May 2, 2012

"On Friday, the president’s Chicago campaign team sent a message that little is off limits..."

"... using a searing video to raise doubts about Mr. Romney’s toughness in a national security crisis. They followed that up on Tuesday with a hard-hitting, kitchen-sink television commercial accusing Mr. Romney of sending jobs overseas and of sheltering his personal wealth in Swiss bank accounts. And then, in a seamless transition, Mr. Obama was in Afghanistan on Tuesday afternoon, vividly reminding Americans of the weighty responsibilities that he shoulders as the nation’s commander in chief and — by way of the one-year anniversary — of his decision to approve the raid that killed Osama bin Laden."

From a NYT opinion piece called "Romney Confronts Power of the Presidency," by Michael D. Shear. An alternate headline might be "Obama Embarrassingly Deploys the Power of the Presidency for Campaign Purposes."
When they shift back into campaign mode on Saturday...
Back?
Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle....
A silly locution, found only in the New York Times.
... will bring to a close the first week of the general election campaign with a pair of huge campaign rallies in Ohio and Virginia that are intended to rekindle memories of his 2008 campaign.
I think this is a terrible mistake, going huge as a way to bring back the hugeness of 4 years ago. It's huge already to be President. You can't pile hugeness on top of that. And the hugeness of the past was something that built up, beginning from an unlikely underdog position, marked by the word "hope." This actually could work. How do you bring that feeling back? It's an intimate feeling, a sense that this new person has emerged. But a President holding 2 giant rallies? Going small is what would remind us of the past.

But the NYT's Shear is promoting the idea that Romney's in trouble, Romney's going to get it, because the President has the power of the Presidency to unload on the candidate who's so far only had to fight off midgets (or as Shear puts it — apparently without much knowledge of Bible stories — Romney's been "the Goliath in a field of Davids"). This appropriation of the power of presidency becomes an issue. It's an ugly thing when we can see it. Shear ends his piece with what is obviously going to be the Obama side of that issue:
The weaving of campaign and official business is the hallmark of presidential reelection campaigns, perfected by previous administrations of both parties. And Mr. Obama’s team will be no different in making use of the trappings of his office.
Mr. Obama’s team will be no different? Other's have "perfected" the "weaving"? I'm not seeing perfect weaving (or "seamless transition"). I'm seeing really crude and clumsy weaving and seams all over the place.

68 comments:

gerry said...

Sshhh!

They are in their cocoon.

We want them to think they are smart.

TWM said...

Going negative does work as past campaigns have shown, but I'm not sure it's going to work with it's all Barry has. If ordering a general to order SEALs to kill Bin Laden is the only positive thing he has going for him I think Romney is feeling pretty good right about now.

Matthew Sablan said...

If I recall, little was off limits in the last election either, where they hit McCain on his age and health.

Quayle said...

And all Romney has to do is remind everyone to take a look at their bank accounts, and do a back-of-the-envelope estimate at the spending excesses of the Obama administration.

I mean, when, as Obama, you're fighting the charge of financial recklessness, is it really a good idea to fly Air Force One here and there and hold big rallies where the masses cheer each new promise of more free bread?

Quayle said...

My guess is that the Romney campaign is saying to themselves 'let Obama and Biden keep talking.'

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... using a searing video to raise doubts about Mr. Romney’s toughness in a national security crisis."

My guess is that national security issues are past the sell date with a lot of voters. I think most are concerned with $4 gallon gas, 8% unemployment and the debt rather then with the Taliban or if Iran gets a nuke.

But hey, if sabre rattling works.

TWM said...

Oops, I meant "Admiral" instead of "General" and "when" instead of "with".

Eh, you get the idea . . .

rhhardin said...

Romney's been "the Goliath in a field of Davids"

Fowler "Yet Jaures was the Samson who upheld the pillars of the Bloc" ... Samson's way with pillars was not to uphold them.

2nd edition p.360, Spoilt Metaphors

cubanbob said...

As long as the democrats are in charge anyone with money and two working brain cells has money overseas. So Obama is merely demonstrating that Romney has a brain, unlike the democrats. Its not illegal to have funds overseas as long as the accounts and income are reported.

Obama and his amen crowd never miss an opportunity to beclown themselves.

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrell said...

Shear lunacy.

Chip Ahoy said...

I do get postcards from Opposite Land all the time. They are the sweetest things. It's a little messages saying, "Hey over there, this is what things are like over here!"

And I go, "Ah, bless," just like I do with the video of the puppies." I should have mentioned back there, the grass is very green and thick. Well done with the lawn. That tells me good fertilization in the fall. They probably do that hatching thing too. Here in Denver the gardeners with lawns do something I've not seen before. They use a machine to pull plugs from the soil and leave the plugs on the surface to dissolve. Then the whole lawn looks like geese pooped all over the place. Clay. Aeration. If you step on one of the clogs then, well, the whole thing is a mess and the lawn is fairly well useless for other things until the clogs dissolve.

Jay said...

They followed that up on Tuesday with a hard-hitting, kitchen-sink television commercial accusing Mr. Romney of sending jobs overseas and of sheltering his personal wealth in Swiss bank accounts

Yes, because the candidate that enables GE to avoid paying taxes, sends billions into GM stock, and sends millions into the unemployment line, has like so much credibility on these issues!

"Hard hitting" to the sycophant...

bagoh20 said...

I'm the last one who should be able to say so, but that is some damned dumb writing.

He gets paid for that...by an independent news source? Well, no, it's the NYT.

"And Mr. Obama’s team will be no different in making use of the trappings of his office."

Except for holding more fundraisers than the last 5 Presidents combined. Just think about that, and how it's "no different."

Paul said...

Sooner or later people will match Obama's deeds .vs. words. And he will come up short. Way short.

Mr. Buford said...

Professor, to your comment regarding the campaign going 'huge' being a mistake, I for one say, by all means. As observed by Napoleon in 'Waterloo':
Never interrupt your enemy while he's making a mistake. That's bad manners.

PatCA said...

To populate two huge rallies ala 2008, they will have to bus in every SEIU member from Maine to California. That will cost them.

As for his seamless weaving, the prez and his campaigners will have to answer all the critics of this practice. And this time the critics will be right.

But what else does he have?

traditionalguy said...

I guess the human mind sees what it expects to see. But Mitt Romney's hiding out while Obama campaigns so hard that it makes him look like a fool is nothing to be bragging about.

Obama is taking the momentum and running away with a quick victory in the image war.

Mitt needs to leave his secret planning bunker and be seen acting and reacting to Obama. The world awaits for Romney to join the battle.

Alex said...

Class envy never was a bad tactic.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Never interrupt your enemy while he's making a mistake. That's bad manners..."

Would that make Biden Marshall Ney? You know, just kind of charges off on his own?

Whose Grouchy?

damikesc said...

"And Mr. Obama’s team will be no different in making use of the trappings of his office."

So, not doing it the usual Washington way is finally dead and buried? He caved --- as he does with basically everything. Heck, if killing OBL actually WAS his call --- which, according to the CIA, it was not --- he wouldn't have pulled the trigger.

If only he didn't do things the mind-bogglingly corrupt Chicago way.

Quayle said...

Remember folks: it is horrible to legally put money in a Swiss bank account.

It is honorable and smart to turn off your website's location checker and illegally take campaign donations from Switzerland.

Fen said...

BlackFive has an ad that so counters Obama's football spiking, its worthy of its own thread

Michael said...

Mr. Buford has it right. Romney is right to lay low while Obama overdoes it at every turn. People that vote are generally not swayed by class envy and Americans are not keen on bragging. Obama is finding it more and more difficult to hide his true self. Not a good trend for him.

cold pizza said...

I don't care. Obama is awesome.

Rabel said...

The broader, alternate definition of "confront" seems to be carrying the day.

George Zimmerman has mixed feelings on this.

Mike Chuck said...

hope and same

mtrobertsattorney said...

Community Organizing writ large

Michael K said...

: Romney is right to lay low while Obama overdoes it at every turn. "

Has everyone forgotten that Obama's poll ratings went down the more he was visible ? I wonder what this maxi-hubris tour will do to them ?

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"...perfected by previous administrations of both parties."

Ahh, the Bandwagon fallacy violation in clear view.

http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/

Carnifex said...

Things that find Obama awesome...

Cold pizza
warm beer
cold rainy days
Chicago mobsters
the Charlotte Bobcats
the WNBA
reality TV
hot dog water

Carnifex said...

Other things that find Obama awesome...

the Miz
drone manufacturers
the TSA
the gun lobby(this one for real)
the NBBP
the MSM
Hollywood
Bollywood
the Dixie Chicks (the little fat blond one)
Vladimir Putin
the President of Iran, "Amagonnagetyou", or something like that.

virgil xenophon said...

@Carnifex/

The inclusion of hotdog water was a nice touch...a very nice touch...I see you are truly a discerning man..

EDH said...

This actually could work. How do you bring that feeling back? It's an intimate feeling, a sense that this new person has emerged. But a President holding 2 giant rallies? Going small is what would remind us of the past.

The proverbial "solo acoustic tour".

Geoff Matthews said...

I like cold pizza.
Reminds me of Saturday breakfasts when I was a kid.

Blue@9 said...

Per haps the big rallies would be better closer to the election. Or perhaps the rallies will continue.

The rallies will continue until morale improves!

tom swift said...

So are we going to see the styrofoam faux-classical columns again?

edutcher said...

The guy from the Gray Lady says everything but that Zero has a bigger thing than the Romster. And I doubt that, given the number of kids.

So far, the Romster has very skillfully countered everything Axelrod and Plouffe have tried.

Andy Johnson said...

The NY Times is a "vanity press"... It is the last of what once was a disgraced type of printing; namely, inflating ones ego by paying to see one's wisdom and wit in type.

Their writers are vantiy writers. Shallow, callow, credentialed and illiterate.

Every point in the paper is a refection of the owners/writers and how-brilliant-you-are-for-buying-their-ego based puff pieces.

There is nothing to which they will not stoop to fulfill their fantasy of a world that does not/has not/cannot exist until we are all angels (including them)... Fantasies are nice, but they ar not satisfying. They leave one alone and saddened by the experience...

I suggest "Put Down The Paper. Back Away Slowly"... cold beer, some Cinco de Mayo festivities and good food...maybe dancing... There is a rich rewarding and happy life without the NY Times and anyone who reads it...

DADvocate said...

Hugeness. We can see what a huge mistake Obama is. Huge.

Charlie Martin said...

Hugeness was a characteristic of the Presidency.

CptParlay said...

"Obama is huge." -- Joe Biden

CptParlay said...

"The president's big stick is a huge BFD." -- Joe Biden

JAL said...

Oh Professor. You silly emotional right wing lunatic. You are missing the whole wonderfuness of Barack, the Blessing!

Celebrate HUGENESS!

(And don't forget to do your early Christmas Shopping and buy your indulgences at http://store.barackobama.com/)

Carnifex said...

No...John Holmes was huge. Barry is bigger than that.

OMG! That Cinco de Mayo comment just made me realize that Derby falls on Cinco de Mayo!

Man! Party in the infield!!!

To those who have never been to the Derby Infield, imagine, 500,000 of the drunkest, trailer park trashiest, hottest chicks, willing to show more boob than a girls gone wild video, with even less incentive. It's like that. Only more drunk frat boys than girls. And vomit. And usually shitty weather, but this year looks to be epic. I foresee many sunburned boobies, and few bras in the near future.(just wish I could see 'em)

And I meant Cold Pizza the commentator. Yeah, cold pizza the food is pretty gnarly.

njoriole said...

"And Mr. Obama’s team will be no different." So, in other words, no Hope; no Change.

craig said...

TWM said, "If ordering a general to order SEALs to kill Bin Laden is the only positive thing he has going for him I think Romney is feeling pretty good right about now."

I don't how Romney feels about it, but if that's the only positive thing my opponent had going for him, I'd be wearing Kevlar 24x7.

DrSandman said...

Seriously?!?!? "David" and "Goliath" and the writer and ---how many?--- editors in the religion-adverse NY Times can't be bothered to become even the least bit conversant in the most important literary work of the English language?!

Seriously!?!

And they say WE have epistimilogical closure. Harrumph.

hombre said...

Obama: "... and Gov Romney has money in overseas accounts ...."

Romney: "it's not complicated or expensive to deposit money in overseas accounts. If President Obama is re-elected, I would suggest that all Americans interested in protecting their savings look into it."

Unknown said...

It's emotionally satisfying, and even intellectually justified, to slam Obama's crude campaign tactics. But to call it a mistake assumes he will pay for it in a meaningful way in November. I'm not seeing a lot of evidence he will. His status in the national polls is pretty irrelevant if he wins the Electoral College, and all the analysis. I am seeing shows Romney is a very tough fight to prevail in the Electoral count.

The blacks, liberals and Jews will all vote for him, and turnout will be sufficient in most high-electoral vote states. The so-called independents, who are in reality low information puppets of the media and popular culture, don't have the interest in, or the critical ability to, cut through the media juggernaut, as was amply demonstrated by their utter gullibility in 2008and their apparent continued gullibility in key swing states now.

tim maguire said...

Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle....

A silly locution, found only in the New York Times.


Indeed, "Mr. Obama and his wife, Mrs. Obama;" would be more Timesian.

Though "Mr. Obama and his wife, Ms. Obama" would be most Timesian of all.

BarrySanders20 said...

Jesus had a seamless garment.

The seamless weaving decription is consistent with the NYT promoting the 2008 theme of Obama as Messiah.

Who says they don't know the Bible?

killmenow said...

Geez people,remember the golden rule of politics: KEEP.IT.SIMPLE. As in ,"Its the economy stupid".Over and over and over ad infinitum.

Bobby Caygeon said...

TWM said, "If ordering a general to order SEALs to kill Bin Laden is the only positive thing he has going for him I think Romney is feeling pretty good right about now."

Funny, but there is quite a bit of information floating around now saying that this President didn't even ORDER anything. Panetta did it on his own when POTUS couldn't make a decision. Won't stop him from running with it of course. I mean, taking credit for other people's accomplishments got him this far...

leslyn said...
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Fen said...

Yup. Jarret was trying to prevent it and only gave Panetta total authority to run with it because she hoped responsibility for a failure would give Panetta pause. She didn't realize Panetta already had the OP organized and ready to go.

Obama wasn't even aware of the OP until it had launched.

John Stodder said...

I'm seeing really crude and clumsy weaving and seams all over the place.

I agree personally, but is there any empirical evidence that the voting public sees it this way, too?

leslyn said...

Oh big deal. It's a political campaign. What do you expect, hearts and flowers?

Ross said...

Goliath among a field of Davids? Hah! More aptly, Obama the Goliath going against Romney the David...

David said...

Moments trip gently along over here. Snow caps the bushes in unexpected ways, birds shoot and spin like balls of sound. My feet hum over the dry walks. A storm smoothes the sky, impounding the city lights, returning to us a dull yellow glow.

It's really hard to exaggerate how bad that passage is.

How does he use the word trip? Is the moment stumbling? Skipping? What's a "gentle" trip? Was he on one?

Snow "caps" the bushes? How does that happen in winter with no leaves? In what ways are the caps unexpected? Could we have an actual detail, rather than a generalization?

Just what kind of shoe makes your foot hum? Is it humming a catchy tune? If's there's all this snow, why is the pavement dry?

Birds are shooting? Don't people shoot the birds? A spinning bird? (Maybe after it's shot.) What is a ball of sound? How can a bird be "like" something that is vaguely incomprehensible?

The storm is smoothing the sky? Was it all rumpled before the storm? The storm is impounding the lights? Were they illegally parked? If the lights are impounded, where is the yellow glow coming from? And what is glowing? ("returning us to a dull yellow glow.") Who is "us?" Is there someone else with him? Is Obama glowing yellow? Man, if so, that trip is getting less gentle.

Verdict: pretentious, lacking internal logic and consistency, confused, lacking emotion, no interesting details, impersonal, humorless.

But very few adjectives and adverbs.

John Stodder said...

Oh big deal. It's a political campaign. What do you expect, hearts and flowers?

Exactly right, but the question (to me, and I think to Althouse) is, is he doing it effectively? Or does it seem so transparently insincere and blatantly tactical that it is backfiring? You can do this kind of thing suavely, or you can do it gauchely (to limit myself to words with "au" in them). To me, it's been gauche. But my question in the comment above is, is it just me, or does this stuff also rub the broader voting public the wrong way?

David said...

Ok, now that I've had my fun with Obama's crappy writing, I will grant that he was an undergraduate trying to impress a literary type girl.

For the sake of her own literary reputation, I hope she was not impressed.

el polacko said...

let 'big-stick' barack spike his balls and shoot his desperate wad all over his fainting admirers now. november is a long time away and he'll be be very limp and emptied by then.

traditionalguy said...

A word of caution to the Obama does it all wrong crowd: undecided voters follow the same rule as everybody else does which is First Impressions are seldom changed. You guys prove that every day.

The opening narative is all important.

The closing argument can only build upon a good opening narrative which was the first impression that the deciders had about the men in the election.

Romney needed to start speaking his narrative and his promises two weeks ago.

Leland said...

I'm with Pat in CA. Saying his stops in Ohio and Virginia will be hugh in advance is odd. I guess someone knows the buses are already chartered.

Thucydides said...

Just a quick reminder to all the fact checkers out there; the REAL unemployment rate (U3) is a bit over 10%, not the fictional 8% figure the Administration and their lapdogs try to use.

Keep bringing that point up; the cognitive dissonance will cause quite a few heads to explode.

SukieTawdry said...

David said...Moments trip gently along over here. Snow caps the bushes in unexpected ways, birds shoot and spin like balls of sound. My feet hum over the dry walks. A storm smoothes the sky, impounding the city lights, returning to us a dull yellow glow.

It's really hard to exaggerate how bad that passage is.
------------------------------------

Really. When I read it, I thought Bulwer-Lytton, we have a winnah!

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

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