The Chicago Tribune Reveals the Democrat 2012 Pitch to Independents

In a November 6 editorial that drew little attention, the Chicago Tribune revealed part of the Obama campaign strategy to attract independent voters in 2012.

In comparison, a November 27 New York Times article is still attracting attention, particularly within conservative circles.  It describes a growing consensus among senior Democrat strategists that the Obama campaign needs to essentially write off "white working-class voters" and focus on "voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment ... and lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic."

Although the earlier Tribune editorial drew much less notice, it deserves attention for what it reveals about Obama's re-election strategy toward independent voters.

The axis of Obama's campaign revolves around the two Davids -- David Plouffe, Obama's '08 campaign manager, and David Axelrod, Obama's '08 chief strategist.  David P.'s office is in the White House.  David A.'s desk is in Chicago.

Plouffe and Axelrod worked together at AKPD, a firm started by Axelrod with the mission "to provide superior strategic and communications advice and advertising for Democratic candidates and causes, and to do so with a sense of purpose and passion for ideals that underlie Democratic campaigns."

It's reasonable to assume that the two Davids maintain frequent contact in preparation for Obama's re-election campaign.

Axelrod worked for the Tribune for eight years as a political writer, and he became its youngest-ever political editor.  The paper supported Senator Obama for the presidency in '08.  And its editors stand by their endorsement today.

It's also reasonable to assume that Axelrod maintains contact with the Tribune's editorial staff on N. Michigan in downtown Chicago -- a relatively easy stroll from his N. Franklin office.

So what might the Tribune's recent editorial, entitled "The reckoning: Nov. 6, 2012," suggest about the Democrat's 2012 strategy? Let's see.

First, here's an abstract of most, but not all, of the editorial:

The '12 election will be important to the nation's future. The current "ideological stalemate" -- which is a bad thing -- gives leaders of both parties an excuse not to make tough decisions. The next election could end the stalemate. The Tribune broke with its tradition by endorsing a Democrat for President in '08. Its editors thought the country needed a new direction, one that would break away the two parties mostly agreeing only on spending, which led to a runaway debt. In '08, the Trib abandoned a Republican Party that seemed to have stopped believing in limited government and adopted "rampant spending and Capital Hill corruption, too." But the "change in the way we deal with one another, never happened." Today, both parties have their talking points against the other. The Democrats describe the Republican as supporters of rich "oligarchs and corporations" dedicated to "income inequality". The Republicans accuse the Democrats of only pretending to be "centrist," while being unwilling to reform entitlements, "turning the U.S. into a European-style social democracy," and spending the U.S. into bankruptcy.

Then, in the penultimate paragraph, the worm turns.

His [Obama's] approval ratings continue to suffer from his devotion to health care legislation and new trillions in taxpayer debt while the U.S. economy failed to put people to work.

So Obama is suffering the consequences of his "devotion."  Like Bill Clinton once suffered the consequences of his "feelings" for a young White House intern.

And the economy in itself, not Obama's policies, is to blame for the economy's failures, according to the Trib editors.  Now there's some galactic spin.

It's easy, write the Trib's editors, to be critical of Obama when there's no Republican candidate to tear into.  That notion implies an equivalency of responsibility for what's ailing American between the current president of the last three years and the yet-to-be-identified GOP candidate.  How's that for a twisted-logic get-out-of-criticism card in the Obamanopoly Game?  It's like saying that it was easy to criticize Nancy Pelosi when the Republicans didn't have their own speaker of the House.

Then, in the last paragraph, we see a glimpse of the Democrats' strategy to attract independent voters in '12.

Will voters hold the Republicans' nominee responsible for his or her party's generous contributions to our toxic political rhetoric? Will a legacy of right-wing obsessions -- it appears the birthers will never surrender -- remind independents of Looney Tunes cartoons?

We can thank the Tribune editors for that strategic insight into the Axelrod-Plouffe plan.  The coming Democrat campaign narrative to attract independents will include this pitch:

The Republicans are largely responsible for the acrimonious tone of political rhetoric in America today.  Why, just look at their right-wing obsessions, like those goofy birthers!  (Bashing the Tea Party no longer works in the wake of the Democrats' support of the genuinely loony OWS crowd.)  If you want to associate yourselves with the loonies who back the Republican nominee, then vote Republican.  But you independent voters are smarter than that, and you recognize that re-electing Barack Obama will...blah blah blah.

In a November 6 editorial that drew little attention, the Chicago Tribune revealed part of the Obama campaign strategy to attract independent voters in 2012.

In comparison, a November 27 New York Times article is still attracting attention, particularly within conservative circles.  It describes a growing consensus among senior Democrat strategists that the Obama campaign needs to essentially write off "white working-class voters" and focus on "voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment ... and lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic."

Although the earlier Tribune editorial drew much less notice, it deserves attention for what it reveals about Obama's re-election strategy toward independent voters.

The axis of Obama's campaign revolves around the two Davids -- David Plouffe, Obama's '08 campaign manager, and David Axelrod, Obama's '08 chief strategist.  David P.'s office is in the White House.  David A.'s desk is in Chicago.

Plouffe and Axelrod worked together at AKPD, a firm started by Axelrod with the mission "to provide superior strategic and communications advice and advertising for Democratic candidates and causes, and to do so with a sense of purpose and passion for ideals that underlie Democratic campaigns."

It's reasonable to assume that the two Davids maintain frequent contact in preparation for Obama's re-election campaign.

Axelrod worked for the Tribune for eight years as a political writer, and he became its youngest-ever political editor.  The paper supported Senator Obama for the presidency in '08.  And its editors stand by their endorsement today.

It's also reasonable to assume that Axelrod maintains contact with the Tribune's editorial staff on N. Michigan in downtown Chicago -- a relatively easy stroll from his N. Franklin office.

So what might the Tribune's recent editorial, entitled "The reckoning: Nov. 6, 2012," suggest about the Democrat's 2012 strategy? Let's see.

First, here's an abstract of most, but not all, of the editorial:

The '12 election will be important to the nation's future. The current "ideological stalemate" -- which is a bad thing -- gives leaders of both parties an excuse not to make tough decisions. The next election could end the stalemate. The Tribune broke with its tradition by endorsing a Democrat for President in '08. Its editors thought the country needed a new direction, one that would break away the two parties mostly agreeing only on spending, which led to a runaway debt. In '08, the Trib abandoned a Republican Party that seemed to have stopped believing in limited government and adopted "rampant spending and Capital Hill corruption, too." But the "change in the way we deal with one another, never happened." Today, both parties have their talking points against the other. The Democrats describe the Republican as supporters of rich "oligarchs and corporations" dedicated to "income inequality". The Republicans accuse the Democrats of only pretending to be "centrist," while being unwilling to reform entitlements, "turning the U.S. into a European-style social democracy," and spending the U.S. into bankruptcy.

Then, in the penultimate paragraph, the worm turns.

His [Obama's] approval ratings continue to suffer from his devotion to health care legislation and new trillions in taxpayer debt while the U.S. economy failed to put people to work.

So Obama is suffering the consequences of his "devotion."  Like Bill Clinton once suffered the consequences of his "feelings" for a young White House intern.

And the economy in itself, not Obama's policies, is to blame for the economy's failures, according to the Trib editors.  Now there's some galactic spin.

It's easy, write the Trib's editors, to be critical of Obama when there's no Republican candidate to tear into.  That notion implies an equivalency of responsibility for what's ailing American between the current president of the last three years and the yet-to-be-identified GOP candidate.  How's that for a twisted-logic get-out-of-criticism card in the Obamanopoly Game?  It's like saying that it was easy to criticize Nancy Pelosi when the Republicans didn't have their own speaker of the House.

Then, in the last paragraph, we see a glimpse of the Democrats' strategy to attract independent voters in '12.

Will voters hold the Republicans' nominee responsible for his or her party's generous contributions to our toxic political rhetoric? Will a legacy of right-wing obsessions -- it appears the birthers will never surrender -- remind independents of Looney Tunes cartoons?

We can thank the Tribune editors for that strategic insight into the Axelrod-Plouffe plan.  The coming Democrat campaign narrative to attract independents will include this pitch:

The Republicans are largely responsible for the acrimonious tone of political rhetoric in America today.  Why, just look at their right-wing obsessions, like those goofy birthers!  (Bashing the Tea Party no longer works in the wake of the Democrats' support of the genuinely loony OWS crowd.)  If you want to associate yourselves with the loonies who back the Republican nominee, then vote Republican.  But you independent voters are smarter than that, and you recognize that re-electing Barack Obama will...blah blah blah.