How Obama Snookered the Biggest Newspaper in Iowa
The flap over President Obama's off-the-record interview with the Des Moines Register's editorial board was no blunder. It was a carefully targeted publicity stunt, aimed at reaching a critical voting bloc in Iowa, the undecided and the Latino community. Did it work?
When I read that President Obama gave the Des Moines Register an "off the record interview," I was at first surprised but then angry, not so much at the paper, but at President Obama. As someone who has interviewed many national security and political figures I tried to understand why the interview was off the record, and why the President then allowed it to be printed. I think there is actually a pattern of deception by the President based around the content of what he said. In this case it was the newspaper that was his pawn. This was a setup to influence Iowans and to get the paper's endorsement.
I thought about the fact that Iowa is a swing state, that the paper is going to come out with its endorsement this Saturday night, and that the President wanted to make news. For those that are unaware, the President called the publisher and editor about fourteen hours after the last debate. He gave his vision for a second term but talked to them off the record. There was no reason given for keeping the conversation private. However, on October 23rd the President supposedly allowed the Des Moines Register to release the information. Anyone reading the transcript might draw these opinions: that there really was no new information, but what was said might actually help the President if enough people take it as face value. The important points were that the President said he is willing to work with the Republicans to get the "grand bargain" and immigration reform.
The Latino newspaper, LA PRENSA, is Iowa's leading Spanish news source. Latinos make up about 5% of the population of Iowa. The editor, Lorena Lopez, spoke with American Thinker about the issue of immigration reform. She commented that the Latinos in Iowa "did not think that the President accomplished his 2008 promise about immigration reform. The general opinion of people is that they hope, that he will be able to make it happen. They think what the President said was very good. As an editor of LA PRENSA and a Latina I am very happy he published that information. They just hope. My personal opinion is that the President cannot do anything without the Congress. I also have the hope he will work with Congress to do it. Both parties should realize that they would need to win the Latino vote to win elections." Once again, did the President with his stunt feed into the Latino community 's desire and hope to have immigration reform?
There are many questions and very few answers. For example, when someone speaks off the record it is usually to say something to make the interviewer better understand the issue and it definitely is nothing that hasn't already been said in public. When someone is called for an interview they might want to clarify a point; thus, will do so off the record. But this was not the case, the President called the paper. Why? What was his motivation? The only answer is that it was well orchestrated, and the paper was manipulated to give the President's statements a lot more publicity. By the way, this interview made the headlines.
Iowans can now see that the President is going to work with those across the aisle just as Romney was able to do while he was Governor of Massachusetts. Really? Unfortunately, in reading the transcript there was never a question asked, 'how does the President think he could do that since he has not done it in the last three and a half years?'
I guess at least a part of the plan backfired on the President since the paper endorsed Mitt Romney for President today. Maybe, the editor and publisher should call the President back and ask him to come clean and give an explanation of why he called them and asked for the information to be off the record.