Obama’s main man will do whatever it takes to fell Republicans and conservatives. Where does his ruthlessness and drive come from?
(Page 9 of 12)
And yes they did. Amazingly, Barack Obama won not just Democrats and liberals but the vaunted “moderates” and “independents” that were supposedly the strength of a McCain candidacy. They, too, signed on to “hope” and “change.”
Karl Rove quickly responded to the victory with an admiring op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on how Axelrod and old partner Plouffe had somehow helped Obama win previously red states like Virginia, Indiana, Colorado, and Nevada. “What Mr. Obama and his team achieved was impressive,” said Rove, in an understatement.
Also dutifully impressed was one Myril Axelrod. Still alive and still somewhere on the left, the aged ex-writer for PM danced in pleasure at her nursing home in Newton, Massachusetts. She also attended the inaugural ball. “Never in my lifetime have I seen something like this,” she thrilled. “It’s an extraordinary experience.”
Myril and her movement had come so far, from the days at PM and New York and Chicago in the 1940s to the days of “change” in Washington 70 years later, manufactured by her son. “God, this guy knows so much,” she marveled at David.
Axelrod took his unique knowledge into the White House, becoming senior adviser to the president. His role did not diminish. Quite the contrary, said Politico, “There are no limits on his roles inside the Obama administration…. Axelrod is now a pillar for Barack Obama.”
While the universe of Obama advisers and associates has expanded unlike ever before, it was Axelrod, noted the New York Times, “who sits closest to the Oval Office.” In one headline, the Times called him the “President’s Protector, Ever Close at Hand.”
At the White House, Axelrod arrived daily around 7:00 AM. His first appointment, fittingly, was a routine one-on-one with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. As the man with his finger on the president’s political approval, Axelrod attended morning economic briefings. He left the room during intelligence briefings, not having sufficient clearance. Notably, however, Axelrod occasionally attended NSC briefings, again with an eye and ear to developments that could affect the president’s poll numbers.
Axelrod commandeered an invitation-only, tight-lipped Wednesday Night Meeting, where the latest Obama ups and downs were carefully considered.
Above all, Axelrod has paid close attention to the policy effect on Obama’s message and image, from stimulus to taxes to health care reform. He contemplated the impact of the Tea Party—reportedly warning the Obama team not to dismiss the Tea Party—and plotted a counter-response to early attacks by Rush Limbaugh.
Politico argued that while previous presidential political advisers have walked a fine line between politics and policy, Axelrod did just the opposite. For instance, he made the case for Obamacare to certain media outlets, including Meet the Press.
While Axelrod indeed has had a policy role, Politico somewhat overstated his policy impact. What Axelrod seems to have done as Obama’s political adviser is gauge and even push certain hot buttons to see how the public will respond, sending up trail balloons in his typical not-so-subtle way.
This was evident in an outrageous September 23, 2010, op-ed he wrote for the Washington Post, which was filled with every left-wing cliché. It was a crucial piece, extremely revealing of Axelrod’s ideology. It is the kind of piece lacking by, say, Valerie Jarrett-who the press has been able to frame as a sensible moderate largely because of her prudent silence.
In the piece, Axelrod, master of the front-group, assailed “industry-fueled front groups”; Republicans and their “millions of dollars” spent on “negative ads”; “Wall Street, the insurance lobby, oil companies and other special interests”; Karl Rove and conniving GOP donors who “secretly bankroll” “special interests”; the nefarious “billionaire oil men, David and Charles Koch”; the “right-wing agenda and corporate interests”; “robber barons” and “secret funders” who want to “turn back the clock”; the Tea Party (of course); and on and on. The article made an appeal to college students abused by “bank middlemen” who refuse to make college “affordable for millions of students” and who scheme with “Wall Street” to deny people mortgages and hurt them with “hidden fees and penalties.”
The piece was ridiculous, a bloody chunk of red meat tossed to the hard-left base. It read like an early Occupy Wall Street Manifesto, a caricature of every fire-breathing demon in the Democrats’ class-warfare propaganda playbook. David Canter and Don Rose would have loved it.
Canter, a lifetime observer of front-groups, also would have appreciated the fuller picture concealed by Axelrod. While Axelrod decried these alleged diabolical GOP special interests and their obscene money-grubbing, his firms had raked in more than their “fair share” of obscene profits.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?