The Defiant Ones
This week we saw one of the neatest political plays ever. Obama biographer Ed Klein says that about two weeks ago Valerie Jarrett, Obama's brain trust and manager of his Acme Campaign Strategery , offered Hillary Clinton a slot on the ticket as Obama's running mate and she turned it down. Perhaps Sarah Palin got wind of the offer and rejection, or maybe she intuited the White House was thinking of such a thing (as I did last week). In any event, shortly after the Jarrett-Clinton tête-à-tête, Joe Biden made another of his many classic goofy statements, telling a crowd his opponents would put "y'all in chains." (In the same week he indicated he thought we were in the 20th century and that Virginia was North Carolina.)
Timing is everything, and seeing her opening. Sarah suggested Obama replace Biden with Hillary.
Once again she demonstrated her superb political skills. Her jibe locked Obama into running with Biden again; reminded Hillary supporters how much better a choice she would have been than Joe; showed how much smarter Sarah was than Biden, the dummy Obama ran with and whose constant gaffes (like Obama's) had been downplayed or covered up by a then love struck press.
Since Palin made the suggestion, Biden and Obama are now shackled together, like Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis in the old movie "The Defiant Ones." It's as if she tattooed on their backsides "Together Forever." Joe's many fumbles this week caused Obama publicly to meet with Hillary and Joe. Afterward , Biden was shipped off to Delaware where it is unlikely he will be allowed out without minders and prepared statements until the election is over. Polls show what common sense suggests, Biden's a liability to Obama.
Iowahawk's take on Biden is, as usual, succinct and fantastic:
"David Burge @iowahawkblog
Joe Biden reminds of a simpler America, when a kid could go to the local drug store and buy cough syrup and model glue and leaded paint."
But everyone it seems had their shots at Biden and the Obama campaign's effort to destroy Paul Ryan, forcing it to return to all that it has left in its sparse quiver-- cheap shots in the class and race war-- this week.
Andrew Malcolm at Investor's Business Daily:
According to veteran Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, between now and that election day Obama and his skilled team of reputation removers are going to so systematically dismantle Paul Ryan piece by painful piece, such that even his own children will boo him.
Much of this will be accomplished by Chicago's opposition researchers feeding negative information to a few cooperative media representatives who will deliver it to the American public as news, sources masked.
We might learn, for instance, that for two decades Ryan has been attending a church where a priest has regularly delivered such anti-American, anti-Lutheran rants that Ryan will have to deny he ever heard any of them.
And Shrum knows well how this works. After all, he's led or worked on victorious Democrat White House campaigns for President Dick Gephardt, President Ted Kennedy, President Michael Dukakis, President Bob Kerrey, President Al Gore and, most recently, the winning come-from-ahead campaign of President John Kerry. Oh, wait.
Over at JustOneMinute, frequent poster bgates did his on-target spoof of Biden:
Listen, folks, as far as I'm concerned there's only one person who chooses who the Vice President is, and his name is Barack Hus...Obama. And the American people. Of course, you guys get your say, right? That's what this is: It's election season! And so everybody gets political.
But I'll tell you right now the same thing that I told Barack in 2008, that I am ready, willing, prepared, able, and eager that if the worst should happen - obviously not eager about that part, but if it did, and you don't even want to put that thought into the air. Don't want to give the crazies any ideas. Especially on a day like now, when we're learning that a far right-wing conservative Christian organization has been involved in a deadly shooting right in Washington DC. I mean that's what we're dealing with every day, folks.
And now they'll come out, Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh, and all the rest of 'em, who want to tear down what we've done and take America back into the Stone Age of the 1950s and the 1800s instead of working with us on a bipartisan basis without all the name-calling, and they'll say that Joe Biden accused everybody on the right of being a potential mass murderer. I never said that. I have no way of knowing how many, or what they're all thinking. My job as Vice President isn't to count every one who might be a threat, but to be aware of the ones who are a threat, and plan to deal with those as best we can, besides helping on the different initiatives that Barack gives me, and so far I've done it. And I'll continue to do it.
And I'm going to do it for another four more years, and Barack is going to do it with me. God bless you and God bless America! And every other country, whether Allah or God or even for the agnostics, because we have freedom of religion which is so very precious.
Posted by: bgates | August 15, 2012 at 04:51 PM
But defiance toward Obama and his team and its gutter politics is growing. Even the press is starting to rankle at the fact that Obama will speak only to exceedingly soft star struck interviewers on local stations and frivolous publications like People magazine, while refusing to take any hard questions, and his surrogates are getting what they've long deserved: ridicule of their fact free claims.
Wolf Blitzer refused to let go unchallenged Debbie Wasserman Schultz's lies about Medicare and Ryan's "extreme" positions to "shred Medicare" and "leave seniors out in the cold". Once she was challenged and forced off her prepared lies, she was struck dumb.
By picking Paul Ryan as his running mate, Romney did a little Sarah-like jujitsu himself. Knowing that Obamacare is hated and Medicare liked by seniors, Romney has made it difficult for the Democrats to win by scaring old folks yet again. He is hitting over and again how Ryan tried to save Medicare while Obama stole $716 billion from it to fund the detested Obamacare.
In another instance of the tide turning, watch White House spokesman Carney flail when his boss is rightfully charged with making frivolous claims while at the same time hypocritically pretending he wants to make the campaign to turn on debates about more high minded policy matters. Mary Katharine Ham describes it:
Jake Tapper asks if Obama's three references to Seamus are part of the "important policy debate" the White House is trying to have, which is allegedly being foiled by Romney and Ryan. Carney demurs, saying the Seamus line was just a joke in three speeches and shouldn't overtake the conversation. Tapper calls the comment "cable catnip" the White House should be savvy enough to avoid. Carney exhibits wide-eyed innocence as most of the press corps chuckles.
Miners and regular folks are showing up in great numbers all across the battleground states where Ryan and Romney are campaigning. (See this.) Turnout for the President and Biden is often sparse and not as enthusiastic.
Young people are abandoning Obama. Respecting young voters:
Pollster John Zogby of JZ Analytics told Secrets Tuesday that Romney received 41 percent in his weekend poll of 1,117 likely voters, for the first time crossing the 40 percent mark. What's more, he said that Romney is the only Republican of those who competed in the primaries to score so high among 18-29 year olds.
"This is the first time I am seeing Romney's numbers this high among 18-29 year olds," said Zogby. "This could be trouble for Obama who needs every young voter he can get."
Black voters aren't as ecstatic about Obama as they were in 2008 and that is (a) critically dangerous for him and (b) a sign that his campaign will shift to even more race baiting. Jay Cost at the Weekly Standard:
...his election chances once again hinge on convincing some African Americans who do not normally vote to vote for him, and persuading some other African Americans who usually vote Republican to vote for him.
There is no guarantee this will happen. The latest Rasmussen poll of likely voters finds Romney pulling in 9 percent of African American support, and African Americans making up 12 percent of the total electorate. If that turns out to be the case in November, Obama would still do better than Kerry, but about 1.5 points worse than he did in 2008, taking into account the black vote alone.
With jobs scarce in the ghetto -- Obama's mismanagement of the economy hurting the poorest the worst -- even his old friends on Chicago's South Side have fallen out of love with him.
It's almost certain that his feckless campaign staff which is doing a weak job at filling crowds at even small campaign venues and otherwise advancing his appearances will not be enough to pull him through to the winner's circle. Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics:
In Des Moines, at the end of his first day on the road, the president stopped off at the Iowa State Fair to visit the fairgrounds' famous beer tent. The Obama campaign was thrilled with the resulting photo-op: Regular-guy president buys a round of Budweisers for a dozen or so fairgoers, who break into a cheeky cheer ("four more beers!") in support of his re-election.
But it soon emerged that Mike Cunningham II, the third-generation owner of the 65-year-old institution known as the Bud Tent, was less than thrilled with the visit. On one hand, he told reporters, it's always an honor to host the president of the United States (in 1954, his great-grandfather received Dwight Eisenhower at the fair, the first of four sitting presidents to visit over the years).
On the other hand, in a tough economic environment the security requirements of the presidential stop, which included a full Secret Service sweep of the area, meant the beer tent had to be shut down for nearly two hours during its busiest time of day, Cunningham complained. He claimed that Obama's appearance cost him some $25,000 in revenue, which he described wryly as making a "campaign contribution against my will."
"I wouldn't have voted for him before," Cunningham told the Des Moines Register. "I won't again."
On Day 2 of Obama's bus tour, he visited a wind farm in central Iowa to highlight his support for -- and Mitt Romney's opposition to -- tax credits for the wind energy industry. Again, the campaign was thrilled with the picture-perfect optics of the event.
But shortly after Obama's caravan departed, Jeff Heil, the owner of the farm, and his son Jarret, let it be known that although the president was "gracious, personable, and very respectful" -- and that Jeff and Obama actually said a quick prayer together at the farm Tuesday, neither man will be voting for him in November.
"It is important to not get caught up in the president's glamorous re-election words and remember President Obama's first term record and rhetoric does not represent Middle America, entrepreneurs, small business owners and farmers," Jarret Heil said in a statement to the media.
The defiance against Obama grows. At one stop his caterer hired by the Obama campaign showed up in a t-shirt saying he did build his business, at another in Virginia, a bakery (Crumb and Get It) refused to serve Biden and ended up with so much new business there were lines around the block until he ran out of food to sell.
Pajama Media's Ed Driscoll observes:
David Gelernter (like Slate's Gage, a Yale professor himself) writes in his new book America-Lite:
Everyone agrees that President Obama is not only a man but a symbol. He is a symbol of America's decisive victory over bigotry. But he is also a symbol, a living embodiment, of the failure of American education and its ongoing replacement by political indoctrination. He is a symbol of the new American elite, the new establishment, where left-liberal politics is no longer a conviction, no longer a way of thinking: it is built-in mind-furniture you take for granted without needing to think. [/quote]
Well the miners , small business owners, Middle Westerners and farmers have had their eyes opened. They've observed the failure of this heads-full-of mush elite and are defiant. I don't think Obama's given them any good reason to return to office its most prominent symbol, a man who thinks a certifiable dunce could handle his job were he unable to serve out his term in office.