Obamateurism of the Day

The only reason this moment wasn’t on yesterday’s poll was that it came too late on Friday morning — which is one reason why Barack Obama’s assertion that “the private sector’s doing fine” such a faceplant:

Now, this is an OOTD candidate for plenty of reasons — for its sheer inaccuracy, for the opening it gave Mitt Romney to attack Obama’s already-poor economic record, and for the argument that followed — which was that Obama really needed to expand the public sector on the heels of a smackdown of public-employee unions just three days earlier in Wisconsin.  (In fact, expect to see that as a separate entry this week.)

But the main reason this makes the list is that it represents a perfect backfire of campaign strategy.  This wasn’t a regularly-scheduled press appearance by Obama; in fact, Obama rarely does press conferences at all.  The White House arranged this presser on short notice, after a week in which Obama took body blows on all sides.  The media had been talking about the stunning failure of the recall effort in Wisconsin and Romney’s sudden uptick in standing in a traditionally blue state.  When the media wasn’t talking about Wisconsin, the focus instead fell on the bad jobs report from the previous week or the attacks on Bill Clinton and Cory Booker by the White House for daring to question Team Obama’s unsuccessful attacks on Bain Capital and Romney’s supposed “vampire capitalism.”

They needed a game changer.  Obama held the press conference on Friday morning in order to drive the media narrative for the weekend, and get the media talking about something else.  Instead, not only did media outlets continue to discuss the bad economy this weekend, they also discussed how clueless the incumbent President seems to be about worsening jobs figures and the overall economy, and that maybe Clinton and Booker had a point after all.  It’s a perfect-storm faceplant.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

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