Could Democrats really be this tone deaf? For nearly two weeks, Team Obama has been reeling from his “you didn’t build that” comment — to the extent that Barack Obama himself had to cut a personal response ad to stanch the bleeding, so far to no avail. And yet, the Charlotte Observer picks up on a Boston Globe report from ten days ago that the “buzz” around the Democratic convention (such as it is) has the author of that argument, Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, under serious consideration to be the keynote speaker at the DNCC:
The crowds at political conventions feast on partisan red meat, and they could end up with a bellyful when the Republicans and Democrats meet back to back beginning late next month.
An Obama campaign official confirmed to the Globe Wednesday that US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is being considered as a possible keynote speaker for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
It would give the Massachusetts Democrat a national platform for her high-profile race against Senator Scott Brown, the same launch pad that Barack Obama used to vault into the public consciousness when he was an Illinois state Senator and was tapped to be the keynote speaker at the 2004 party meeting in Boston.
The Observer didn’t add much yesterday, but the new spotlight on the July 19th Globe story is certainly increasing the “buzz.” It’s even more interesting that the Globe cited an official from Team Obama, anonymously, as the source of this information.
However, take into consideration the date that this trial balloon got floated. The Roanoke speech took place on July 13th, when Obama first adopted Warren’s rhetoric on the beneficence of government accounting for all economic growth. The blowback didn’t start in earnest until July 17th, when Mitt Romney blasted Obama in a widely-hailed speech that launched an entirely new attack strategy on Obama. I’d bet that the Warren trial balloon got leaked to the Globe’s Glen Johnson somewhere between the July 13th speech and Romney’s rebuttal, or perhaps as late as the 18th, before it became apparent that Obama had stepped all over his own message by adopting Warren’s rhetoric.
Once again, take a look at this mashup of Obama and Warren delivering essentially the same message — that small business owners only succeed through the contributions of others to infrastructure, which ignores the fact that infrastructure exists in large part because of the wealth created by those who take risks to expand markets and create new ones. With all of the backpedaling that Team Obama has had to conduct over the last two weeks on this point, do Democrats still want this strident, angry speaker to pontificate further as the keynote speaker at the national convention, explaining to a prime-time audience that small businesses are just barely-tolerated parasites on the body proletariat?
At least Democrats would present their attitudes toward free enterprise honestly if they led off the festivities with this rant. We’re probably not that lucky. I suspect that the Warren-as-keynote-speaker trial balloon got popped the moment Obama had to cut that “Romney’s unfair for quoting me accurately” campaign ad.