Meet the Press host Chuck Todd appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today and said that President Obama is on the brink of doing long-term damage to the Democratic Party brand — damage on a scale not seen since 1980.
For years up to the election of President Bill Clinton, most Americans saw the Democratic Party as too weak to be trusted on foreign policy. That mistrust stemmed from three things: the Democrats’ hardline anti-war stance in Vietnam and afterward, their indecision and weakness in the face of the Soviet Union after they nominated liberal George McGovern for president in 1972, and Jimmy Carter’s terrible presidency which culminated in the loss of Iran as an ally and the hostage crisis. Carter’s weakness in particular hurt the Democrat brand so badly that Bill Clinton had to run as a “new Democrat” in 1992 — meaning he explicitly rejected progressive big government policies and offered himself as someone who would be stronger in foreign affairs than Jimmy Carter. When President Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over,” he was rejecting the Democrats’ left flank, including former President Carter and, though he did not know it at the time, President Barack Obama.
Clinton has since backslidden into supporting big government, after Obama’s nomination in 2008.
Chuck Todd’s comments on MSNBC today may have another Clinton wondering what outrageous declaration she will have to make to win the presidency in 2016.
Todd tells host Joe Scarborough that thanks to President Obama’s weakness, Republicans now lead by 38 points on national defense.
“He’s on the precipice of doing Jimmy Carter-like damage to the Democratic band on foreign policy,” Todd said, to the shock of the Morning Joe hosts.