An irresistible soundbite from today’s sitdown with Sawyer. Keep doing what you’re doing, champ. You’re right on track.
He’s right, though, about how stupid the shifting narratives are concerning his Spock-like demeanor. Remember when people were panting during the campaign about The One’s famously unflappable “first-rate temperament”? Fast-forward a year and the lefty punditocracy’s begging him to turn into an angry, screeching anti-bank faux-populist demagogue. And if he does, rest assured that the media will cheer him on for being the liberal pretend-firebrand they’ve always dreamed of. More from Mark McKinnon about how easily led they are and why adding David Plouffe to the team will instantly help Obama even if it doesn’t make a lick of substantive difference:
Washington and the media are obsessed by process and personnel stories. They always confer ridiculously exalted status on consultants, rewarding them with outsize responsibility when they win and disproportionate blame when they lose.
And Washington wants a pound of flesh. The media feeds on conflict. They want an admission from the president that things are not going well. And they always read a personnel change as a white flag. And it doesn’t matter that in this case nobody was thrown under the bus. As Axelrod told ABC News: “I think that the reaction to it has been overblown, but I know that Washington loves the shakeup story. Washington loves the ‘When are we going to throw a body out?’ story. That’s not how we roll.”
But it is how Washington rolls. And at the end of the day, that reaction will help Axelrod and company. Even if Team Obama didn’t do a thing differently because of Plouffe’s presence, the press is going to reset the story. Good things—that would have happened anyway, but would have been otherwise ignored—will now be attributed to and written about as the Plouffe factor.
Bingo. Give them a good narrative arc — slumbering president revives to slay the Wall Street dragon! David Plouffe a deus ex machina to hold off the GOP onslaught! — and they’ll play along. Predictable as ever. Click the image to watch.