August 17, 2012
NYC Letter: On The Fail Trail -- Chains
Day 1,301 of CHOPE
D-minus 155 Days
It looks like Campaign Barry is no longer about Mr. Romney's successful career at Bain. Mr. Biden is now what the campaign is all about. For the time being.
BLACKSBURG, Virginia August 15, 2012 (CNS News) - During a campaign stop at Virginia Tech University, Biden said:Congressman Ryan and the congressional Republicans, as one person said, had all, have already passed in the Republican House what Governor Ryan is promising to give the whole nation.
This was the same speech in which Mr. Biden rhetorically asked, "Folks, where's it written we cannot lead the world in the 20th century in making automobiles?" The answer being it is written in the present century. Now these are not big-big gaffes, but they come on the heels of Mr. Biden's "chains" minstrelsy, which was a big-big gaffe.*
BIDEN: ROMNEY IS
'GOING TO PUT Y’ALL BACK IN CHAINS'
DANVILLE, Virginia August 14, 2012 (WaEx)
So big-big a gaffe that damage control is sucking the oxygen out of Campaign Barry. The big man himself stepped in on defense to do patty-cake interviews with PEOPLE Magazine and Entertainment Tonight while shunning the White House press corps.
August 17, 2012 (TDC) - During Thursday night’s The Kudlow Report on CNBC, The Amateur author Ed Klein said that according to sources within the Clinton camp, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was approached about the possibility of beingPresident Barack Obama’s running mate in November. And, Klein said, she turned it down.
Nothing but confidence in the Number Two -- all the way down.
August 16, 2012 (TDC) - Vice President Joe Biden is going home to Delaware.
The updated White House calendar for Aug. 17 reports that "in the morning, the Vice President will meet with senior advisers. Later, the Vice President will be in Wilmington, Delaware. ... There are no public events scheduled."
... Biden’s retreat home during the increasingly frenetic 2012 race comes amid increased criticism for his campaign-trail performance. ... Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney on Thursday provided a tepid defense of Biden when he was asked if the vice president would remain on the ticket.
... A review of Biden’s schedule for the last several weeks shows that he’s been kept on a very short chain, and has spent many days in Delaware, rather than on the campaign trail or even at the Vice-President’s mansion in D.C.
Nothing but confidence here!
August 16, 2012 (NewsBusters) - As reported by left-leaning Politico reporter Jonathan Martin:His staff’s response is effectively to try to save Biden from himself. During the Virginia trip reporters were hustled out of retail campaign stops in diners and other intimate settings, aides tried to edit media pool reports for any potential landmines that could be seized on by Republicans and even hovered at close range to eavesdrop on journalists’ conversations with attendees at Biden rallies.
... What’s perhaps most striking about the Biden staff’s attempts at press management is its effort to influence what goes in the pool reports from his off-schedule stops. Because the entire press corps cannot easily jam in, say, a diner or private home, it is standard practice to have a single designated reporter take notes and share the material with colleagues from other news organizations. These reports are designed entirely for the media, but are distributed by White House staffers. In the case of Obama, as with his predecessors, the reports are simply forwarded without comment by email to a news media distribution list.
But on two occasions during Biden’s Virginia trip, his staff sought to have certain elements in the reports highlighted while reporters drafted them and discussed the contents with the reporters after the summaries had been sent but before they had before sent to the broader media.
Staffers spinning reporters to frame events the best they can is, of course, commonplace in politics. But attempting to intervene in the drafting of accounts that reporters share with one another is all but unheard of and reflects the deep concern Biden’s team has about offering any fodder to the opposition.
You know this type of behavior is unprecedented when it raises the ire of liberal NBC News political director Chuck Todd who called the editing attempts “outrageous” and said that he opposed allowing the vice president’s communications shop to ever be allowed distribute pool reports again.
And this exudes confidence!
DANVILLE, Virginia August 17, 2012 (LAT) - There are other indications that aides are attempting to minimize the dissemination of uncomfortable moments — whether they be genuine gaffes or moments they worry will be misrepresented. The White House press office has not released a complete transcript of any Biden speech, whether campaign or official, in more than two months. Transcripts for all of Obama's speeches, however, are distributed quickly, as they are for many of the first lady's events.
Aides acknowledge that Biden was vulnerable to a "gaffe-watch", given his reputation.
And yet. [Pause.] The same press that Mr. Biden's handlers fret will destroy him are at pains to excuse him. Politico suggests Mr. Biden's howlers are the price of "authenticity" and "spontaneity" that he brings to the campaign. LAT cloaks Mr. Biden's dopiness with high marks for his mastery of "face-to-face, hand-to-hand retail campaigning". So while Touré, MSNBC's angry young black man from central casting, parses Mr. Romney's double instance of the word "anger" as "niggerization", Linda Feldmann over at CSM wonders aloud in a headline whether Mr. Biden's "chains" were an intentional pander to black voters. Gee, Linda, we dunno. Why would you bother with an opinion piece that doesn't deny Mr. Biden's intent if it weren't so?**
That's more doubleplusnotgood than we can manage.
* The same speech in which he misidentified the venue.
** The propriety of the remark, it's divisive subtext, and the substance of its claim -- that's all uncritically bundled into the prophylactic of Campaign Mitt's partisan challenge. Ms. Feldman doesn't have an opinion on any of that in her opinion piece. Instead she scores the positive ("If it’s really a political dog whistle – audible only to certain voters – then maybe this little skirmish ends up playing to Obama’s benefit.") and negative ("If the controversy reaches the attention of white working-class voters in key battleground states like Ohio and Virginia, then maybe Romney wins.") of the remark for Campaign Barry. She ends her piece by blowing off Mr. Biden's racially charged remark entirely by reminding us that there are darker forces at work:
Regardless, there are much larger issues at play in the campaign having to do with race. Those include the effort in some states to require voters to show ID to cast a ballot and the effort to remove ineligible voters from the rolls.
CSM has already determined that Campaign Mitt will run racist ads. To help you spot the racism -- because racism might not be obvious enough to you -- they charge you with five questions to ask yourself when subjected to the Mitt pitch. You can just soak in the Barry ads. No need to question any racism there.Posted by Damian at August 17, 2012 06:15 PM