Less than a month ago, Barack Obama decided to give a speech on Super Tuesday, a key day in the Republican primary season. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the timing of the speech was “not a coincidence.”
Perhaps he is trying to remind people that he is the president while the scrambling Republicans just hope to be.
More likely he is trying to keep the cameras pointed at him, in part to distract attention away from his competitors and in part because he is a publicity hound fueled by a mild case of narcissism — as also shown by the fact that he thinks we need his opinion on every issue in the news (about which more tomorrow) and that nothing is ever his fault.
Today is another important day in Republican politics, with primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Mitt Romney is expected to win all three, with some wondering aloud whether that would be a “knock-out blow” to Rick Santorum. (I very much doubt it will be a knock-out blow, though if Santorum does not win his home state of Pennsylvania in three weeks, that could prove a watershed moment despite a more favorable spate of southern states coming up in May.)
Given what a potentially big day this is for Mitt Romney in the news cycle, here comes Barack Obama on cue with a plan to attack the House Republican Budget, authored by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan — who recently endorsed Romney.
Early reports give a glimpse into Obama’s approach. Let’s just say it’s not one looking for common ground (not that there is much.) “It’s a Trojan horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It’s nothing but thinly veiled social Darwinism.”
The tactics can work the other way; it is possible that some of the news value of Obama’s attack on the Ryan budget (which the left is calling the Ryan-Romney budget) will be lost in coverage of the primary contests. But given the media’s role in recent years as an arm of the Obama press office, most news broadcasts and newspapers are likely to play up the president’s ultra-partisan language and play down any good news for Obama’s most likely opponent in November.
Beyond the question of whether it’s wise for Obama to bring up “radical vision” when his truly radical vision for American health care is in public focus, one has to wonder whether a courageous reporter will ever ask the president why he keeps scheduling speeches on days of major Republican primary contests. I’m not holding my breath.