Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:01 am on May 15, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

In 2008, a video taken by a cell phone at a San Francisco fundraiser cost Barack Obama the Pennsylvania primary when it caught the candidate claiming that rural voters bitterly cling to guns and religion in tough times, as well as their xenophobia, as an explanation of why he wasn’t polling well in the Keystone State.  One might think that Obama would have learned to stop saying foolishly arrogant comments about voters.  Instead, he’s just learned to confiscate cell phones at fundraising events:

In the latest attempt to crack down on potentially embarrassing digital leaks from presidential fundraisers, President Barack Obama’s campaign has begun asking donors attending small fundraisers with the president to turn over their cell phones before entering.

Pool reporter David Nakamura of the Washington Post reported that at a $35,800 a head fundraiser at the home of Blackstone COO Hamilton “Tony” James in New York City Monday night, the 60 attendees were asked to place their phones in plastic bags by the door.

An Obama aide called the move it “standard operating procedure,” but veterans of a range of other campaigns said they’d never heard of the practice, which is common in secure White House spaces where there are concerns of espionage, but unknown in contexts in which only political secrets are discussed. The new prevalence of sophisticated audio and recording capacities in mobile devices owned by virtually anyone wealthy enough to write a check to a political campaign, however, has put a new pressure on campaigns concerned with staying on a public message.

That is SOP in Congress, where visitors have to surrender cell phones and other recording equipment before being seated in the gallery, but … the proceedings are broadcast on C-SPAN anyway.  Other campaigns ask attendees not to record the proceedings at intimate fundraisers, but according to campaign pros contacted by BuzzFeed, no one has ever heard of a campaign confiscating cell phones.  A former Hillary Clinton aide called it “absurd,” while Rick Perry’s campaign manager gets to the heart of it:

Former aides to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman all expressed surprise at the practice, and they’ve never seen an instance where a campaign asked donors to surrender their cell phones. …

“What is he hiding? Candidates should be for and against the same issue in private as they are in public,” said former Perry campaign manager Rob Johnson. “This shows just how uncomfortable the Obama team is with their message an their candidate. And in addition to religion and guns, voters like to cling to their cell phones.”

What is he hiding?  His next bout of foot-in-mouth disease, of course.  Obama and his team must be pretty sure that they can’t trust the President to talk extemporaneously if they’re this concerned about hiding Obama’s responses.  After more than three years of writing this feature, I can’t say that I blame them, either … even if it means getting less material in the next five months.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

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Nice… it must be the “Chicago way”…

Khun Joe on May 15, 2012 at 8:03 AM

He. It has come to this…

OmahaConservative on May 15, 2012 at 8:04 AM

BISHOP!

annoyinglittletwerp on May 15, 2012 at 8:05 AM

I can’t control myself, so I WILL CONTROL YOU!

pathetic

revwillie on May 15, 2012 at 8:05 AM

now he can be free from the teleprompter and say how he really feels

i’m surprised there is not more outrage…i’m sure the lsm would be outraged if mitt did this at a campaign event

cmsinaz on May 15, 2012 at 8:06 AM

The Land of the Free? Not under this Administration.

kingsjester on May 15, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Rev W: What’s my problem?

O: You have to tell the truth.

See, Obama doesn’t have to tell the truth but if he does, he doesn’t want it caught on tape.

Fallon on May 15, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Most transparent president evah! . . . (but not in the way he promised, just in the sense that everybody can see right through the little punk).

AZCoyote on May 15, 2012 at 8:09 AM

After more than three years of writing this feature, I can’t say that I blame them, either … even if it means getting less material in the next five months.

And remember Ed, Joe Biden does not speak for the President.

Rovin on May 15, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Fallon on May 15, 2012 at 8:09 AM

ding ding ding

cmsinaz on May 15, 2012 at 8:10 AM

What’s my president hidin’?

Rational Thought on May 15, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Do they ask for wallets and jewelry too?

CitizenEgg on May 15, 2012 at 8:12 AM

No one should be surprised by this.

TimBuk3 on May 15, 2012 at 8:13 AM

1984

Can’t wait till they get the drones flying all over that “flyover country” making sure they keep us safe and free from terrorists and criminals.

I guess they won’t need to fly over DC, LA or NY. No crime there.

acyl72 on May 15, 2012 at 8:13 AM

@jimgeraghty
So Vladimir Putin, Trumka, and Obama’s donors, sans cell phones, get to hear about his 2nd term agenda, but the rest of us don’t.

Flora Duh on May 15, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Hey, I’ve got an idea…..don’t attend the mother f@(ker’s fundraising events. Problem solved.

Long haired country boy on May 15, 2012 at 8:16 AM

Do they ask for wallets and jewelry too?

CitizenEgg on May 15, 2012 at 8:12 AM

No, just our eyes and ears.

NeighborhoodCatLady on May 15, 2012 at 8:16 AM

P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C. W-I-M-P. P-A-N-S-Y. O-B-A-M-A.

GhoulAid on May 15, 2012 at 8:16 AM

This guy gives me the chills.,,,
……and not in a good way

He must not win, we just read about our future
if he wins. First they came with drones, now
they are coming for our phones

herm2416 on May 15, 2012 at 8:16 AM

Soon everyone will have to strip naked and get a prison-entry search of all bodily cavities before attending a TFGP speech, Gaia help you if Joy Behar or Helen Thomas are there.

Bishop on May 15, 2012 at 8:19 AM

*shudder* This is kind of creepy.

The fact that people go along with it – even more creepy.

gophergirl on May 15, 2012 at 8:20 AM

the attendees willingly give them up, i am sure. this boxcar over here please….

t8stlikchkn on May 15, 2012 at 8:23 AM

I hope one of his guests has a family emergency that goes unanswered because of this, and then they can spin how Obama’s privacy is more important. I know, I’m mean.

Night Owl on May 15, 2012 at 8:24 AM

He meant it when he whispered he would be more flexible in his next term.He’s just starting early.

docflash on May 15, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Notice: You must turn in all cell phones and recording devices at the door—or you will be “droned” when you leave the parking lot.

Rovin on May 15, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Paint your phone in rainbow colors. You’re in!

Yoop on May 15, 2012 at 8:25 AM

What is he hiding?

Tell Vlad I’ll have more flexibility in my second term.

petefrt on May 15, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Time to get a spy pen

Eventually we’ll get all those Obama donors exposed…as in naked…though not a pleasant thought.

ProfShadow on May 15, 2012 at 8:26 AM

There’s a simple solution to this (unless they’re going to pull a TSA and go with body scanners and full pat-downs): Carry two cell phones. Have a cheap one at hand to surrender when demanded, keep the good one (or the flip cam) buried in purse or brief case until it can be surreptitiously accessed.

Problem solved!

stoutcat on May 15, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Why waste time watching the Gay Won….

Electrongod on May 15, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Obama walks into a f@g bar and announces that he would give a bj to anyone who could guess what he had in his hand. A drunk at the end of the bar yells “a elephant!” Obama says “ding, ding, ding, we have another winner.”

Long haired country boy on May 15, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Eventually, they will end up hiring TSA agents to confiscate cell phones, wallets, liquids and, of course, conduct their famous pat-downs.
And I thought Kerry, Edwards and Gore were stupid, this guy beats them.

Sticky Wicket on May 15, 2012 at 8:30 AM

That “bitter cling” clip DID NOT cost Obama the PA primary. He lost every big state except Illinois and all the swing states, often by double digits. He won the red states and caucus states.

myiq2xu on May 15, 2012 at 8:31 AM

This guy figures out more ways to annoy people each and every day.

Those sheeple who attend deserve what they get.

dogsoldier on May 15, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, courtesy of the wikipedia page on the 2004 Senate race in Illinois, let us not forget this tidbit: As a result of the GOP and Democratic primaries, Democrat Barack Obama was pitted against Republican Jack Ryan.

Ryan trailed Obama in early polls, after the media reported that Ryan had assigned Justin Warfel, a Ryan campaign worker, to track Obama’s appearances.[20] The tactic backfired when many people, including Ryan’s supporters, criticized this activity. Ryan’s spokesman apologized, and promised that Warfel would give Obama more space. Obama acknowledged that it is standard practice to film an opponent in public, and Obama said he was satisfied with Ryan’s decision to have Warfel back off.[20]

What this excerpt doesn’t say is that Jack Ryan was mocked when he initially defended the act by saying that Warfel was simply there to make sure Obama was consistent, i.e., not telling downstate voters something different from what he was declaring in Chicago. But Ryan knew something about Barack Obama far in advance of anyone else: this guy says things before a sympathetic audience that can hurt him politically in front of less fawning crowds. The “clininging to guns and religion” comment is a textbook example.

radjah shelduck on May 15, 2012 at 8:35 AM

If you’re dumb enough to pay $35,800 to see some corrupt Chicago piece of garbage, you’re deserving to be losing more than just a cell phone.

Chumps.

MNHawk on May 15, 2012 at 8:37 AM

BHO hasn’t had a town hall meeting since September 2011 where he walked around with a mike. When was his last press conference? There haven’t even been any photos of his feet on the Oval office desk since last October. No more unscripted moments.

No Niks on May 15, 2012 at 8:39 AM

$35,800 a head, huh … sounds like another party for the 1%. Hunger Games, anyone?

mel23059 on May 15, 2012 at 8:39 AM

The one that got away

Shy Guy on May 15, 2012 at 8:40 AM

After more than three years of writing this feature, I can’t say that I blame them, either … even if it means getting less material in the next five months.

.
H I L A R I O U S !
.
Even the fact that the campaign has to take up cell phones is an amateur move! There will never be any lack of material from this administration as far as OOTD goes.

ExpressoBold on May 15, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Do they ask for wallets and jewelry too?

CitizenEgg on May 15, 2012 at 8:12 AM

That will be after the election, silly.

Archivarix on May 15, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Most transparent Administration ever.

Washington Nearsider on May 15, 2012 at 8:43 AM

More paranoid than Nixon.

obladioblada on May 15, 2012 at 8:45 AM

You must be a racist.

Grunt on May 15, 2012 at 8:47 AM

As much as this creeps me out…it’s plain to see this con man’s campaign for re-election is obviously in need of some intensive care…which is typically reserved for life threatening conditions. The viability of a second term for this fraud is diminishing more and more. Hiding and concealing will be part of the game plan from here on in.

lynncgb on May 15, 2012 at 8:48 AM

…unless it’s on tape…he can deny anything he says to a crowd, since he has such a willing media.
When will his folks start bringing TSA scanners to events?

KOOLAID2 on May 15, 2012 at 8:51 AM

the 60 attendees were asked to place their phones in plastic bags by the door.

Plastic bags…?!?!? This is even more heinous than we thought! Is there no end to this man’s ecological crimes?

Remember when reporters were stuffed into a closet at fundraisers? Proof that when you get people to accept that as okay, you can raise the stakes and call it routine.

CitizenEgg on May 15, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Indeed, what IS he hiding?

WannabeAnglican on May 15, 2012 at 8:53 AM

…unless it’s on tape…he can deny anything he says to a crowd, since he has such a willing media.

hahahahaha, that’s hilarious. There’s no shortage of the guy taking every position on every issue at some point or another. It does little good with a protective media and the RNC/Mitt campaign can only show so much to the non-political masses.

CitizenEgg on May 15, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Given how they’d lock folks up in the closet to keep unwanted leaks from occurring at past events, I suppose merely confiscating someone’s property represents a step up for them.

Libraritarian on May 15, 2012 at 8:54 AM

@Long haired country boy:
“Hey, I’ve got an idea…..don’t attend the mother f@(ker’s fundraising events. Problem solved.”

Capital idea, sir. Well stated.

GrassMudHorsey on May 15, 2012 at 9:01 AM

That is SOP in Congress, where visitors have to surrender cell phones and other recording equipment before being seated in the gallery, but … the proceedings are broadcast on C-SPAN anyway.

No Mr. Morrissey,

It is SOP in Congress but not for fear that visitors in the gallery catch video of napping Congresscritters. It is a security thing. You can’t even bring in a key fob or anything with a battery into the galleries lest somebody attempts to replicate the action of Obama’s buddy Bill Ayers and detonate a bomb in the Capitol. And they mean it with at least one checkpoint past the place where you have to surrender your devices.

That Obama is afraid of a repeat of his bitter clingers comments tells me that he doesn’t want one group know how he is pandering to them and only them.

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Plastic bags…?!?!? This is even more heinous than we thought! Is there no end to this man’s ecological crimes?

CitizenEgg on May 15, 2012 at 8:51 AM

LOL! Remember the DNC convention in 2008? They thought they would be eco-cool and use hotel room keys made out of bamboo instead of evil plastic. Only problem was whatever union vendor they used made the keys a quarter inch wider than the slot!

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Most transparent regime eveh!

Kissmygrits on May 15, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Remember the DNC convention in 2008?

I’m thinking this year they’re going to pass out rainbow colored frisbees like the one on Obama’s head on the Newsweek cover.

lynncgb on May 15, 2012 at 9:27 AM

From Barry’s Barnard speech:

It’s been said that the most important role in our democracy is the role of citizen. And indeed, it was 225 years ago today that the Constitutional Convention opened in Philadelphia, and our founders, citizens all, began crafting an extraordinary document. Yes, it had its flaws — flaws that this nation has strived to protect.

It ain’t working.

mchristian on May 15, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Whatever happened to freedom of speech at Obama fundraisers?

C’mon, all you bitter clingers out there–let’s cling to our God, our guns, our Constitution, and our ballots!

–The Sixty Millionth Bitter Clinger

Steve Z on May 15, 2012 at 9:41 AM

What is he hiding?

Hey! A little pity here, please! It keeps Barry from ‘being himself’ when he’s among the true believers. Can’t have video of The Chosen One denigrating various groups because he can’t persuade them to follow him.

GarandFan on May 15, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Can’t have video of The Chosen One denigrating various groups because he can’t persuade them to follow him.

GarandFan on May 15, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Hey, if the polls keep going south, Obama is going to divorce Mooch and marry Biden.

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Do they ask for wallets and jewelry too?

CitizenEgg on May 15, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Silly question.
It is an Obama fundraiser after all.

mechkiller_k on May 15, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Follow me.

Now step into the shower briefly…

CorporatePiggy on May 15, 2012 at 10:06 AM

I’m still trying to figure out why I can’t have a camera phone in my local courthouse – but I *can* have a regular phone (which I could just call home and have someone turn on the recorder, and leave the line open). Oh – unless I was an attorney or a courthouse employee. Then I could be trusted, I guess.

GWB on May 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM

So much for the Teen Vote.

Kenosha Kid on May 15, 2012 at 10:19 AM

See, Obama doesn’t have to tell the truth but if he does, he doesn’t want it caught on tape.

Fallon on May 15, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Exactly.

talkingpoints on May 15, 2012 at 10:20 AM

I have to much dignity to attend a fund raiser where the candidate so fears me that I can’t record his/her every word. This confiscating of the cell phones only puts everyone on alert that they need to bring a second recording device.

Imagine going to an expensive event of someone you admire and being told you can’t get pictures after paying $35,000.

katablog.com on May 15, 2012 at 10:23 AM

The most transparent administration in the history of America strikes again.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on May 15, 2012 at 10:50 AM

When you’re so effin’ stupid that you can’t have recording devices around for fear of looking like the vapid, partisan, amature, moron that you are…….it’s time to go.

So long li’l bammie.

Tim_CA on May 15, 2012 at 11:06 AM

The good news is, anybody left who loves him enough to write that check for a seat at his fundraiser won’t mind handing over their cellphone, they’ve already given up their brain and their soul. So there won’t be any complaints from the sheeple.

Freelancer on May 15, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Ed,

You’re just being paranoid. Don’t you realize that this is the most transparent administration evah!?!?!

They even won an award for their transparency; ‘course no one got to see it as it was behind closed doors, but whatever.

Gus Bailey on May 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM

This Prezzy makes me feel very very Queezy.

parke on May 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM

This Prezzy makes me feel very very Queezy.

parke on May 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Ever notice that Preezy rhymes with Queasy rhymes with Sleazy??

One thing I’ve noticed is that we’re 3+ years into this presidency and Ed can still come up with an Obamateurism of the Day. Has there ever been any other President for whom a daily goof/problem/lie, etc. could be found??

INC on May 15, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Just the fact that they had to spin it as “standard operating procedure”, which is a bold-faced lie says that Barry is circling the bowl. He can’t be trusted not to say something stupid. He is losing it. Soon he’ll be locked up in a high tower somewhere, far away from public view.

Xyz22 on May 15, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Wir geben alles auf für unsern lieber Fubar!

Olo_Burrows on May 16, 2012 at 3:53 AM