Free Markets, Free People


Obama campaign: “Insular and arrogant?”

I don’t know if you got to hear David Plouffe tell the world yesterday that there was nothing political about President Obama’s decision to refuse to deport certain illegal aliens.

I assume he must have thought most people would buy that explanation.  I also assume he had no idea or didn’t care how lame that had to sound.

Albert Hunt has an article in Bloomberg where he takes a look at the Obama campaign as it exists right now.

Private conversations with a half-dozen of the smartest Democratic political thinkers — all of whom have played at the highest levels of national campaigns, are genuine Obama backers, and almost never are consulted by the campaign — reveal a consensus of advice for the president: Stop trying to tell voters they’re doing better, offer an optimistic sense of how, if re-elected, you would lead America to more prosperous times, and challenge Republicans with specifics.

But, they’re not listening as is obvious.  They continue to try to pretend the country is better off since they’ve been in charge (meanwhile seeming to hedge that by blaming current conditions on, well, you name it, from tsunamis to ATMs, to Bush to Europe).

However they seem blind to the reality that the majority of the country just doesn’t see it the way they’re trying to spin it.  And they’re getting tired of the repeated attempts:

“I just want to see specifics and quit the trash talk,” the 31-year-old web designer and construction worker says in the session conducted by the pollster Peter Hart for the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. “Just get down to business and figure this thing out.”

That’s a 31 year old telling the President of the United States and his campaign to grow up, quit the divisive nonsense and, instead of trying to set a record for fundraisers, actually do the work you were hired to do.

One Democratic pollster says:

“The challenge for the president is not the current conditions, but the huge expectations he set that have not been met,” said Hart, a leading Democratic pollster. “There is no road map, no program, no conviction of where the president wants to lead the country.”

I disagree with one aspect of what Hart says – the current conditions are indeed a challenge for the president which is why he keeps trying to change the subject and/or blame others.    And yes, the huge expectations are tied to these conditions.  His challenge is to somehow convince the electorate he’s done a good enough job to warrant re-election.  And he’s failing miserably at that.

Too often, it’s felt that Obama is playing political small ball or tactical games. Party critics note the fumbled response to the president’s much-criticized statement earlier this month that the “private sector is doing fine.”

That’s exactly right.  Because, as Hart says “there is no road map, no program, no conviction of where the president wants to lead the country.”  When sailing in fair winds and prevailing seas, he (like just about anyone else) can handle it fine.  But when faced with headwinds and and stormy seas his lack of leadership becomes obvious.  The man has no idea how to lead, isn’t that good of a politician and really hasn’t the experience to know how to turn this mess around.

But he thinks he does.  And he thinks that he and his campaign have it all under control:

The campaign has an almost mystical confidence in sophisticated technology and in its organization, assets that only matter in a razor-tight race. Further, these other strategists say, the Obama camp is no more justified in its belief that this campaign is like a rerun — with the uniforms changed — of 2004, when a shakily popular Republican president won re-election, than it would be to believe that 2012 is a reprise of 1980, when an incumbent president was thrown out for non-performance.

Absolutely correct.  That belief within the Obama campaign has led to this:

The central challenge, the other Democratic consultants say, is a compelling narrative from the president and campaign, which they describe as unusually insular and arrogant.

The campaign however (see Cleveland speech) thinks it does have “a compelling narrative” which then makes both the president and campaign increasingly “insular and arrogant” … a sure formula for defeat.

But look at the options.  He has a record that is abysmal, he’s increasingly seen as incompetent or just not interested or engaged (or all three) and his campaign to blame others and “trash talk” as the PA voters noted, is falling flat.

How does he then change course and put a “compelling narrative” together that somehow, in the ruins of this economy, convinces the country he should be the choice for 4 more years?

I don’t know, nor does he or his campaign apparently, but the consultants are right – that’s his challenge. 

At the moment, given the economy and the circumstances, it is a challenge that appears to be beyond him.  And I think the fraying around the edges we’re all witnessing shows that and is the beginning of the great unraveling.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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21 Responses to Obama campaign: “Insular and arrogant?”

  • “…compelling narrative…”!!???!!
    Erp could’ve written that.  Look, I get that messaging is really important, but you have to have something REAL BEHIND the messaging.
    With Pres. Composite, the “there” just isn’t there, and people have come to feel this down in their bones.  And this WILL get worse in the near future.  The best political-media team in the world could re-jigger the message now, and who would believe it?

    • I still believe that the entire campaign is already based on the SCOTUS striking down ObamaCare.
      I mean, just how can Obama start to tell folks now about how he will give them health care when the already have it, on paper anyway, until the SCOTUS gets around to striking it down.
      The whole “data mining” operation is geared to getting personal with voters, about how they lost their health care to the Republicans in the SCOTUS, and how we need to vote them out.  (I know that logic really doesn’t quite work, but nothing else is working for them)

    • As if I planned it, Juan Williams comes through right on time …

      The Democrats have a nuclear option in this political game if the high court throws out the healthcare law as unconstitutional.
      That blowup-the-system button, not pushed since FDR’s attempt to stack the court with Democrats during the New Deal, is for Obama to use the bully pulpit of the White House, and the national stage of a presidential campaign, to launch a bitter attack on the current court as a corrupt tool of the Republican right wing.

      • Since Obamacare is very unpopular, this plan seems really dumb.

      • If Obama wants to destroy the SCOTUS I just remind the Dems that a Republican president can do the same thing on….oh, lets say Roe v Wade. Go for it dudes.

  • And this doesn’t help:
    In the Rose Garden immigration speech, the President said, ” . . . specifically for certain young people sometimes called Dreamers. Now these are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one, on paper.”

    So Americans citizens and illegals are just separated by a piece of paper? I have heard that before. But I have seen the videos of those same young people tearing down the American flag and raising the Mexican flag. Young American citizens who then take down the Mexican flag are disciplined. A local boy in middle school wanted to have students on Memorial Day wear red, white and blue shirts, but it could not go forward because the principal said that some people could be offended; I wonder who the principal meant. And just how is the government going to determine who of the estimated 800,000 to 1,200,000 16 to 30 year old illegals came here as a child with their parents or who crossed the border on their own? How many will now cross the border to game the system? It is estimated that for the next ten months the increased number of jobs needed to just meet population growth increases from 125,000 to 200,000; and the former number has rarely been achieved. The unintended consequences could be increased unemployment and increased safety net costs because of Obama’s policies for his New Americans.

    • Hey, he probably figures if he can become President, why not them.  He spent years telling people he was born in Kenya.

    • They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one, on paper.”

      >>>> I’m a millionaire in my heart, in my mind, in every single way but one, on paper. I’m married to the HAWT redhead in my office in my heart, in my mind, in every single way, but one, on paper. I’m a yacht owner in my heart, in my mind, in every single way, but one, on paper. Maybe King Barack can make that happen for me?

    • I agree with your thoughts!
      I’m also sure that team obama will find a way to ‘pad’ the unemployment numbers; they have been manipulated for a long time.

  • I can bet now that if re-elected, the President during Obama II will blame the President during Obama I for the conditions he inherited.

  • The campaign has an almost mystical confidence in sophisticated technology and in its organization, assets that only matter in a razor-tight race. Further, these other strategists say, the Obama camp is no more justified in its belief that this campaign is like a rerun — with the uniforms changed — of 2004, when a shakily popular Republican president won re-election, than it would be to believe that 2012 is a reprise of 1980, when an incumbent president was thrown out for non-performance
    >>>>>>>>>>> “The difference is this time you have me” — Barack Hussein Obama.

  • Obama, as mentioned above, is an invention.  In all the accounts of his life, including his own, it’s all about identity and self-esteem.  There is never any mention — or consideration — of achievement.  Can anyone tell me what accomplishment Obama had realized to become a U.S. Senator?  Any legislation in the Illinois Senate?  Any court case won for ACORN? He is the ultimate empty slate, and will remain blank for the foreseeable future.

    • He almost got a bill that he chief sponsored to actually pass, but they let it die on the Senate floor after he got the Presidential nomination.

  • The whole dependence on technology thing is just another example of how the left thinks they just need to do a better job of getting their message out. It never occurs to them that the message itself might be flawed; they lack the cognitive capacity and psychic strength to seriously consider that possibility.

    We should just hope that they continue being that deluded about how technology and GOTV and other tactical things are going to save them, when they are going against strategic headwinds as strong as any incumbent president has faced in my lifetime.

  • What part of ‘Øbummer doesn’t give a rat’s a$$ what you think’ aren’t you getting?

    Since the mask has long fell, ‘The Won’ rules by dictate (executive order), while a cowardly Congress cowers behind protocol and procedure.

    Where are our courts? Where is our constitution? Where is our Watchdog (Malfeasant) Media?

    We do not deserve Liberty if we will not speak against Tyranny.

    • Since the debt fight last year, Obama has retreated even further than before into his “little world” of advisors under the mistaken belief that he can out-Nixon Nixon.  Either “Fast and Furious” is about to explode or Obama isn’t just narcissistic but paranoid.
      While Progressives seem satisfied to believe that Obama actually reached out in a bipartisan manner to Republicans, we have been hearing Congress-critters and Senators talk about how the Administration never reached out to them on areas where there was a great potential for agreement.  Does anybody really want 4 more years of having “The Won” hiding in his room with his blanky sucking his thumb while the economy at least needs the government to get out of the way ?
      The truth is that his much ballihooed ability to get people in a room to come to a consensus on a path forward is AWOL (if not one more little lie).  This country and world have big problems, so if Obama merely wants to stamp his feet while stretching the limits of the Imperial Presidency to the limit until even Congressional Democrats turn on him, I suggest we retire him so he can perfect his golfing skills fulltime.

  • “But, they’re not listening as is obvious.”  And why should they listen.  What would they hear?  One of the criticisms of the Bush Administration was its insular nature.  But the Obama Administration puts Bush to shame in that regard.  Obama spoke of a Lincoln-like cabinet, full of nay sayers but he in fact peopled his cabinet with yes-men – and even they are not consulted.  His speeches are so controlled that it is attended by invitation only and IDs are checked at the door – he only hears the cheers of synchophants, not the average person on the street.  The only surprise to me when he was challenged by a naysayer in the Rose Garden?  He did not demand his head!!!!

  • For those who haven’t done so in the past, read John T. Flynn’s “The Roosevelt Myth”; for those who have, re-read Book 2, specifically the chapters surrounding the 1940 election. The contrast that the 1932 and 1940 elections to this one.
    The parallels will blow you away.

  • Heh, and now the G20 rep thinks he can blame the US (banks) for their crisis.  Sweet.  I guess that will probably play as well over there as Obama blaming them is playing over here.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/18/g20-summit-barroso-eurozone-crisis

    Globalization, means never having to accept responsibility :)