us into this morass for the last 12 years.

    Just now, the Federal Reserve issued a statement that they would hold interest rates at its current low, nearly 0%, while offering nothing else. The markets reaction was as expected, the minimal gains this morning plunged the Dow once again into the red. I suppose they were looking for an election of more money in the way of another quantitative easing.

    These are just more disappointing responses from a government of elitists that are only concerned with the wealth of the wealthiest. Thus the US continues to decline into a banana republic

  3. BruceMcF

    … that is convenient … a little shaky ground?

    I wouldn’t put it past the White House to try to win with half of George Bush’s strategy, but leave the “steal sufficient electoral votes to turn a loss into a win” part at home. But normally a piece sourced as weakly as Politico’s would be ignored if it said something inconvenient.

  4. ek hornbeck

    Say what you like, it is at least sourced.

    Unlike the Washington Post and New York Times.

    Or perhaps you are questioning the messenger because you wish it to be untrue despite the overwhelming evidence.

    I quote Krugman when he expresses my feelings too.

  5. BruceMcF

    … the lead sources are “a senior campaign adviser”, and “a prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House.”

    But look at the paragraph from Bill Burton you are referring to:

    “People already knew that he’s a political opportunist of the highest order – changing his positions to suit the day’s polling,” said Bill Burton, Obama’s former White House deputy press secretary who now heads Priorities USA, an independent group expected to lead Democratic attacks on the Republican nominee.

    The reason Bill Burton is supposed to be given special credence is he heads an independent group expected to lead Democratic attacks on the Republican nominee. And who expects that? Unsourced.

    The majority of the quotes in the piece seem to be from Axelrod, who is not my notion of a very credible source.

  6. ek hornbeck


    The guy who’s running his campaign?

    So where is the push back then?

    Sorry. Axelrod is Obama’s soul.

  7. BruceMcF

    about the campaign at face value, rather than taking it as some sort of ephemeral spin of the moment.

    Why should we take what Axelrod says at face value? What has he done to gain any credibility that anything he says is anything but the ephemeral spin of the moment?

    What is the story other than Axelrod trying to tell the Republicans, “Romney is weak, pick Perry instead”, coated in a storyline likely to get it carried into the Republican camp. All of the sourced quotes are “Obama officials see flaws in Romney” … all of the “Obama campaign is setting up a smear Romney operation” is unsourced or anonymous sources, yet that is the supposed lede of the piece.

  8. TMC

    but the media and the average voter who gets his information in 90 second bits will take Axelrod at his word and give credence to these unnamed sources. Their job is to make the opponent look unacceptable as presidential material. Look how everyone fell for the crap about Hillary bringing back Clinton ideas and economics to the White House. And what did we get? Not just all the Clinton economic advisers but now the Third Way gang of thieves who would have us all believe that Obama is still the path to redemption. This is what they do and Politico just realized there is already a campaign going on.

    The point is that we have no good choices going into this. None. We are faced with the lesser of two evils neo-libs or the intransigence of the tea party both of which will drag this country deeper into the economic morass.

    Yes, I’m a ral pessimist since I see an empty glass

  9. BruceMcF

    Which suggests that presidential politics is a distraction from the state and house races where progress can be made.

  10. TMC

    need to concentrate our efforts on down ticket races and elections in off years. While the Democrats in WI only gained two of the 3 seats, it was in some ways a step in the right direction simply because all those seat are in heavily Republican  districts. The media expectations kept hopes perhaps higher than they should have been but it did spur a voter turnout greater than was seen in ’08.  

  11. BruceMcF

    … primaries in down ticket federal races and state level races in on-years as well. We can’t at one and the same time fight against an imperial presidency while banking on a progressive imperial president to save the day.

  12. TMC

    I work closely with Working Families Party and a liberal Democratic Club that is as upset with Obama as I am. We work to get candidates who are progresive and will protect the community from overbuilding and exploitation of our environment that it causes. We are grooming one particular state senate candidate to challenge the tea party House rep whose popularity has plummeted since his vote for the Ryan Budget. I don’t have time to be a district leader. The district leader here is very liberal, has great organizing and motivational skills.  

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