I can’t decide if this is clever trolling by DNC chair Tom Perez, knowing that it’ll get back to Trump and irritate him like nothing else, or if Hillary is such an un-person among Democrats now that the dopey title of “real president” skips right over her and falls to O. It makes no sense on the merits. She won the popular vote, he was ineligible to run. If you insist on delegitimizing Trump’s victory, she’s the obvious beneficiary.
Plus, doesn’t the DNC basically exist to serve the Clintons?
Oh well. It’s poignant that Perez still idolizes a guy who led his party to electoral destruction at every level of government.
But the tension between the desperation among many Democrats that Obama needs to lead the charge against Trump and the shift away that the former president and Democratic officials are pushing played out in Perez himself: He called Obama out onto the stage by saying, “Let’s give it up for the real president of the United States,” then 20 minutes later, downplayed what he called “political venture capitalists — they want to find the next Barack Obama” — who aren’t focused on the nuts and bolts of party building.
Then the mic was handed over to liberal Jesus, who reminded them that no one’s gonna give them that old-time Hopenchange religion like he did:
“Do not wait for the perfect message, don’t wait to feel a tingle in your spine because you’re expecting politicians to be so inspiring and poetic and moving that somehow, ‘OK, I’ll get off my couch after all and go spend the 15-20 minutes it takes for me to vote,’” Obama said in his first public comments in months, which only a few reporters and no cameras were allowed in for. “Because that’s part of what happened in the last election. I heard that too much.”…
“I’ll be honest with you, if I have a regret during my presidency, it is that people were so focused on me and the battles we were having, particularly after we lost the House, that folks stopped paying attention up and down the ballot,” Obama said.
Is that The One expressing misgivings about … his own political mega-celebrity? I never thought I’d see the day. Bonus points to him for doing it at a fundraiser in Beverly Hills, with fatcats assembled to worship him.
If you take that argument seriously, that the cult of Obama was a liability for the left because it led Democrats to overlook midterms, you’re led to wonder if President Hillary wouldn’t have been better for the party’s electoral fortunes than O was. A less charismatic figurehead theoretically would send voters looking to congressional politics for motivation. I think that’s naive, though. We’ll have some yuuuge new data on this point soon but it may be that “the cult of the presidency” in both parties is leading the base of whichever party is in power to obsess about the White House and neglect congressional races. It stands to reason that as the presidency accumulates power and media attention, messianic candidates would appeal more to voters in each party. Not always — Bernie was certainly more messianic than Hillary was — but the last two elected presidents have obviously been messianic to an extreme. And maybe because of that, the backlash to them in the other party is also extreme in the midterms. If Obama’s right that presidential personality cults lead adherents to neglect Congress and, by implication, lead heretics to obsess about it, the GOP’s in deep trouble.
One more quote:
“All these people that are out here kvetching and wringing their hands and stressed and anxious and constantly watching cable TV and howling at the moon, ‘What are we going to do?,’ their hair’s falling out, they can’t sleep,” Obama said. “The majority of the American people prefer a story of hope. A majority of the American people prefer a country that comes together rather than being divided. The majority of the country doesn’t want to see a dog-eat-dog world where everybody is angry all the time.”
That’s probably true, but man, I don’t know anymore. It’s way, way untrue among the political class, at least, of whom being angry all the time is now pretty much the defining characteristic.
By the way, the actual “real president of the United States” notched 47 percent job approval in a Harvard-Harris poll this week, among the best single-poll scores of his presidency. There was a major question after the child separation mess about whether his numbers would take a hit given the extent of the media’s nonstop outrage about it. That doesn’t seem to have happened, though. After a dip much earlier this month, Trump’s recovered to an average of 43 percent or so, in line with his average job approval since early May. We’ve probably reached the point where opinions about him are so hardened that there’s next to nothing he can do to change them either way, including separating families at the border.