Shhh -- Nobody Tell Obama He's High-Diving in the Kiddie Pool

Yet another “War on…” narrative fail:

More voters think Mitt Romney and the Republican Party respect women who work outside the home than think President Obama and the Democrats respect women who stay at home, according to the latest The Hill Poll.

Forty-nine percent of likely voters said the presumptive GOP presidential nominee respects women who have independent careers, while 27 percent said he doesn’t and 24 percent weren’t sure.

When asked if President Obama respects women who stay at home rather than pursue a career, 37 percent of likely voters said he doesn’t and 35 percent said he does. Twenty-nine percent were unsure.


And if you think those numbers are bad, wait until the general public realizes that young Obama recorded the song, “I Ate A Dog (And I Liked It).” After the Osama bin Laden killing, I called the Obama crew “The gang that could shoot straight — but not much else” Did any regular reader here know I was capable of such understatement? See, these aren’t tiny little margin-of-error differences. These are differences which, if carried through to the general election, would lead to a Mitt Romney landslide.

So here’s what I think went on, and is going on.

During the primary of 2008, Senator Obama read the field perfectly. There were tons of delegates to be had in caucus states, where his community organizer skills would allow him to rack up wins. He could count on those wins being lopsided ones, too, because he’d also perfectly read his opponent. Hillary Clinton was running a very traditional Big Money/Big States campaign focused on the headliner primary wins. She all-but-ignored the caucus states, until it was all-but-too late.

Now let’s revisit the Democratic National Convention late that summer in Denver, where Obama was all-but-crowned as “Black Jesus” in front of those presumptuous Roman columns.

The convention buzz was all about two questions. The first was, “Will PUMAs bolt?” And I think everybody remembers that well enough. But the other one was, “What is McCain going to run tonight?”


Huh? Am I the only one here who remembers? Let me refresh your drink. Er, memory.

The night of Obama’s acceptance speech, the McCain camp let it leak that he would run an ad earlier in the evening. The content was the big mystery. McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin had energized the GOP base, and Obama’s selection of Joe Biden had… well, let’s be kind and say it had somewhat confused folks. McCain was hot out of the gate, and Obama appeared to have stumbled in his first major act as his party’s standard-bearer.

So we all sat in rapt attention in front of the tube at the appointed hour of the McCain ad.

What did we get? A folksy little congratulations from McCain. Speaking directly at the camera, to Obama, he said something like, “Tonight is your night. You earned it. Enjoy it. The campaign begins tomorrow.”

McCain came across as the older and wiser gentleman, the firmer hand, reminding the upstart who’d really been around and gotten stuff done. And he did it gently, kindly. It was a helluva ad.

And remember that McCain/Palin was ahead or tied in every major poll after that — right up until McCain suspended his campaign to deal with the banking crisis. “Deal,” in this case meaning, “Sit at a table and get rolled by Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama.” His campaign was finished.


Why do I tell you all this?

Because Candidate Obama, like Senator Obama, had never really been tested. Like an old general, Hillary had tried to re-fight the last war. Despite an impressive delegate count, she was never a truly worthy opponent. McCain gave up halfway through. Before that, Obama had won office by smearing his opponents, and — more importantly — by living in the bluest and most corrupt city in the nation.

Flash-forward almost four years. Obama, unlike Bush ’04, has enjoyed a mostly friendly press. He — and his Chicago/Axelrod Machine — still hasn’t really been tested. The United States is not Chicago. A national race is not a Democratic primary. The fresh-faced challenger is now the dour incumbent with a crappy record. And a friendly media doesn’t mean what it once did, now in the age of Twitter.

That’s why we saw David Axelrod flop-sweating on Fox News Sunday. That’s why almost every Democrat in America has put distance between themselves and OWS. (Did I say “distance”? Roseanne’s dipping pool covers less acreage.) And now we see War after senseless War — and none of them causing much damage to Mitt Romney. Romney has taken some hits, sure, but Obama has gained zero traction (Obama eats dogs, cough, cough). In fact, there’s some evidence that these left-wing attacks are doing the impossible — getting the GOP base excited about Romney.


“Excited about Romney.” That has got to be some kind of oxymoron. And yet, Team Obama is making it real. See, you can always rile up the Democratic base with a fictional “War on Women.” But the nation as a whole won’t buy it. But Team Obama just doesn’t have enough real-world, battle-tested experience to understand this simple fact of politics.

So I think I’d better shut up now, before I give the game away.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage based on a modified image.)


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