Unwilling to accept that American voters may be ready to reject Barack Obama--and unable to point the finger at their Chosen One--the New York Times appears to be blaming ... Bill Clinton.
In an article that appears to be heavily sourced from top Obama campaign aides, Matt Bai writes:
You may recall that last spring, just after Mr. Romney locked up the Republican nomination, Mr. Obama's team abruptly switched its strategy for how to define him. Up to then, the White House had been portraying Mr. Romney much as George W. Bush had gone after John Kerry in 2004 - as inauthentic and inconstant, a soulless climber who would say anything to get the job.
But it was Mr. Clinton who forcefully argued to Mr. Obama's aides that the campaign had it wrong. The best way to go after Mr. Romney, the former president said, was to publicly grant that he was the "severe conservative" he claimed to be, and then hang that unpopular ideology around his neck."
But at Commentary Jonathan S. Tobin notes:
While there is no guarantee that calling Romney a flip-flopper would have worked better, the investment of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in negative ads trying to convince Americans that the Republican was a heartless plutocrat who abused dogs, outsourced jobs, killed cancer patients and hated ordinary people set the Democrats up for a fall once their target showed himself to be a likeable and reasonable person. The same tactic failed 32 years ago when it was tried by the Jimmy Carter campaign against Ronald Reagan, and right now that precedent is causing the knots in the stomachs of Obama campaign officials to tighten as they contemplate defeat.
Bai's NYT article, titled 'How Bill Clinton May Have Hurt the Obama Campaign,' reads like a desperate attempt by unnamed top Obama campaign aides to blame someone--anyone--else.
(It is interesting to note that neither Bai nor these Obama aides acknowledge that Obama's slide in recent polls may result from his failed policies, rather than flawed political strategy.)
(T)he idea that it was only Clinton that advocated this strategy or that without his influence the geniuses running the Obama campaign would not have made this mistake is so patently self-serving on the part of his sources that it's a wonder that a generally savvy observer like Bai doesn't point this out.
And he concludes:
But no matter where the Democratic fingers are pointing, the fact that they are already starting to blame each other for an Obama loss has to send chills down the spines of Democrats who are still operating under the assumption that Romney can't win.
For once, there appears to be something the O Team can't try to blame on Bush.
After all, nothing is ever Obama's fault, right?