Green Room

Obama campaign spokeswoman claims low crowd turnout at rallies is ‘by design’

posted at 11:51 am on August 19, 2012 by

In a magazine cartoon from some years ago, two explorers in pith helmets are shown sitting in a large bubbling cauldron, their arms bound to their sides by twine. As a half-naked witch doctor stirs the pot, one of the doomed men smiles and says to the other, “I’ve got the last laugh. There’s a metal plate in my head. One of them is sure to break a tooth.”

A recent article from the New York Times indicates that the Obama campaign is in some hot water of its own. Observing that the president was greeted by 4,200 prospective voters at Colorado College on August 7, Jackie Chalmes wistfully writes:

Four years ago Mr. Obama often was drawing five-digit throngs, filling arenas’ nosebleed seats and overflow rooms and regularly requiring shutdown orders from the local fire marshals.

In the following paragraph, she asks, “Where are the crowds now? And what does it mean for the results in November?” By way of an answer, she quotes Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who offers up the party line:

We have plenty of time for big rallies. Our focus right now is on exciting our supporters and winning over undecided voters and the smaller and medium-size events are the best venue to accomplish that because the president can closely engage with the crowd.

Besides “big rallies are expensive” and pose “logistical and security challenges for a president.” Which is why the campaign is intentionally limiting crowd size. Sure, that makes perfect sense. You wouldn’t want crowds cheering so loudly that they missed even one word of Obama’s golden-tongue oratory.

The only problem with this rose-colored scenario is that the president has been having trouble filling seats at campaign events for well over a year. At a $44-a-seat fundraiser in Miami in June of 2011, he managed to place warm bodies in only 980 of 2,200 available seats. One of the few occasions where a mention of Obama’s name generated an overflow crowd was in New York in April when a capacity throng lined a Bronx street outside a tax preparation storefront with the expectation that they would be receiving free “Obama money.”

A recent poll, conducted prior to Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, shows voter enthusiasm for the GOP ticket running higher than for the Democrats, at a margin of 51% to 39%. The situation for the Obama campaign has become so desperate that his handlers have taken to reseating audience members behind the president so the crowd doesn’t look quite so thin.

But not to worry. The president may end up having the last laugh. It may turn out that he too has a metal plate in his head.

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I’ll start smilin’ about Prezzy Low Turnout’s chances of reelection when no one is willing to stand behind him.

Kissmygrits on August 19, 2012 at 12:13 PM

I can see a slow panorama to the right of the crowd and you notice on the left edge of the screen people jumping up and running off (and around back of the camera) to fill the empty seats on the other side of the arena, auditorium, atrium.
The progressive marxists have banners waving with full marching band. Right past the grave yard.
Just wait til the subpoenas start flowing.

onomo on August 19, 2012 at 12:26 PM

How about the notable absence of truth in whatever the Prez says and the nitwit vice president? Is that unplanned or is it memorex?

Fuquay Steve on August 19, 2012 at 12:39 PM

That’s rather like somebody long time unemployed claiming he planned it that way. Job? I don’t need no stinkin’ job. And Mr. Portnoy, you owe me a new monitor and keyboard for that headline.

rpjkw11 on August 19, 2012 at 7:26 PM

And Mr. Portnoy, you owe me a new monitor and keyboard for that headline.

Quoi?

Howard Portnoy on August 19, 2012 at 7:51 PM

rpjkw11 on August 19, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Oh, you mean the introductory anecdote? Sorry about that.

Howard Portnoy on August 19, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Does their lying have any bounds, even that which is plainly obvious?

sadatoni on August 19, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Many others have referenced Spinal Tap, “We’re just more selective about our fans” as an explanation.

LouisianaLightning on August 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM