Inbox irony of the day

posted at 10:01 am on June 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I’ve subscribed to Politico’s Morning Score for quite a long time.  It’s a handy roundup of political stories from around the country, and while much of it never makes it into posts here at Hot Air, I find the background data very useful for context.  I almost never quote directly from the e-mail itself, since it mainly consists of excerpts from the stories it links, but today will have to be an exception.  Someone at Politico either has a wicked sense of humor or perhaps didn’t notice the irony of putting these two stories sequentially in today’s output.  Here it is, verbatim:

BURDEN OF GOVERNING COULD DISTRACT OBAMA FROM CAMPAIGN: “Although American voters are not particularly focused on foreign policy in a time of economic trouble, the rest of the world has a way of occupying a president’s time and intruding on his best-laid campaign plans,” Peter Baker writes on A1 of today’s New York Times that leads with the trouble in Greece, Syria and Egypt over the weekend. “If anything, the dire headlines from around the world only reinforce an uncomfortable reality for this president and any of his successors: even the world’s last superpower has only so much control over events beyond its borders…Whether from ripples of the European fiscal crisis or flare-ups of violence in Baghdad, it is easy to be whipsawed by events. The trick for any president, of course, is in not seeming to be whipsawed, even as his challenger presents him as weak and ineffectual in shaping international events.” Peter: http://nyti.ms/KWDDkp. Jennifer Epstein on what to watch in Mexico: http://politi.co/LVhuWN.

MILESTONE: Obama played his 100th round of golf as president at the Beverly Country Club in Chicago yesterday. Here are some aerial photos of the course if you’re into that kind of thing: http://bit.ly/M5NFS7. Here’s Mark Knoller’s CBS News piece: http://cbsn.ws/MAyuCx.

All right, let’s take a more serious look at the Times story, and get a sense of what Baker is trying to say:

If anything, the dire headlines from around the world only reinforce an uncomfortable reality for this president and any of his successors: even the world’s last superpower has only so much control over events beyond its borders, and its own course can be dramatically affected in some cases. Whether from ripples of the European fiscal crisis or flare-ups of violence in Baghdad, it is easy to be whipsawed by events.

The trick for any president, of course, is in not seeming to be whipsawed, even as his challenger presents him as weak and ineffectual in shaping international events. If a president cannot stand tall in the world, the argument goes, he is not up to the task of governing in a complicated age.

For some reason, people seem to think that presidential election dynamics have changed tremendously over the last few years.  How many Presidents lost their re-election bid in a general election?  More in the 19th century than afterward, and darned few in any case.  In our lifetimes, the only two to have contested for a second term and lost were Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush (Gerald Ford failed to win his first election, remember).  They don’t call it the bully pulpit for nothing.  The incumbent President has tremendous power to shape the narrative to his own advantage, as Obama tried to do on Friday by diverting attention away from jobs and onto immigration.

Painting an incumbent President as a victim of the whims of fate is patently ridiculous — but sure makes a handy excuse when one loses a bid for a second term.

Update: How many one-term Presidents lost their re-election bids?  As one commenter astutely notes … all of them.  I rephrased it above.

Update II: James Hohmann, who publishes the Politico Morning Score, tweeted a response to me:

Well, I didn’t want to assume it was intentional, but it looked pretty clear.


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What’s really important is whether Dear Leader’s handicap is improving or not.

Everything else is just a distraction.

AubieJon on June 18, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Obama’s handicap is a complete lack of ability to actually perform the responsibilities of the job, coupled with a complete lack of integrity and a total failure to abide by the Constitution.

psrch on June 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Obama to his staff:
“Let me be perfectly clear, I don’t want any excuses, now get out there and find me some excuses!”

xdwall on June 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

I think Obama’s athleticism is a media fabrication.

Looks kind of dorky to me. Look at the way he jiggles down the steps of AF-1, and throws a baseball like an uncoordinated little girl.
Read somewhere he couldn’t even dunk a basketball. He’s tall enough to easily dunk.

Guess his white half is to blame for that. Or maybe he just ain’t got game.

bailey24 on June 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Did anyone see the pix on drudge of the wonderful, adorable messiah and all of the things he has done this month?

Bambi on June 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM

I linked it in my comments at 11:17 ^^.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2160595/The-First-dance-Fascinating-scenes-photographs-White-House-capture-President-Obama-dancing-Michelle-playing-football-praying.html

Note Obama’s pitiful attempt to “look like” he’s playing pool.

Also, the supposedly “casaul” “dancing with Michelle in the private quarters” photo with Barry in a suit and tie (“private quarters, casual!”)…

Somehow, these two are “casual” with a professional camera crew attached 24/7.

Lourdes on June 18, 2012 at 11:28 AM

I think Obama’s athleticism is a media fabrication.

Looks kind of dorky to me. Look at the way he jiggles down the steps of AF-1, and throws a baseball like an uncoordinated little girl.
Read somewhere he couldn’t even dunk a basketball. He’s tall enough to easily dunk.

bailey24 on June 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

It’s called “overacting for the camera”.

Lourdes on June 18, 2012 at 11:29 AM

He can’t do any harm to the country while he’s out on the links. Keep playing golf, Mr. President.

Old Fritz on June 18, 2012 at 10:12 AM

If Obama could be trusted to only play golf for the next four years, I’d vote for him. He’d be the most conservative POTUS we’ve had in a long time.

Gladtobehere on June 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Not keeping things anywhere close to the vest, now, are you?

Lourdes on June 18, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Not sure if you implied a sarc tag there – but the non-humorous truth is – it’s really not all that secret, and what’s in there is really not that impressive. The hallways are like being in an old Navy ship – steel walls and lots of overhead conduit – nothing like how they always make it look in the movies. When I was on crew there as a Lt back in the 80s, the Japanese Defense Minister got a tour of the place. He had trouble believing the 1950s era computer consoles we were using were actually the real thing that our national defense depended on (low bid contracts and all) – and looked scared when he finally got it.

Besides it’s mostly shut down now – more or less in warm standby mode with most actual operations moved out to other locations.

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM

What? Europe’s a mess and it’s dragging down our economy? Did George Bush move to Europe? When Europe needs an excuse, who is their Goldstein?

rhombus on June 18, 2012 at 11:46 AM

All irony aside, I, for one, am very concerned that the Presidents’ golfing habit is cutting too deeply into his fundraising efforts and curtailing the number of critical fundraising events that he can attend. Someone in the campaign should wake up the re-election team and address this issue now!

There, I feel much better now.

parke on June 18, 2012 at 11:48 AM

We will never see the college transcripts – they are probably locked in the deepest bunker at Mt. Cheyenne.

But can we have a look at this phenomenal over-achiever’s golf scores?

CorporatePiggy on June 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Do we know that they even exist?

BobMbx on June 18, 2012 at 12:01 PM

I think the person who said the job is too big for 1 man BS may be onto another excuse.

gsherin on June 18, 2012 at 10:12 AM

I remember serious articles asking exactly that question … while Jimmy Carter was president.

I notice they stopped asking after that. Until Obama.

Of course, when Reagan became president they immediately pivoted to stories about the disgraceful way he refused to micromanage from the White House. They started calling him a “hands-off president.”

tom on June 18, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I think Obama’s athleticism is a media fabrication.
bailey24 on June 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

He also went bowling, bowled three games, and couldn’t break a score of 100 on any of them. The guy’s got zero athleticism.

tommyboy on June 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Will he be fired for this?

Bmore on June 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM

POTUS NPD on full display.

BHO Jonestown on June 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM

OT: FNN just showed video of Romney calling for an independent council to look into the WH leaks.

davidk on June 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM

…pivot…pivot…pivot…pivot…pivot…pivot…pivot…divot…FORE..ward!

KOOLAID2 on June 18, 2012 at 12:21 PM

If I had a wife like her harping over everything I ate – and who knows what else, I’d be looking to get away too.

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Yep, she strikes me as extremely high maintenance. That’s reason alone for little Bammie to want to win, just to keep the Secret Service barrier between them, and all the extravagant luxuries of the office to keep her occupied. Imagine the horror of going back to Chicago to live with her in the Rezko house.

slickwillie2001 on June 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Imagine the horror of going back to Chicago to live with her in the Rezko house.

slickwillie2001 on June 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Ohhh the horrrror!!! (shivers)

Luckily I have a wife who likes steak, burgers, brats, wine and beer as much as I do – and does NOT eat arugula (whatever that is). Last time I golfed was over a year ago – and my wife even suggested that I at least go to the driving for Father’s Day yesterday since she was working (and our kids are out of the house).

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM

driving range for Father’s Day yesterday since she was working (and our kids are out of the house).

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Darn keyboard – I mean Bush’s fault….

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Why wasn’t he with his kids?

Blake on June 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM

MILESTONE: Obama played his 100th round of golf as president at the Beverly Country Club in Chicago yesterday

“I got responsibilities” – Obama

Um. Except when he doesn’t…

“I will not rest until everyone has a job” - Obama

Um. Actions speak louder than words.

TN Mom on June 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Painting an incumbent President as a victim of the whims of fate is patently ridiculous — but sure makes a handy excuse when one loses a bid for a second term.

He is the eternal Victim in Chief. He has no clue what responsibility and grown up mean.

The fools are all those who brung him…yes, you Peggy Noonan and utterly stupid Althouse. Never forget!

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Why wasn’t he with his kids?

Blake on June 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Yah – ya think…???

Maybe they helped caddy and ran to the beer cart for him…////

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2012 at 1:04 PM

When Europe needs an excuse, who is their Goldstein?

rhombus on June 18, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Jews.

Rebar on June 18, 2012 at 1:14 PM

That’s reason alone for little Bammie to want to win, just to keep the Secret Service barrier between them, and all the extravagant luxuries of the office to keep her occupied. Imagine the horror of going back to Chicago to live with her in the Rezko house.

slickwillie2001 on June 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Not to mention having to deal with the woman on a commercial flight after four years of flitting around the world on the taxpayer’s dime.

Happy Nomad on June 18, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Obama played his 100th round of golf as president at the Beverly Country Club in Chicago yesterday.

He is way ahead of Bush in rounds played per year as president. The MSM is unavailable for comment.

I wonder how Teh One manages to blame Bush for his poor golf scores. Maybe he can blame Bush for his inability to concentrate while playing — Bush’s bad economy and all that. Missed a three foot putt? Damn that Bush!

When he loses his reelection bid will he blame it on Bush?

farsighted on June 18, 2012 at 1:22 PM

The fools are all those who brung him…yes, you Peggy Noonan ….
Schadenfreude on June 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

I believe Peggy Noonan has said that she did not vote for Obama.

Her faddish fawning over him,however, was at least as moronic as voting for him.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on June 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM

LOL indeed… The welfare queens agitator has more campaign fundraisers than all other previous 4 President combined, that 28 years of Presidency from Reagan ( 8 years), George H W Bush (4 years), Bill Cliton (8 years), George W Bush ( 8 years)… The incompetent fool does nothing but campaigning… it is the perpertual campaign of all times… Of course in addition to that the fool has played more golf than any other President since Eisenhower… plus vacationing and meeting his rich limousine liberal friends…

mnjg on June 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM

When he loses his reelection bid will he blame it on Bush?

farsighted on June 18, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Well of course! Amazing how we just didn’t realize how incredibly omnipotent / all-powerful Bush was. It’s simply amazing that Bush was able to do so much all by himself – while Obummer “can’t do it alone”…..

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Anyone with a moderate amount of athletic ability can look at Obama and plainly see that he has very little of that ability.

I can promise you the chances of this guy ever breaking 100 (and probably much higher actually) on the golf course are slim and none..

Maybe on a really good day when he is really hitting his foot wedge good…

RockyJ. on June 18, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I can promise you the chances of this guy ever breaking 100 (and probably much higher actually) on the golf course are slim and none..

RockyJ. on June 18, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Hey – I can do that – on the first 9 holes anyway……
Now if he does his scoring the same way Kim Jong Il did….

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Well of course! Amazing how we just didn’t realize how incredibly omnipotent / all-powerful Bush was. It’s simply amazing that Bush was able to do so much all by himself – while Obummer “can’t do it alone”…..

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2012 at 1:34 PM

But, of course, no President can do it alone. That’s not how our government is set up. Congress is a co-equal branch of government. A real leader would know that he has to work with Congressional leaders of both parties to get things done. Yet, Obama has decided that Congressional gridlock is almost as much a cause for his failures as GWB or the economy. As such, we’ve seen this myth that Obama is out there working for the public all by himself.

Happy Nomad on June 18, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Obama to Caddy: “Write down a 4 on that hole son.”

Caddy: “Umm…Mr. President, I counted 8 strokes.”

Obama: “4 of those shots were because of the group ahead of us. Write down a 4.”

weaselyone on June 18, 2012 at 1:47 PM

BURDEN OF GOVERNING COULD DISTRACT OBAMA FROM CAMPAIGN

I am just astounded that this type of headline would ever get written. I think it’s awesome the Politico editor noticed these items and put them together. Maybe there’s hope for them yet!

GeorgiaBuckeye on June 18, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Caddy to Obama: “Mr President, don’t you think it is time to try a different club?”

Obama: “No.”

Caddy: “But you are trying to hit out of a sand trap with a Driver.”

Obama: “You must have given me the wrong club.”

Caddy: “You asked for the Driver”

Obama: “You took me out of context. I remember asking for a Driver on the tee box…even though you gave me the wrong club, I will make this work with just a few more swings.”

weaselyone on June 18, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Caddy: “Mr. President, you cannot hit your ball out of their. That ground is under repair and they are trying to get the grass growing.”

Obama swings and takes a crater-sized divot.

Obama: “The grass is doing fine.”

weaselyone on June 18, 2012 at 1:59 PM

But can we have a look at this phenomenal over-achiever’s golf scores?

CorporatePiggy on June 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Do we know that they even exist?

BobMbx on June 18, 2012 at 12:01 PM

It is very doubtful. Some say they are hidden because they will reveal he had electives in communism, insurgency, and basketball. Which wouldn’t really be surprising.

I think that the smartest man ever to set foot in DC got worse grades than that idiot cowboy racist warmonger Bush.

And THAT would be truly crushing for the DogMuncher if it were made public.

CorporatePiggy on June 18, 2012 at 2:06 PM

I think Obama’s athleticism is a media fabrication.

Looks kind of dorky to me. Look at the way he jiggles down the steps of AF-1, and throws a baseball like an uncoordinated little girl.
Read somewhere he couldn’t even dunk a basketball. He’s tall enough to easily dunk.

Guess his white half is to blame for that. Or maybe he just ain’t got game.

bailey24 on June 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Athletic whaaat?? Whoo??? Mom’s jeans, hello! :)… That image of him biking through Chicago in a girlie fashion, still haunts me :)… You betdha they have a double/extra in fhe WH who throw hose hopps for O’s and they photo/film him from a distance, then edit/photo shop the rest . :)….

jimver on June 18, 2012 at 2:15 PM

What??? Still no pictures of Obama as the Choom Gang leader?

faraway on June 18, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Obama: “My handicap is the lowest of any President in the last 60 years.”

weaselyone on June 18, 2012 at 2:23 PM

A good, strong president don’t need no stinkin’ campaign. 4 years of incumbency doing a good job will be rewarded. I will bet on the American people to give Obama all he deserves in November.

Herb on June 18, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Is it so special to have lost your reelection bid in the general election? Isn’t it in fact even more ignominious a defeat to not get your party’s nomination for reelection?

Truman was running in 1952 until he lost the New Hampshire primary to Estes Kefauver. LBJ won the 1968 NH primary, but by an unexpectedly narrow margin. Eugene McCarthy’s surprising showing foreshadowed the entry of Bobby Kennedy to the race, the huge division in the Democratic Party evidenced later by Chicago Convention and demonstrations, and the likelihood of general election defeat. All of this convinced Johnson to withdraw.

The real story of Presidential reelection campaigns in the post-WWII period is simple: you win if the economy is doing well, you lose if it is doing poorly. Reagan managed to win with weaker economic numbers than anyone since FDR, but only because the recovery was so strong as to be undeniable. Foreign affairs can help or hurt, but only so much. It’s the economy, stupid.

Adjoran on June 18, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Jerry lost because he pardoned Nixon – which is also why he got the job in the first place. “Good of the Nation” kinda stuff, wouldn’t do to see Tricky Dick Impeached, tried, convicted and sent to El Calabozo. So Jerry took the hit.

mojo on June 18, 2012 at 3:00 PM

mojo on June 18, 2012 at 3:00 PM

The pardon was a factor with some voters like me, but the economy was the bottom line. Inflation and unemployment had gone back up under Ford, and his lame attempt to rally the nation by having us all wear “WIN” (Whip Inflation Now) buttons became a source of ridicule.

Still, from 33 points down after the Democratic Convention, Ford fought back to make it close and the trend was on his side: had the voting taken place only four days later, he would likely have won.

Adjoran on June 18, 2012 at 3:34 PM

And by the way, reading Politico makes you fat, flatulent, and contributes to erectile dysfunction. They are the DNC’s press service. Wise up and quit linking the hack propagandists.

Adjoran on June 18, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Painting an incumbent President as a victim of the whims of fate is patently ridiculous — but sure makes a handy excuse when one loses a bid for a second term.

He is the eternal Victim in Chief. He has no clue what responsibility and grown up mean.

The fools are all those who brung him…yes, you Peggy Noonan and utterly stupid Althouse. Never forget!

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

She’s atoning for her past stupidity currently…

jimver on June 18, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Take away the media armmor, telepromter, trapping of office, and look at the guy, he’s not much. Not sure I understand cool; but I know spaz.

StevC on June 18, 2012 at 4:34 PM

It’s too big for an inexperienced, ignorant, cowardly, Marxist pathological liar.

The Rogue Tomato on June 18, 2012 at 10:10 AM

All the Mormons I’ve known are tough as nails. I bet the job isn’t too big for Mitt Romney.

Who is John Galt on June 18, 2012 at 7:02 PM

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I KNOW the location of Cheyenne Mountain’s no secret “anymore”, in general.

Lourdes on June 18, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Watch out, Voldemoort! Here comes Barry Putter!

That plucky presidential wizard with the scar on the side of his head has already cast these spells:

“Economus crippleatum!”

“Deathsquadicum activateus!”

“Stutterus Maxiumus!”

“Historeum reWriteus!”

“UnionStateUs Multiplicatum!”

“Asthmaticus Inhalatorum!”

GrassMudHorsey on June 18, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Dude/Dudette, you rock!

Who is John Galt on June 18, 2012 at 7:11 PM

More of this from Politico:

BREAKING … HOUSE MEMBER INTRODUCES CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM AMENDMENT: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) introduced a constitutional amendment this afternoon, aimed at overturning the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.

[...]

Explained Schiff in a statement: “I have always been loath to amend the Constitution, but this tragic line of reasoning by the Supreme Court has so threatened the health of our democracy that I am moved to introduce today’s amendment.”

Immediately followed by:

PI ANALYSIS … PRO-OBAMA SUPER PAC DOMINATES EARLY JUNE: The pro-Barack Obama Priorities USA Action super PAC has caught major flak for its lackluster fundraising compared to its numerous, right-leaning counterparts. But a PI analysis of federal independent expenditure data indicates the super PAC, run by former White House staffers Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, easily outpaced all others from June 1 to June 15.

BKeyser on June 18, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Obama played his 100th round of golf as president at the Beverly Country Club in Chicago yesterday.

Should be a better golfer.

gkaz on June 18, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Update II: James Hohmann, who publishes the Politico Morning Score, tweeted a response to me:
James Hohmann @jameshohmann @EdMorrissey I paired those items because of the irony you mention. bit.ly/MlwLzj

He’s obviously lying. The Politico is so far up Obama’s rectum that they won’t pull anything like that.

rayra on June 19, 2012 at 3:32 AM

Obama does his best work for Americans, when he is on the Golf course. Least it keeps his tyrannical mind off of US

General America on June 23, 2012 at 9:46 AM

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