This sums up perfectly the first month of the general election campaign. The team with the community-organizing experience thought they could secretly arrange a rally in their opponent’s home state to attack his record as governor, led by the chief organizing genius of the campaign. David Axelrod got a large, unpleasant lesson in Chapter One of This Ain’t 2008 Any More:
In a morning news conference on the steps of the Massachusetts Statehouse,David Axelrod, one of Mr. Obama’s senior strategists, tried mostly in vain on Thursday to level Mr. Obama’s latest broadside on Mr. Romney’s record as governor of the state.
Instead, he was booed, heckled and chanted down by supporters of Mr. Romney who refused to let up even for a moment as Mr. Axelrod and Democratic state lawmakers sought to make their case.
With cameras rolling, the Republican hecklers yelled “We Want Mitt!” and “Broken Record!” and held signs that said “Go Back to Chicago!” Mr. Axelrod appeared bemused but rattled by them, at one point saying: “You can shout down speakers my friends, but it’s hard to Etch A Sketch away the truth.”
Word started leaking about the Boston event last last night, according to the NYT’s Michael Shear, while the campaign announced it this morning. Somehow — oddly — CNN managed to have enough planning time to have a live feed broadcasting over the network. As the video shows, though, that coup ended up backfiring on Axelrod, who stammered and looked rattled indeed, as Shear describes.
BuzzFeed has even more, with Axelrod looking like a deer in the headlights:
Yup … this ain’t 2008, that’s for sure.
Update: Wow … this just gets better and better. Here’s where Mitt Romney was while Axelrod was cleaning the egg off of his face:
ABC News covered the surprise press conference outside the shuttered Solyndra plant:
Mitt Romney arrived at the shuttered headquarters ofSolyndra Inc. this morning, a surprise visit that was shrouded in secrecy and part of the presumptive GOP presidential candidate’s attack on President Obama’s record on jobs creation.
“The reason for keeping it quiet is because we knew if word got out that Solyndra would do everything in their power and the Obama administration would do everything in their power to stop us from having this news conference,” an aide said in a briefing en route. “But taxpayers made a substantial investment in Solyndra, there are serious questions about what happened at Solyndra, why that investment was selected, what happened to that money.”
Solyndra is the failed California-based solar technology company that received more than $500 million in federal stimulus money before it went bankrupt last year. It has since become a mantle of Romney’s argument that Obama doesn’t know how to run the economy.
Did any of Axelrod’s organizers figure this one out? Doesn’t look as though they did.