Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Narcissist-in-Chief: Strategy sessions were all about Teh One

imageIn today’s online edition of the Wall Street Journal, writers Pete Wallsten And Jonathan Weisman describe some very tense meetings between the White House and Democrat Party officials. 

According to the report, party leaders wanted Obama to reconfigure his inner circle, even going so far as to fire some of his key staff members, after several  strategy sessions failed to produce a consensus on strategy they could use to minimize some of the catastrophic losses that Democrats will almost certainly suffer tonight.

From the story:

Tensions have come to the surface after meetings over the past few weeks in which Obama senior adviser David Axelrod discussed communications strategy with senior Democratic strategists and party officials. Some Democrats were so unhappy with the White House meetings, they started their own.

The strategy sessions aired a range of disagreements over how to help Democrats forestall an electoral drubbing at the polls—a defeat party strategists believe could have been minimized with a different White House playbook.

Among the complaints: Mr. Obama conveyed an incoherent message that didn't express what Democrats would do over the next two years if they retain power; he focused more on his own image than helping Democratic candidates; and the White House picked the wrong battle when it attacked Republicans for using "outside" money to pay for campaigns, an issue disconnected from voters' real-world anxieties.

"The money thing could work, but there's never been a larger frame around it to connect it to people's lives," said Dee Dee Myers, a consultant who worked for the Clinton White House when Republicans swept the 1994 elections. She said she participated in an Oct. 8 meeting with Mr. Axelrod and about 15 Democratic strategists at the White House.

A White House official defended the Obama Team's strategy. The pushback against the flood of advertising from outside conservative groups was vital, he said. "Candidates were being pummeled by those ads. Unless we raised the issue of who was paying for it all, they were going to get swallowed alive."

Would it have mattered if the Obama White House had agreed with Party and Congressional leaders on a consensus theme for defending themselves against a coordinated, nationalized Republican assault?  Perhaps.  But the Narcissist-in-Chief was hearing none of the larger party complaints.  While the election is indeed a referendum on the policies that they had jointly agreed to press forward, El Presidente appears to have been more interested in defending his own brand, rather than the Democrat brand.

They started on this great progressive journey together. Two years and an aggressive legislative agenda completed, and now it’s time to work together to defend their record and describe precisely what policies they would pursue together. What does the Narcissist-in-chief do?  He balks. “You’re on your own,” he seems to have told them.

Despite the fact that anywhere from 50 to 70 of “them” will lose their jobs tonight for sticking their neck out and voting with the Party leadership; and despite apparent pleas from Party and Hill Democrat leaders to help craft a common message that might help reduce some of those losses, they’re done.  The faithful have outlived their usefulness and they’re getting thrown under the bus.

Tonight, the most oft-gored ox will be the conservative Blue Dog caucus. Conservative District after Conservative District is likely to turn Crimson Red. And the message being sent to ordinary Democrats is that the far-left leadership of the party doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you.  That’s why it was so important for people to go to the polls and turn ALL Democrats out, which would force the good guys in the party to clean house and return the party to its mainstream base.

The left does not rule this country.  The center-right does.  Centrist Democrats and right-leaning Republicans can work together on common sense ideas that will restore the fiscal health of our great nation, and get it back on the path it’s supposed to be on.

The Narcissist-in-Chief isn’t willing to work with you on that, but we are.