A mystery might be solved.
We have all wondered why Barack Obama’s campaign has been so bad. It has been so bad, incompetence alone does not account for how bad the Obama campaign has been.
From the outset Barack Obama’s campaign has willfully tried to ignore his lack of experience. The voters certainly are not about to elect an inexperienced candidate in these difficult times. But the Obama campaign instead chose to sing his personal praises and mostly not address the big ‘inexperience’ campaign issue for voters.
The bumbling, stumbling, candidate Obama for months had his own wife calling him a lunkhead. Why? This tactic was so preposterous and obviously stupid the Michelle Obama appeared to be a dolt. But maybe there has been a method to this ‘personality’ stupidity.
Recall the controversy when Michelle Obama stated “if you can’t run your own house, you can’t run the White House.” At the time many defended Michelle Obama’s remarks as not being a swipe at the Clinton’s. But Michelle keeps right on repeating the innuendo. The Obama campaign meanwhile escalates personal attacks against Hillary decrying her ‘honesty’ and even her age.
Today, we can add this big piece to the Obama puzzle, as reported by Marc Ambinder:
His campaign staffers, too, have become frustrated by the focus of the media’s attention, specifically that the press has not covered Clinton in the way they expected it would. During an interview this summer, Obama’s friend Valerie Jarrett said to me, unbidden, “He is a man who is devoted to his wife. There aren’t going to be any skeletons in his closet in terms of his personal life at all. Period.” And at a campaign event in Iowa, one of Obama’s aides plopped down next to me and spoke even more bluntly. He wanted to know when reporters would begin to look into Bill Clinton’s post-presidential sex life.
Valerie Jarrett is an optimist if she thinks there is an empty closet – she should read the emails we get. We wrote about good ol’ Obama friend Valerie when the Obama campaign bought her in to bring order into disorder.
The Obama mess of a campaign mystery might be explained this way: Obama/Michelle/Axelrod wanted to run their typical smear campaign; the media did not cooperate in their smear campaign because there is nothing new to report; the Obama campaign continues to stir up sexual innuendo because they are aware Obama can’t win with his zero national security experience and little experience overall – being a six year old in Indonesia excluded.
On June 15, 2007 we wrote Obama’s Dirty Mud Politics. That June article detailed how the Obama campaign lives on rumor mongering. At the time, the dirt peddlers at the Obama campaign smeared Bill Clinton regarding 9/11 and got caught. At the time, Obama smeared Hillary and Southeast Asians and got caught. Regarding Bill Clinton we quoted Politico in Obama’s Dirty Mud Politics:
“Asked for comment on whether it was appropriate to spread negative stuff about Bill, given that he’s not running in the primary and is popular with primary voters, Obama spokesman Bill Burton declined to directly address the question about Bill, instead saying: “I don’t know why anyone would take umbrage with the circulation of publicly available information.”
Lovely. The “new” politics.
But sex rumors are the Obama campaign team specialty. Sex – it’s how Obama has won before.
Axelrod is known for operating in this gray area, part idealist, part hired muscle. It is difficult to discuss Axelrod in certain circles in Chicago without the matter of the Blair Hull divorce papers coming up. As the 2004 Senate primary neared, it was clear that it was a contest between two people: the millionaire liberal, Hull, who was leading in the polls, and Obama, who had built an impressive grass-roots campaign. About a month before the vote, The Chicago Tribune revealed, near the bottom of a long profile of Hull, that during a divorce proceeding, Hull’s second wife filed for an order of protection. In the following few days, the matter erupted into a full-fledged scandal that ended up destroying the Hull campaign and handing Obama an easy primary victory. The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had “worked aggressively behind the scenes” to push the story. But there are those in Chicago who believe that Axelrod had an even more significant role — that he leaked the initial story. They note that before signing on with Obama, Axelrod interviewed with Hull. They also point out that Obama’s TV ad campaign started at almost the same time. Axelrod swears up and down that “we had nothing to do with it” and that the campaign’s television ad schedule was long planned. “An aura grows up around you, and people assume everything emanates from you,” he told me.
Obama understands and fears the power of rumor mongering. That fear of rumors, against himself, is Obama’s latest fight:
ABC News’ David Wright and Sunlen Miller Report: At a town hall meeting Wednesday an Iowa voter asked Senator Barack Obama, D-Ill., about the numerous emails she has received with photos purporting to show Obama “refusing” to pledge allegiance to the flag.
“You’re standing with your arms folded and Hillary’s got her hand on her heart,” she said, adding that she received so many of these emails she is sick of them. [snip]
Obama called the circulation of such pictures a “dirty trick” and mentioned other emails accusing him of being “a Muslim plant.”
“I have been pledging allegiance since I was a kid,” Obama said.
Right wing blogs have been linking Obama’s “lost” or purposely removed lapel flag pin (the explanations from Obama vary) to his ‘refusal’ to place hand on heart during the pledge of allegiance, and are pegging Obama as a ‘sleeper Muslim’. These canards would cripple the inexperienced Obama in any general election fight. Obama knows this is a personal weakness more than anyone. Obama should fight rumors. Instead, Obama has elevated rumor-mongering from water cooler gossip to an entire electoral strategy.
Obama should know that if you live by rumor-mongering, you die by rumor-mongering.