“How much longer do we have to pretend these POTUS events aren’t campaign events?” tweeted MSNBC’s Mike O’Brien. “This is campaigning. Just call it that,” said the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein. They were echoing ABC’s Jake Tapper, who noted last week that the White House “seemed offended” when asked whether “electoral factors” determined Obama’s travel. Seizing an opportunity, the Republican National Committee lodged a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Office, alleging that the White House was using official funds for electioneering.
The sudden refusal by the media and RNC to participate in the charade got Obama’s attention. By Wednesday evening David Axelrod and Jim Messina were on the phone telling reporters that the president’s reelection would officially kick off Saturday, May 5, with rallies at Ohio State and Virginia Commonwealth University. Just like that, the lie that Obama hasn’t been “campaigning” came to an end. But does anyone seriously doubt that Obama would have postponed his campaign’s official kickoff for as long as possible, if his traditional allies in the media hadn’t called him on it?
Perhaps this is only the beginning. Perhaps the frustration expressed in those tweets augurs a fresh look by the media at Obama’s threefold lie regarding his signature achievement: that Obamacare will lower premiums; “bend the cost curve downward”; and not cause individuals to lose their insurance. Perhaps they will begin noting that Obama’s proposals never bring the budget into balance, that the rationales for the Buffett Rule make absolutely no sense, that it is hard to say the president has been good on national security when Iran continues to arm itself, Syria commits atrocities, Egypt and Iraq go to the dogs, and Russia is ruled by a mafia boss.
If the media do not note these things, then it is up to conservatives and Romney to do it for them.