Has Anyone Noticed Obama's Campaign is Falling Apart at the Seams?
The reason I know Mitt Romney is running a good campaign is simple: Despite being a political journalist with some decent sources and friends on the Romney campaign, I really have no idea what the heck they're thinking at the Romney headquarters in Boston. I mean, I can make some educated guesses at their strategy, but so far the Romney campaign has kept me on my toes. The Paul Ryan pick was a pleasant surprise, and I think the general consensus is that last week's Medicare jujitsu was a success that caught the Obama campaign unawares. And while there have been a few stories about strife in Romneyland, lately they seem to be doing a really good job of keeping any internal disagreement to themselves.
Now compare that to the Obama campaign. Politico's Glenn Thrush came out with an ebook yesterday that reports that Obama advisers David Axelrod and Stephanie Cutter fought over television appearances; the Obama campaign did polling and found that DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., was their most unpopular surrogate; Joe "Hey, here's a picture of a cat with a piece of bacon taped to it" Biden has been trying to lay the groundwork for a 2016 presidential run; and over the summer, adviser Valerie Jarrett, concerned with the strain on Obama, set up a "salon" for the president that included guests "Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson, Facebook billionaire and new New Republic Publisher Chris Hughes, and Apple executive Scott Forstall, who led the team that developed the iPhone" to discuss, among other things, "civility and public discourse." (Oh Irony, you capricious sprite!)
The White House is, of course, denouncing all of this as hearsay. Forgive me here, but I'm inclined to believe there's more than a little truth to Thrush's accounts. It all seems to fit the pattern. Back in May, I remember I was scratching my head when David Plouffe and other big names on the Obama campaign sat down with Game Change author John Heilemann to basically lay out their strategy for the election in a big New York magazine piece. If you really want to win the election, why would you tell a reporter what you plan on doing?
The answer could well be that the Obama campaign is stocked with narcissistic folks all desperate to take credit for each minor victory who really like seeing their name in print. But Heilemann's piece was months ago—now that the election isn't going well, the rat king that is Obama's campaign is starting to turn on each other by dishing to reporters about every little thing in an attempt to divert blame that the campaign is hemorrhaging money and not doing that well in the polls. If you think it's petty and vindictive now, just wait until Obama loses.
Remember in 2008 when Obama was running for office with little to no experience and helming a smooth campaign was the proof that he would be a good executive? Yeah. Those were the days. So here's my question: Since four years ago the Obama's campaign juggernaut was effectively sold as a giant act of self-justification, do you think it would be an effective line of attack to point out that the fact his campaign this time around looks like a Mongolian fire drill does not bode well for a second-term? Would that resonate with voters? Or is it too meta for an Economy, Stupid campaign?