What to do when you’re a Democrat president, your job approval is circling the drain after only a year and your signature issue is a bit farther down the sewer pipe, and Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat just went red? Calibrate your policy positions? Actually fulfill your campaign promises to have open government and not raise taxes through the roof?
Team Obama’s answer is to summon up the political rainmakers. David Plouffe and the geniuses of 2008 are coming to the rescue!
Mr. Obama has asked his former campaign manager, David Plouffe, to oversee House, Senate and governor’s races to stave off a hemorrhage of seats in the fall. The president ordered a review of the Democratic political operation — from the White House to party committees — after last week’s Republican victory in the Massachusetts Senate race, aides said.
In addition to Mr. Plouffe, who will primarily work from the Democratic National Committee in consultation with the White House, several top operatives from the Obama campaign will be dispatched across the country to advise major races as part of the president’s attempt to take greater control over the midterm elections, aides said.
What they’ll do is bigfoot state Democrat parties, send out the Organizing for America armies, and try to get candidates in the approaching primaries and the mid-terms to bind themselves to the Obama agenda. It’ll be astroturfing writ large.
The NYT won’t point out an obvious truth about all this, though: It’s Obama’s policy positions that are dragging him down, and no amount of fake letter to the editor campaigns or PR spin can do much for him until he finds a way to earn back the trust that he just spent a year squandering. His once invincible rhetorical skills have become risible. The old mojo is a no-go. Plouffe & Co managed to hide what candidate Obama wanted to do during the campaign, to the point that he was largely a blank slate to a majority of the voters. Now after a year in office, it’s obvious that he’s a Chicago machine pol who is indeed a hard leftist ideologue.
Unless the astroturf campaign hides what’s already been in plain sight for a year now, it won’t work. It will in fact make it harder for the state D parties and candidates to distance themselves from the unpopular Obama agenda.