The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Can You Feel the Love Tonight?


From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Love Hurts

Okay, it’s just a joking exchange with an enthusiastic supporter at a campaign rally – er, rally for legislation. But there does seem to be a bit of emotional neediness suggested by Obama’s off-the-cuff  plea: “Obama promoted his jobs bill in North Carolina on Wednesday, the third stop on what White House press secretary Jay Carney has called a “campaign” for jobs. Not for the first time, Obama called back to an audience member who shouted “I love you” with “I love you back.” On Wednesday he added, “But if you love me you’ve got to help me pass this bill.”

The Crawdad Hole observes, “What Obama should have said is “But if you love this country you’ve got to help me pass this bill.” Because that’s what the bill is all about, right? Right?”

My buddy Cam reacted, “Wow, Obama’s reduced to using lines that didn’t work for me as a teenager.”

At Hot Air,  Allahpundit wonders if Obama really wants what he deems the necessary demonstration of love: “If the GOP passed the bill as is and the economy either didn’t improve or improved only marginally, O would get the lion’s share of the blame. If they don’t pass the bill as is then the White House gets to keep playing the same sort of what-if game that they’ve played with the stimulus for two years. Coming to a campaign ad near you in October 2012: “What if the Republicans had passed the president’s jobs bill in its entirety when they had the chance? Our economy might be on the rebound right now.” That’s the ad they want to run for buck-passing purposes, and that’s why they’ve proposed paying for the bill exclusively with new taxes. It’s a poison pill for the GOP. If you really love Obama, you should help him not to pass the bill so that he can try to pawn the crapola “recovery” off on Republicans next year.

But today’s weird with-love-comes-commitment presidential comment comes on the heels of the intriguing rumor that the New York Times is writing, or contemplating, an article that asks whether Obama is not merely embattled or showing the signs of a difficult period of his presidency, but in fact… clinically depressed. I half-dismiss it since none of us know what’s going on inside the president’s head, and who wouldn’t feel a certain amount of lousiness in his shoes? Besides the usual intense responsibilities that come with the presidency, Obama’s forced to face, day after day, that his actions don’t always produce the desired results.

Of course, even if the speculation is completely erroneous, we’re still left with the weird phenomenon of people yelling out to the president that they love him. Not, “good job,” or “keep it up” or “stay strong” or “give ‘em hell, Harry!” or the usual expressions of support, but love. That could be seen as beautiful or it could be seen as disturbing. I’m not sure you should feel love for a politician. Unless you’re married to one…

ADDENDA: I thought about discussing the Obama campaign’s latest report-your-neighbor-for-seditious-presidential-criticism “Attack Watch” site in the Morning Jolt, but by the time this reaches your e-mailboxes, the whole concept may seem like an old joke. You know, from, like… 1984.

Tags: Barack Obama


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