Blaming the Guilty Messenger

I just downloaded Politico’s new ebook on the 2012 Obama campaign — I know the “real” election season hasn’t started yet — and I’ll dig into it here with lunch in a few. But we have the gist of it already from Politico’s own writeup of it:

Second-guessing about personnel, strategy and tactics has been a dominant theme of the reelection effort, according to numerous current and former Obama advisers who were interviewed for “Obama’s Last Stand,” an e-book out Monday published in a collaboration between POLITICO and Random House.

The discord, these sources said, has on occasion flowed from Obama himself, who at repeated turns has made vocal his dissatisfaction with decisions made by his campaign team, with its messaging, with Vice President Joe Biden and with what Obama feared was clumsy coordination between his West Wing and reelection headquarters in Chicago.

Yeah, that Chicago/DC split is real, and it’s going to be difficult if not impossible to bridge that gap. You’ve seen the poor results of it so far, with inconsistent messaging and wasted efforts. Stephanie Cutter wants to run the campaign based on smirking, while David Axelrod still insists the best way to go is with a repelling lack of personal hygiene. Then there is the constant barrage of memos from Biden’s office, each one featuring a new line of attack based on portraying the Democratic ticket as being “as deranged and clueless as possible.”

If President Obama can’t force a peace amongst his three top lieutenants, and get them all on the same page about old tax returns and dog stories, then the Obama/Biden campaign will remain ugly and confused.