Big Media will fight for its tool – Barack Obama. To that end Big Media will attack, slime, and smear Obama opponents and protect Obama friends.
During the primary season, Big Media reporters encouraged and aided by the Obama campaign, slimed and smeared Bill Clinton and John McCain about S-E-X.
Last week news broke of an article, published yesterday, containing Clinton campaign internal memoranda. The article ensured that this week the line of attack from Big Media outlets would be how the ‘Clinton camp was in disarray’ during the primary season. Would the anti-Clinton attack be echoed with a similar attack on John McCain?
Sure enough, on Sunday disarray followed S-E-X. McCain disarray followed Clinton disarray. Unsurprisingly the attack on McCain came from the The New York Times. The New York Times published an article on Sunday contending that the ‘Mcain camp is in disarray’.
Mr. McCain is known to sign off on big campaign decisions and then to march off his own reservation. Two weeks ago, he publicly disagreed with his own spokeswoman, Jill Hazelbaker, after she used a line of attack against Senator Barack Obama that he had approved after careful strategizing within his campaign. Ms. Hazelbaker raced out of the Virginia campaign headquarters and refused to take Mr. McCain’s calls of apology, aides said, and a plan to have Republican members of Congress use the same critical line about Mr. Obama’s foreign trip fell apart.
Out of his hearing, Mr. McCain is called the White Tornado by some people who have worked for him over the years. Throughout his presidential campaign, he has been the overseer of a kingdom of dissenting camps, unclear lines of command and an unsettled atmosphere that keeps aides constantly on edge.
Even now, after a shake-up that aides said had brought an unusual degree of order to Mr. McCain’s disorderly world in the last month, two of his pollsters are at odds over parts of the campaign’s message, while past and current aides have been trading snippy exchanges debating the wisdom of attack advertisements he has aimed at Mr. Obama.
Any campaign that is against Big Media tool Barack Obama is labeled to be in “disarray“. McCain defends his decision making process.
In an interview, Mr. McCain said he believed an organization consisting of sometimes colliding centers of power made sure that a candidate, or a president, reached fully informed decisions. “You’ve got to have competing opinions,” he said.
“I think a certain amount of tension is very healthy, and a certain amount of different views,” he said. “Because of the bubble that a president is in, and the bubble that a candidate is in, sometimes you find out afterwards something that — ‘Oh boy, I wish I had heard thus and such and so and so.’ So I appreciate and want some of the tension; I don’t want too much of it, obviously, because we have to have certain efficiencies. But I think there is a balance there.”
The ‘McCain campaign in disarray’ article, like the ‘Hillary campaign in disarray’ articles are Big Media created narratives. The McCain article notes how “Mr. McCain hungers for information” and how “studious” and “well informed and flexible” McCain is. Nevertheless, the Big Media narrative is still “McCain campaign in disarrary”.
But if Mr. McCain’s management style has kept him well informed and flexible, its drawbacks have been especially evident in the many often turbulent months since he began his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. It offers a contrast to the more rigidly controlled and nearly corporate management style that has marked the campaign of Mr. Obama, his Democratic counterpart. If anything, it recalls the freewheeling ways of the last Republican senator to win his party’s presidential nomination, Bob Dole in 1996.
Mr. McCain’s style contains contradictions, veering between a shoot-from-the-hip tendency and assertions of damn-the-consequences authenticity on the one hand and a grudging acceptance on the other of the need to give in to the discipline of programmed politics. While he avidly seeks advice and contrary opinions, he routinely resists basic political counseling, such as when aides pleaded with him not to campaign sitting on a horseshoe-shaped couch in the back of his bus because they feared it made him look like an old man rumbling around the country in an R.V. He refused.
His management of his campaign offers a glimpse of how he might run the White House. He would, it appears, be a president who is intensely interested in issues (particularly foreign affairs) and open to conflicting opinions, but also impetuous at times and tolerant of the kind of internal churning that can impede orderly decision-making and keep aides on edge.
While President Bush has been criticized for being too insular and too slow to adapt to changing circumstances, Mr. McCain’s leadership of his campaign suggests a less hierarchical, more free-form style, much closer to that of President Bill Clinton.
Oh, that bad boy Bill Clinton. Big Media gets down to what really bothers them: John McCain is just like bad boy Bill Clinton. First the S-E-X, then the management styles – John McCain = Bill Clinton. Big Media is so predictable. And by-the-way the McCain disarrary “looms as a potential obstacle to his hopes of getting to the White House”.
His campaign has been rocked by personnel changes and often well-publicized differences. And for all the efforts to maintain discipline, he continues to be plagued by misstatements and apparent gaffes as he at times bucks what his own campaign is trying to do. After his campaign spent days mocking Mr. Obama for suggesting that proper tire pressure was one way of conserving fuel, Mr. McCain undercut the message, stating : “Senator Obama a couple of days ago said that we ought to all inflate our tires, and I don’t disagree with that. The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it.”
As Mr. Obama’s campaign pounced on the remark, the McCain campaign quickly sent out an e-mail message to reporters noting that Mr. McCain had gone on to say that he did not believe that would lead to energy independence.
Disarrary, disarrary, disarray:
Yet even now the campaign continues to have its share of drama. Several Republicans in regular contact with the campaign said two pollsters, Mr. McInturff and Ed Goeas, had fundamental differences over the campaign’s message. They said the two differed over the degree to which Mr. McCain should establish his differences with Mr. Bush and the extent to which he should run on a “Washington is broken” message, which Mr. Goeas supports.
Mr. McInturff declined to comment when asked about the divisions. But, he said more broadly, “there can be differences of thought, but campaigns don’t collapse because you have differences of opinion.” Mr. Goeas did not return calls.
Mr. McCain also tolerates, or, some aides said, encourages, tension in his upper ranks. He did nothing to tamp down a wave of speculation this summer that his former chief campaign strategist, Mike Murphy, would be brought back into the fold, reports that set off waves of tensions among other aides who had a history of battling with Mr. Murphy. Mr. Murphy ultimately announced he was taking a job at MSNBC.
Take all the Big Media attacks on Hillary Clinton, substitute John McCain’s name for Hillary’s and you have the next few months of articles to be written, before they are published.
Disarrary is a Big Media narrative to force-feed their tool Barack Obama to voters. That dastard and do-nothing Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a mess don’t you know:
Yet Jackson is frank about F.D.R.’s failings. Among them is the president’s erratic management style — his habit of committing himself in a hurry and making ”snap judgments on insufficient information,” especially on economic matters. [snip]
Although Jackson scores little more than a mention here, Jenkins echoes his view of Roosevelt as a paradox — or, in Jenkins’s words, as ”a hero who had many unheroic characteristics,” who showed ”calmness of strategic judgment” despite a ”habitual ambiguity,” who ”nudged his way” toward sweeping societal change more by improvisation than design.
That dastard FDR, why he is just like Bill Clinton. A 1993 assessment:
President Clinton has shown a keen desire to emulate two strong and charismatic presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. And his emulation of FDR is especially strong.
On the domestic front, Clinton has attempted nothing less than a second economic revolution in American history — even though the current sluggish economy hardly warrants the drastic measures suitable Depression.
But it’s in foreign affairs that Clinton most closely (and not to his credit) resembles FDR, adopting Roosevelt’s dissembling and often seemingly vacillating style without achieving Rooseveltian results or displaying a clear goal.
FDR’s White House style, most scholars conclude today, was characterized by confusion, by a profusion of aides who spent much of their time trying to outguess and anticipate the president, and by the practice of surrogate diplomacy that tended to cover up the president’s indecision. Roosevelt was notorious for his tendency to procrastinate, waiting for events to spur policy, never designing a strategy for dealing with impending or actual war.
Clinton’s decision-making process in foreign policy, such as it is, strongly resembles FDR’s. It suffers markedly from a plurality of channels and information. When he’s forced to focus on foreign policy, which he does reluctantly, he tends to handle it on his own, blocking out advisers or keeping his real intentions from them. Like Roosevelt, he wants to hold all the cards and keep them close to his vest, a tendency that frustrates advisers and allies and sends confusing signals to international rivals. Clinton’s unorthodox management style is in the classic Rooseveltian mode — except that it is ineffective.
Nothing illustrates this more than the principal foreign policy crisis that the Clinton administration has had to deal with — Bosnia. The Clinton policy there has resembled a whirling dervish. In a matter of two weeks, Clinton turned 180 degrees, from what looked like a determination to intervene to a halting, confused withdrawal and retreat, without ever actually doing anything. He went from advocating air strikes and possible use of troops to protect the United Nations force to the idea of “safe havens.” First he showed a desire to roll back Serbian conquests as part of any settlement. Now he’s quietly accepting the status quo. All this smacks of Roosevelt’s early efforts to appease Adolf Hitler. Now Clinton is slowly being. moved to deal with Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic, hoping he can contain the fanatical and stubborn Bosnian Serbs.
Yeah, that Bosnia business really turned out badly. In fact, it was a major foreign policy success as was the Clinton style in Ireland and the Middle East and the Koreas.
The “disarrary” narrative is a Big Media creation to tar anyone who opposes Big Media tool Barack Obama.
Fact is, all campaigns are in disarray. At some point all campaigns have infighting and scandal hidden from the public. The question is what gets reported. Is there infighting and disarray in the Obama campaign? Without doubt yes. The difference is the Big Media narrative has no room for ‘Obama in disarray’ stories.
Was there disarray in the Obama camp every time Obama publically blamed the staff for his own latest errors? Was there disarray in the Obama camp when they were behind in the polls, used that ridiculous seal, orchestrated the gay-bashing tour, during the ‘bitter’ and ‘clingy’ remarks, the Rezko scandal, the Wright disaster? Of course there was disarrary, and Big Media knows it, but they won’t write about it because they don’t want to “burn” their sources in the Chicago thug machine known as the Obama campaign in the same way they did not want to burn Reille Hunter as a source in the Edwards campaign.
But rest assured, when Obama concedes either in August or November, we will all be treated to the stories about infighting in the Obama campaign that we are not allowed to read now.
Remember John Edwards? Good family man. All the reporters and websites now declaring themselves in the know about Edwards kept quiet when it mattered, before the actual primary voting began. The Edwards sex story appeared in the National Enquirer in December of 2007 about the couplings in 2006. But John Edwards was not Hillary, Edwards only attacked Hillary, so he was protected. Not one Big Media reporter bothered to investigate John Edwards whose sex partner was on the campaign payroll. Millions of Americans googled for information on the Edwards sex scandal. But, Big Media was fixated on Bill Clinton’s sex life and on John McCain’s sex life. Big Media hunted those who threatened their tool – Barack Obama.
John Edwards had a happy marriage. Now People magazine reports it was a marriage filled with anguish not happiness. John and Elizabeth Edwards used to mock the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton as not happy. John and Elizabeth claimed they were happy publically, but now they declare that in fact they were in “anguish”. The Obama campaign is not in disarrary, now. Wait until Obama concedes to learn about the “excruciating anguish “.
In the primary, the perception of a Clinton “attack machine” created a dominant impression that she was the most negative of candidates, even before she got over an unwillingness to attack Obama, and even after Obama attacked her.
Now, as Obama sharpens and amplifies a negative message against McCain, a key question is if he can — again — keep the perceived high ground that McCain’s recent hyperbolic attack ads gave him, even while punching hard.
Obama threw mud at Bill and Hillary Clinton in anonymous memoranda, and along with John Edwards attacked Hillary’s character. Big Media finally is getting around to John Edward’s character but has thus far given a pass to Barack Obama’s slimy character. Big Media is busy fixating on Clinton internal memoranda instead of hunting for all the hidden Obama state senate records, billing records and home purchases records and ethics.
Was there disarrary and backbiting and nastiness in the Clinton campaign? Of course. Did that disarrary keep Hillary Clinton from getting the most votes, from winning the big Democratic states with big electoral votes needed in November, from making a connection to voters that are usually resistant to Democrats? NO.
Did Big Media parrotting of Obama attacks along with sexism and misogyny and a suicidal pact of self-interested Obama supporters at the Democratic National Committee attack Hillary constantly and rig the process? YES.
[In Part III we will examine the content of the Clinton internal memoranda and weigh in on the substance of their contents.]