These three quotes seem to pretty much sum up Team Obama’s wonderful, wonderful attitude towards this election:
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.
Any outreach by Obama’s Chicago acolytes to hear out these arguments is limited and superficial.
– Albert Hunt, Bloomberg, “The Obama Campaign Needs an Intervention“
This is [Vogue editor Anna] Wintour’s second campaign working as an Obama bundler, those well-connected and highly motivated wranglers of cash for political candidates. Her latest effort for the president came on Thursday evening at a 50-person, $40,000-a-plate dinner she co-hosted at the West Village town house of Sarah Jessica Parker.
During a question-and-answer session with Mr. Obama, Ms. Wintour had command of the room.
– Jeremy W Peters, New York Times, “Power Is Always in Vogue”
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt suggested to Luke Russert on MSNBC Monday that the campaign has no plans to rejigger its messaging, despite recent criticism of its tactics from within the Democratic party.
“Well, it will come as no surprise to you, Luke, we don’t believe the presidential elections are determined by the ups and downs of the weekly cable news cycle,” LaBolt said.
The three attitudes reinforce each other. Bloomberg’s telling us that Obama’s re-election campaign has decided to reproduce for the general election in 2012 the mechanistic strategy that won them the Democratic primary in 2008*. The New York Times is telling us that the administration is going to be heavily – heavily – leaning on people like Wintour to fund his campaign**. And Politico is telling us that Barack Obama’s team thinks that they’ve got a winning strategy.
Well, obviously you won’t run a campaign a particular way unless you think that running it that way gives you the best chance for victory; still… well. The aforementioned mechanistic technique was designed to take advantage of quirks, low-participation realities, and/or loopholes in the Democratic primary process. None of those actually exist in the general election. You either win a majority of the popular vote per state, or you do not. And… Anna Wintour is not an effective spokeswoman when it comes to influencing the wide swath of voters in what Wintour undoubtedly thinks of being ‘flyover country.’ Finally… just because something worked against John McCain – a candidate whose aggregate generated enthusiasm over the whole campaign has already been surpassed by Mitt Romney, and it’s not even July yet – does not mean that it’ll work on anybody else.
Which is why I called all of this “wonderful.” We have a ways to go yet on this election, but I like my political opponents to be fat, dumb, and sloppy. I particularly like it when they’re arrogant, too; it adds to the flavor.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*I know that Bloomberg said ‘2004,’ but ’04 was a natsec election. There was never a chance in perdition that the American people were going to switch to a peace candidate in the middle of a war.
**As witnessed by the fact that a prudent campaign would have dropped that fundraiser, once the mocking started. You don’t let somebody cut a campaign ad like this for you if you can possibly help it.