Jonah Goldberg’s latest op-ed stars David Axelrod as Christopher Walken — he’s got a fevah, and the only prescription is more Obama!
Obama’s advisers think the answer to every problem is more cowbell, if by “cowbell” you mean “Obama.” It’s like Obama guru David Axelrod is the Christopher Walken character from the Saturday Night Live skit about Blue Oyster Cult (if you don’t know the reference, Google “cowbell”).
Every time someone comes up with an alternative to throwing Obama on TV, Axelrod says, “No, no, no. Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription . . . is more Obama!”
But is that really what the doctor ordered?
Obama’s address next week will be his third prime-time appeal in three months and the fifth in his seven-month-old presidency. The networks are chagrined about this, not least because the ratings half-life of these events is severe. (Fox’s broadcast network beat out the other networks by running So You Think You Can Dance instead of his last prime-time press conference.) More relevant, they haven’t done Obama much good.
His July 22 press conference was billed as perhaps Obama’s last chance to save health-care reform. It tanked (partly because Obama’s attack on the Cambridge police dominated the press). Afterward, public support for Obamacare dropped significantly. A Pew poll taken that week found that more people opposed the proposals being considered by Congress than supported them, and that Obama’s overall approval had dropped 7 points from the previous month. Other polls showed similar declines.
Now, more than a month later, things look even worse. The obvious solution? Even more cowbell.
But what is lacking is not cowbell, it’s substance the American people can support. Obama will reportedly be “more specific,” but he won’t commit himself to any particular piece of legislation. This suggests that the White House still thinks it has a communication problem, and if only it dispels the cloud of “lies” belched up by the opposition, there will be nothing but blue skies ahead.
Funny how the people who run the most sophisticated communication operation in the history of the presidency keep concluding that their difficulties stem from their inability to get their message out and never from what their message actually is.
Their communication skills are matched only by their due diligence when vetting staffers.