The President as a Campaigner

Okay, this is no way is surprising, but the laziness and lack of logic of Dana Milbank in his Washington Post column is ridiculous. Milbank’s column is about the intensity and quantity of Obama’s campaign for a second term. After a few hundred words blasting Obama for campaigning, Milbank writes:

In fairness, it’s not entirely clear what choice Obama has. As with his blessing of a super PAC after condemning such groups, the alternative is unilateral disarmament. Also, his fundraising total has been inflated by a rule change that allows him to hold events that jointly benefit him and the Democratic Party (although his total number of fundraising appearances still eclipses that of each recent predecessor). Republicans, meanwhile, are determined to block the president’s agenda, so it’s an effective use of time to campaign for their defeat.

Wait, so on one hand Obama is at fault for campaigning, but on the other hand he had no choice. Hmm, maybe Milbank could explain further:

Still, Obama’s acquiescence to an intolerable status quo raises a question: Shouldn’t presidential leadership be about setting an example?

Instead, he is erasing the already blurred lines between campaigning and governing. During his “official” speech to the union group Monday, he hailed Tim Kaine as “the next United States senator from the great commonwealth of Virginia,” and his partisan speech spurred audience members to shouts of “Vote ’em out!” and “Gotta throw ’em out!”

“Not everything should be subject to thinking about the next election instead of thinking about the next generation,” Obama said of the Republicans. “Not everything should be subject to politics.”

He should follow his own advice.

Good god, what pie-in-the-sky-pony-wishing thinking is this? Didn’t Milbank say earlier that if Obama didn’t play by the rules, he would be unilaterally disarmed?

What people like Milbank and others (I’m looking at the pony-wishing-rainbow-hugggin leftists) don’t understand is that If Obama played by a higher set of rules that NO ONE plays by, then Obama would not win a second term. He probably woudn’t have even won a first term.

13 comments on this post.
  1. socialistic ben:

    attempting a thought process and hoping i wont get put on notice again…. or double secret probation on notice….

    Obama is the president… whenever he want’s to be on TV he can be. He could make a big ass deal about telling his superpac to disband. Stop accepting donations and donate the whole war chest to a worthy charity…. veterans groups or something…. force the narrative for a solid 2 weeks to be about how Obama is handicapping his own race in order to keep big money out of politics. Remind everyone at every campaign stop… which will wind up on the News, that Rmoney is still using millions of dollars from, probably saudi oil barons….. we’ll never know… He then uses the massive amounts of money still on hand to campaign like he did in 08′…. that was sans C.U and he seemed to have a ton of commercials. What if he reminded Romney, in the middle of a debate, that he is voluntarily giving up Superpacs and asks why he wont do the same?

    ok, now on to the “SB, you stupid teabag wanna be! why do you want Obama to lose?!?!?!?!? BBRRRAAAAWWWW”

  2. nemski:

    @ben, Romney has said over and over again that he has no “control” over the super PACs. So there is nothing for him to give up.

    Nah, you’re not being a wanna be teabagger, you’re just being idealistic. You need to be jaded like @jason330. I hear he’s giving a seminar in June.

  3. pandora:

    Ben, you realize that you’re asking Obama to fight with one hand tied behind his back, thus giving Romney the advantage?

  4. X Stryker:

    You can’t beat a bullion dollar super PAC using moral high ground. To even try is to give up. It takes money to beat money. The only thing Obama can do to end Super Pacs is to be in office when Scalia, Thomas, or Kennedy retire.

  5. cassandra m:

    This is a longstanding flaw of Democrats — thinking that the moral high ground actually buys you something when your opponent has no moral high ground. Or morals for that matter. This is the Look At Me, I’m Superior! stance vs the Look At Me, I Got Enough Votes to Win! stance.

    Even worse is being susceptible to those who have different standards for Ds than Rs.

  6. Idealist:

    I think Ben makes a solid point. There must be a diminishing marginal return on money in a given campaign. Obama, even without the help of Super PAC money, would still be able to raise more money than has ever been raised before. It’s more like bringing a slightly smaller knife to a knife fight. It’s more about your abilities than it is about your weapon.

  7. cassandra m:

    Well if it is about abilities, then GWB was something of an outlier then. The weapon unfortunately enables you to be able to touch more people to 1) Vote for you; 2) Counter the lies being spread about you; 3)Make your opponent look like Howdy Doody.

    The system isn’t set up to let you ignore the money part of the equation.

  8. socialistic ben:

    Pandora, ive watched an episode of Veep, so i think i know a thing or 2 about spin…
    Dont think if it as me asking that obama fight with one arm behind his back….
    Im asking that Obama make a big loud deal about NOT using steroids, and a big deal that Romney IS using steroids…. sure, they are legal, but slavery also used to be legal.

    The problem with the moral high ground is, it doesnt help you unless you point ut constantly that you have the moral high ground, and your opponent is a cheating cultist.

  9. Liberal Elite:

    @sb “Im asking that Obama make a big loud deal about NOT using steroids…”

    But that’s a losing issue. People generally don’t care about that issue. Frankly, people worry more about what will affect them directly: their job, the economy, taxes, gas prices, health care,…

    Why give up your ability to get a broader message out for something that will yield few votes?

  10. nemski:

    @LE, Agreed. But I think it would lose him more votes than it would gain. Not having a super PAC to combat Karl Rove would be assinine.

  11. liberalgeek:

    Honestly, only the people wanking on blogs even know the influence that SuperPACs have on elections. It’s the same thing as explaining to a disinterested swing-voter (redundant, I know) why Obama couldn’t get things through the Senate when he had 59 Democrats seated there.

    It’s inside baseball, and no one cares about anything except the electoral box score at the end of the game.

  12. Rustydils:

    Ben, the money is not going to change this election. Make no mistake, this is a heavyweight fight, and both guys are going to use every penny available to them. Money may not be everything, but unfortunately, at this time in history, it is a very critical ingredient in the soup. Maybe by next election, we can reform campaign finance reform.

  13. Doug Beatty:

    sales are easy service is hard