#rsrh Alex Castellanos asks why Obama’s campaigning so badly…

…in this election season (H/T: Hot Air)  And I ask: when did Obama campaign well?

No, seriously.  Every successful campaign that Obama has participated in before 2008 was under the aegis of the Illinois Democratic political machine.  He merely had to show up, hit his marks, speak a few times, vote as he was told, and let the targeted leaking of damaging information about his opponents do the rest.  That doesn’t require political skill: that requires both the ability to conceal boredom, and excellent bladder control.  Then, during the 2008 primary, Obama handed off the details of the primaries to the geeks* and vaguely went off to let them work on building his profile for a VP bid.  The geeks then managed to hack the Democratic primary and munchkin the living hell out of it; they found every exploit that existed in the political source code, and used them all**.  Again, Obama didn’t have to do a darn thing except show up.  And as for the 2008 general election… well. McCain didn’t like to fight, the economy melted down, and Obama showed up.

Only… now it’s 2012, and Obama is going to more or less automatically get the Democratic nomination (although he’s doing worse than expected on that, too), and during the general he’s actually stuck campaigning on his record – which is awful – and facing a candidate that apparently actually wants to win.  And Obama’s now apparently not doing so hot.  And some people are surprised about that.

And I’m still not entirely sure why.

Moe Lane

PS: Some may feel that my characterization of the 2008 general campaign is tendentious, but let me remind those people: I am not the one who is currently surprised at how badly Barack Obama is doing in 2012.  In fact, I was calling him a mortal in 2009.


*Which is a non-pejorative term when it’s coming from me, as I am one myself.

**My personal favorite was the dual Texas primary/caucus system, which ended up giving Obama more delegates than Clinton, despite the fact that Clinton beat him by just over a hundred thousand votes in the primary.  I have encountered many cheesemonkeys in my time, but David Plouffe pulled off some prime power-gaming there.


  • lourae says:

    The Czar has an excellent rant up at the Gormogons today (thank you for this rec, btw). Obama owns all the dorks who work and associate with him!

  • Ric Locke says:

    So, does this mean you’ve figured out why the Obama campaign is headquartered in Chicago? (I’m joking, of course. No way you could have missed it.)

    The other thing that’s changed is — well, two things: An Illinois politician more or less by definition has lots of damaging things just waiting to be revealed; and the Right/Republicans now have a number of alert people who are not only prepared to do damage control, they take delight in it and are prepared to sling their own mudballs in return. Obama being an Illinois politician, the campaign is already starting out a couple of squares behind. I won’t say Mitt Romney is pure as the driven snow, but if what they’ve come up with so far is the best they can do it’s pretty weak beer, and the Right has barely dipped a shovel in the muck so far.

  • DaveP. says:

    I’ve been saying for years that 2008 was winnable for the Republicans, but not with that candidate and not with that campaign.

  • acat says:

    Ric – That thing about Illinois politicians having dirt in their closets? That’s a feature, not a bug. It’s how the power brokers, not the politicians, remain, well, powerful. Let me put it another way. The implosion of Rod “perfect hair” Blagojevich, another “just show up and hit your marks” guy, but one whose power brokers were smart enough to kneecap the hell out of the DuPage Mafia (a.k.a. Illinois Tollway Authority), is best seen as the Blagojevich power brokers losing to the Obama power brokers, eh?


    p.s. Moe – now I’m craving gyros. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

  • Billy Bob 126 says:

    Hey Ric! Are you the Ric Lockr of Temporary Duty? Loved that story! My youngest daughter an AO2, plus her Mom loved it too! Oldest daughter, an O3 SWO, not so much… All the Best!

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