Consensus: Obama campaign starts off with a faceplant

posted at 10:01 am on May 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Not exactly news around here, of course, but the word is getting around.  As Allahpundit wrote last night, the bad start to the Obama campaign has become apparent even to the campaign itself.  Now the media has started to figure it out, too.  Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei notes that the stumble goes pretty much across the board, too:

Nothing inspires Democrats like the Barack Obama swagger — the supreme self-confidence on stage, the self-certainty in private.

So nothing inspires more angst than when that same Obama stumbles, as he has leaving the gate in 2012.

That’s the unmistakable reality for Democrats since Obama officially launched his re-election campaign three weeks ago. Obama, not Mitt Romney, is the one with the muddled message — and the one who often comes across as baldly political. Obama, not Romney, is the one facing blowback from his own party on the central issue of the campaign so far – Romney’s history with Bain Capital. And most remarkably, Obama, not Romney, is the one falling behind in fundraising.

To top it off, Vice President Joe Biden has looked more like a distraction this month than the potent working-class weapon Obama needs him to be.

The two note that a bad three weeks may just end up being a bad three weeks, and that things may well smooth out for Obama after the campaign gets in motion.  Of course, this campaign has been in motion for more than a year.  They had prepared the Bain attack since at least last September, when Obama began pushing the Buffett Rule and started demagoguing wealth and the wealthy.  This has been the longest wind-up to a pitch in recent memory, and it turned into a pratfall.

That’s why the nod to Team Obama being a “political team notorious for discipline and effectiveness” appears to be one last fantasy to which the media may be bitterly clinging.  In 2008, all they needed to be was not the establishment, either in their own party or in general.  They are effective at raising money, or rather they were, but only in the context of being a cipher.  It’s easy to sell a product when no one knows what it is.  This team has had to sell a record that few would buy, and Team O knows it.  That is why their campaign has consisted of dodging ObamaCare, celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden, and throwing every distraction about Romney they can find to keep the media from talking about jobs and the economy.

Team O may prove effective at that, although so far they’re failing miserably.  But they can only be effective at that strategy to the extent that the media enables them to avoid their record on the economy, and to the extent Team O can stop shooting itself in the foot in the shiny-object strategy.


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