CBS: Obama needs to answer for the tone of the campaign
posted at 10:01 am on August 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
How well did Barack Obama do in his press conference yesterday? If you’ve lost CBS … Norah O’Donnell took Obama to task this morning for his attempt to distance himself from the personal attack run by his former White House aide Bill Burton, which blamed Mitt Romney for the death of a woman whose husband had been laid off years earlier from a Bain-owned steel plant, long after Romney had left Bain’s operations, but curiously while Obama bundler Jonathan Lavine was in charge. Obama tried dancing away from Nancy Cordes’ question, but it didn’t satisfy Cordes’ colleague at CBS (via Instapundit):
Not only did this fail to impress, it now has CBS talking about just how much of a fantasy “Hope and Change” was in the first place. It probably doesn’t help that David Axelrod, one of the architects of both the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, told Politico’s Glenn Thrush this, via Buzzfeed’s Zeke Miller:
Axelrod to @glennthrush: “Bullshit notion” that 2008 was a strictly positive campaign.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 20, 2012
Twitchy calls BS on Axelrod’s BS call, too:
Yeah, no kidding. Despite all the fawning lapdog media reports about Obama’s “above the fray” campaign style, we kinda noticed that. Here’s what Axelrod told Thrush:
The campaign is doing what it did in 2008, drawing a contrast between Obama and the opposition, he insisted. The difference now is that the pundit class is holding the president to a phony, Catch-22 standard.
Phony standard? Even as Obama embraced negative campaigning in 2008, he repeatedly talked about dispensing with politics as usual. You know, because hope and change. So the pundit class didn’t build that standard alone — Obama made that happen. Intentionally.
Just last month Obama railed against “negativity” and “cynicism” in campaign ads and Axelrod decried Romney super PAC ads “accusing Obama of running a negative campaign.” And now Axelrod is complaining about a false narrative? Obama’s lapdogs regurgitated the talking points they were fed.
Clearly Axelrod knows a thing or two about b.s. notions.
The problem for Axelrod is that the Obama campaign in 2008 was able to maintain the illusion of a positive, post-partisan campaign while engaging in bare-knuckle Chicago-style brawling. How did they manage to do that? The national media gave them plenty of cover for that illusion. This time around, it looks like the national media isn’t playing along — even CBS is calling BS on 2008, too.
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