The Obama campaign does not need an intervention

posted at 8:00 pm on June 18, 2012 by Karl

Al Hunt doesn’t get it wrong so much as he just doesn’t get it at all:

During a focus group in Denver last week, Jeffrey Penny laid out his “criteria” for giving President Barack Obama his vote this year as he did in 2008.

“I just want to see specifics and quit the trash talk,” the 31-year-old web designer and construction worker says in the session conducted by the pollster Peter Hart for the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. “Just get down to business and figure this thing out.”

***

Private conversations with a half-dozen of the smartest Democratic political thinkers — all of whom have played at the highest levels of national campaigns, are genuine Obama backers, and almost never are consulted by the campaign — reveal a consensus of advice for the president: Stop trying to tell voters they’re doing better, offer an optimistic sense of how, if re-elected, you would lead America to more prosperous times, and challenge Republicans with specifics.

There is no intervention that can fix this problem because the candidate is Barack Obama and his reelection campaign is ultimately run by Barack Obama.

Bill Clinton was a different political animal. He cut his teeth on the McGovern campaign, but after losing the governorship of Arkansas in aprt due to excess progressivism, he came back as a New Democrat. That is largely how he campaigned and won the presdency in 1992. The client groups of the Democratic party pushed him leftward during his first two years (e.g, gays in the military, tax hikes, gun control and midnight basketball, Hillarycare), resulting in the first GOP Congress in 40 years. Bill Clinton then triangulated his way to reelection by a margin larger than would be predicted by the economy alone. However, as Jay Cost details in his new book, Spoiled Rotten, the Dick Morris prediction that the party would follow him never panned out. As Jay notes at the Weekly Standard, “what we have then is a history of the Democratic party being skeptical of Clinton, then pushing him so far to the left that he lost public opinion, then rebuking his vice president, and then his wife in the 2008 election.”

Obama beat Hillary Clinton in large part by running to her left, as the representative of the Democrat client groups (esp. its antiwar faction). Obama was entirely comfortable doing so. After all, despite the best efforts of the establishment media to downplay it, Obama’s political career in Illinois showed him to be a man entirely comfortable with far-left and downright radical figures. He racked up one of the most liberal voting records in the U.S. Senate.

Running for office in Illinois and against the mavericky John McCain amid a financial crisis catapulted Obama to the Oval Office without ever having had to take conservatism or libertarianism seriously. The Democrat majorities swept into Congress following the Wall Street panic allowed him to delegate the task of legislating to the most senior, most client-driven members of his party. He passed an unpopular economic “stimulus,” an unpopular extention of the bank bailouts, and the unpopular Obamacare.

As with Bill Clinton, the economy failed to recover quickly and robustly, and the Democrats were again shellacked in midterm elections, losing control of the House. However, unlike Bill Clinton, there was and is nothing in Barack Obama’s political DNA that counsels triangulation (which is how Rahm Emanuel and Bill Daley end up on the outs while Valerie Jarrett remains close to the president).

Barack Obama’s campaign is a series of panders to Democrat client groups because that is who he is and what he does. His recent camapign speech in Cleveland was not the advertised “reset” not only due to message discipline, but also because he is proud to offer nothing new. Contra the delusions of the establishment, Obama is a progressive ideologue. He believes he already has the answers. New solutions are not required. Indeed, beyond picayune gimmicks like the “Buffett rule,” any solutions Obama has to offer are likely as unpopular as his other big ideas. There is no intervention which can fix that problem now.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

heh

jaymil on June 18, 2012 at 8:02 PM

White, Blue-Collar Canaries in the Democrats’ Electoral Coalmine

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/06/canaries-in-coal-mine.html

M2RB: Scorpions

Resist We Much on June 18, 2012 at 8:02 PM

You can’t fix stupid, but you can vote it out of office.

Philly on June 18, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Just heard a radio ad for Obamacare…healthcare.gov

*spit*

tom daschle concerned on June 18, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Private conversations with a half-dozen of the smartest Democratic political thinkers — all of whom have played at the highest levels of national campaigns, are genuine Obama backers

If those are your smartest thinkers, you have a problem.

squint on June 18, 2012 at 8:06 PM

There is no intervention that can fix this problem because the candidate is Barack Obama and his reelection campaign is ultimately run by Barack Obama.

The mainstream media, slowly realizing that what they eat is Obama’s caca, not Beluag caviar, are emerging…with two memes:

1. The job is too big for one man – this is the biggest insult for the low expectations for the first black president, Bill Clinton notwithstanding. Every sane black s/b insulted.

2. If Obama loses, its the “Canaries in the coal mine”, aka, you are a racist country.

Both are myths. The narcissistice destroyer of the USA as you knew her must and will be punished. He simply can’t fool the populace twice. The U.S American people are naive, but not that dumb. It is incredibly sad that the Obama machine think so little of them that they run on nothing but lies, falsehoods and divisions.

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Thank heaven! Every day that goes by and Obama doesn’t do something intelligent that would give him a better chance to win is one day closer to watching those two hideous America haters head back to wherever they came from.

Night Owl on June 18, 2012 at 8:07 PM

The headlines are LITERALLY arguing with the Blog!

thebrokenrattle on June 18, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Heh, RWM…we were channeling each other :)

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2012 at 8:08 PM

its it’s the “Canaries

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Pic of the Day: I Am The Eggman. I Am The Walrus. I Am The King.

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/06/pic-of-day-i-am-eggman-i-am-walrus-i-am.html

M2RB: The Beatles

Resist We Much on June 18, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Obama’s campaign is too obsessed with micro-targetting and I think that plays a part on their inability – so far – to find a narrative. It’s like they don’t have an overall identity. Very good on details but lacking on the bigger picture.

And while tactics matter, the foundation of every successful political campaign is having an ethos.

joana on June 18, 2012 at 8:12 PM

The One and Dunce
2012

/Oh wait, that means Biden’s on my bumper sticker.

Key West Reader on June 18, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Private conversations with a half-dozen of the smartest Democratic political thinkers — all of whom have played at the highest levels of national campaigns, are genuine Obama backers, and almost never are consulted by the campaign — reveal a consensus of advice for the president: Stop trying to tell voters they’re doing better, offer an optimistic sense of how, if re-elected, you would lead America to more prosperous times, and challenge Republicans with specifics.

“smartest Democratic political thinkers”

There’s so much wrong with those four words.

AubieJon on June 18, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Head Narcissist In Chief.

Oh and a

SCOAMF!

jukin3 on June 18, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Contra the delusions of the establishment, Obama is a progressive ideologue. He believes he already has the answers. New solutions are not required.

That’s probably perfect. But I don’t understand the mind. After seeing them fail, the ideas, one by one, how is it possible to still believe you were right all along?

So, he leaves office and then tells everyone through his long retirement that he fixed everything?

Surely there’s a pill.

Axe on June 18, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Obama’s political career in Illinois showed him to be a man entirely comfortable with far-left and downright radical figures.

Yeah, but the MSM, despite all their “multiple layers of fact checking” couldn’t find it.

It was almost like they weren’t even looking.

GarandFan on June 18, 2012 at 8:20 PM

The Intervention will come when Hopey loses,
and the entire Left will have a Collective
“I Guess we Ain’t Going ForWard” Meltdown,

with ‘States’ on High Alert,with “Health
Professionals” on standby,for this upcoming
LeftTard Utopia ‘We Weeded Up’ Crisis!!

(sarc)

canopfor on June 18, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Oh, an ‘intervention’ is needed, but not in the conventional sense.

Midas on June 18, 2012 at 8:23 PM

At what point does the average Democratic strategist say to themselves, “I think this man is a Fluking imbecile and he is going to repeat the same insanity all the way to the Fluking election.”

NotCoach on June 18, 2012 at 8:24 PM

He believes he already has the answers. New solutions are not required.
========

Yup,Bill Whittles,”The Love of Theory” fits Hopey/Changey to a
“T”,er,is it “D”, for DemoRat!!

canopfor on June 18, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Intervention eh,well,Team Blue is a,

…”Clear and Present Political Danger”,
how about a,….

……”PreEmptive Political Strike”!!!!!
(snark)

canopfor on June 18, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Slightly off topic but the NagGang are foaming with lipspittle over Laura Bush receiving some award/honor of some sort. The irritated writer was saying something on the order (in comparision no doubt): ‘Here we have a first lady who is a respected lawyer and author.‘ referring to FatCakes, “She who is to be obeyed” Mooschell the Vacation Queen herself. $750K to zipp off to Spain. And no one in the MSN, Manipulated Stories Machine gives a rats azz. Oh, and her book was about what? Gardening.
May I remind everyone that Madam Mooschell ‘voluntarily relinquished’ her Illionis law license. There are few reasons to do this, (usually one is FORCED into that action) and none of them may in any way, shape or form can be considered ‘Good’. What say you about that LSM?

Missilengr on June 18, 2012 at 8:29 PM

The Dog-Eater tyrannical campaign needs an intervention by Congress in the form of impeachment.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 18, 2012 at 8:29 PM

well, i certainly don’t want to be the optimist…but i was over at Rasmussen…looking at the barry/mitt graph

since mid-april..mitt has been above 50 12 times…barry, not so much…0 times (bwahahahaha)

but who knows how much damage the leftist media can do to mitt. Andrea did her shot today…and so around the world goes the big lie…before the uncut vid comes out

obviously, nbc has some world class propagandists on its staff. Mr Romney should respond to this lie with a Big Truth.

r keller on June 18, 2012 at 8:33 PM

This post pretty much has Obama nailed.

WannabeAnglican on June 18, 2012 at 8:34 PM

“Client-driven”. Another, more polite word for PANDER.

bluealice on June 18, 2012 at 8:39 PM

canopfor on June 18, 2012 at 8:21 PM

LOL- I know, it makes me almost want to get cable again so I can watch it happen!

Night Owl on June 18, 2012 at 8:40 PM

It was almost like they weren’t even looking.

GarandFan on June 18, 2012 at 8:20 PM

HEH

bluealice on June 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM

The headlines are LITERALLY arguing with the Blog!

thebrokenrattle on June 18, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Are you a troll?

rickv404 on June 18, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Very good on details but lacking on the bigger picture.

And while tactics matter, the foundation of every successful political campaign is having an ethos.

joana on June 18, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Huh? Good on details?..like on what? Obama and Co. are failing at every level. It’s like a fractal. No matter how far you zoom in, the suckage looks the same.

RavingLunatic on June 18, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Stop trying to tell voters they’re doing better, offer an optimistic sense of how,

Good idea, just say “I f’ed up, but I will do better”…wait I know try this:
“It was Bush’s fault, but I will do better”
or
“I was inexperienced, but I am experienced now, give me another chance, I will do better”.

right2bright on June 18, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Obama’s political career in Illinois showed him to be a man entirely comfortable with far-left and downright radical figures.
Yeah, but the MSM, despite all their “multiple layers of fact checking” couldn’t find it.

It was almost like they weren’t even looking.

GarandFan on June 18, 2012 at 8:20 PM

GF!…where’s the 57 of these!…/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

KOOLAID2 on June 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM

The Obama campaign does not need an intervention

Exactly, it needs an election…and they will get one come November.

right2bright on June 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM

This really is quite an excellent piece. Exactly right on Zero and his motivations, Karl.

Gingotts on June 18, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Don’t know if the campaign needs an intervention, but Obama’s probably dying for an interception.

de rigueur on June 18, 2012 at 8:57 PM

White, Blue-Collar Canaries in the Democrats’ Electoral Coalmines

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/06/canaries-in-coal-mine.html

M2RB: John Mellenchmp
.
.
Pic of the Day: I Am The Eggman. I Am The Walrus. I Am The King.

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/06/pic-of-day-i-am-eggman-i-am-walrus-i-am.html

M2RB: The Beatles

Resist We Much on June 18, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Spot-on analysis, Karl.

Buy Danish on June 18, 2012 at 9:17 PM

…31-year-old web designer and construction worker…

Not sure why, but that line brings a smile to my face. There’s just something about it that perfectly describes… something… perfectly.

The Resolute Desk on June 18, 2012 at 9:35 PM

canopfor on June 18, 2012 at 8:21 PM

LOL- I know, it makes me almost want to get cable again so I can watch it happen!

Night Owl on June 18, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Night Owl:Haha,its going to be November 2010 Election
times a million-fold!:)

canopfor on June 18, 2012 at 9:38 PM

…31-year-old web designer and construction worker…

Not sure why, but that line brings a smile to my face. There’s just something about it that perfectly describes… something… perfectly.

The Resolute Desk on June 18, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Yeah, somehow I think he does a whole lot more constuctin’ than designin’

Who is John Galt on June 18, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Bill Clinton was a different political animal. He cut his teeth on the McGovern campaign, but after losing the governorship of Arkansas in aprt due to excess progressivism, he came back as a New Democrat.

You can’t discount the fact that homely feminist Hillary! had a complete makeover and finally took the name Clinton. That had to help him a great deal as she was a distinctly unattractive woman before then. It softened her up.

kakypat on June 18, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Great read, Karl.

Hey Joana, what micro-details? I haven’t seen any. Now if you mean micro- voting subsects, on that I would agree.

wolly4321 on June 18, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Private conversations with a half-dozen of the smartest Democratic political thinkers — all of whom have played at the highest levels of national campaigns, are genuine Obama backers

If those are your smartest thinkers, you have a problem.

squint on June 18, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Thread winnah…

SubmarineDoc on June 18, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Since the debt fight last year, Obama has retreated even further than before into his “little world” of advisors under the mistaken belief that he can out-Nixon Nixon. Either “Fast and Furious” is about to explode or Obama isn’t just narcissistic but paranoid.
While Progressives seem satisfied to believe that Obama actually reached out in a bipartisan manner to Republicans, we have been hearing Congress-critters and Senators talk about how the Administration never reached out to them on areas where there was a great potential for agreement. Does anybody really want 4 more years of having “The Won” hiding in his room with his blanky sucking his thumb while the economy at least needs the government to get out of the way ?
The truth is that his much ballyhooed ability to get people in a room to come to a consensus on a path forward is AWOL (if not one more little lie). This country and world have big problems, so if Obama merely wants to stamp his feet while stretching the limits of the Imperial Presidency to the limit until even Congressional Democrats turn on him, I suggest we retire him so he can perfect his golfing skills fulltime.

J_Crater on June 18, 2012 at 10:28 PM

You only change when you think you are doing badly. When everyone around you thinks you are perfect why change? With Obama’s campaign what you see is what you are going to get for the next 5 months. If Obama is smart and perfect and a great thinker and talker and if the polls are bad what’s the answer? Why more thinking and talking. So I expect many more “important” groundbreaking” speeches all exactly the same and a “Pander of the Month” from now till Nov.

We had Amnesty in June. In July we’ll have “Lets Forgive All Student Loans,” in August we’ll have “Check-Off Month,” in September we’ll have “Single Payer Month,” in October we’ll have “Normalization of Relations With Cuba month.” I have left anyone out? If so, there is always November. There won’t be a “October Surprise” this year. This is the new, smart White House. There will be monthly prizes for everyone! Ruling by decree was just the first of many.

Fred 2 on June 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM

It is incredibly sad that the Obama machine think so little of them that they run on nothing but lies, falsehoods and divisions.

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2012 at 8:07 PM

They do think little of us, but that’s not the primary problem right now. They have reached into their tattered bag of tricks and lies, falsehoods and divisions are all they have left. There just isn’t anything else. Your statement does pose a fair question: Would they use those other tricks if they had them?

swinia sutki on June 19, 2012 at 8:20 AM

Hey Joana, what micro-details? I haven’t seen any. Now if you mean micro- voting subsects, on that I would agree.

wolly4321 on June 18, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Micro-details? I don’t even know what that is.

I said they’re obsessed with microtargeting. With using technology to collect information and then tailor and adapt their message to very specific factions and subgroups of the population.

For example:
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/victory_lab/2012/05/obama_campaign_ads_how_the_analyst_institute_is_helping_him_hone_his_message_.html

joana on June 19, 2012 at 8:36 AM