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The Campaign Spot

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

Spare the Axelrod, Spoil the Sunday Show



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If it won’t be too taxing, check out the April 16 edition of the Morning Jolt . . .

Axelrod-eo Clown

It was a beautiful Sunday in the greater Washington D.C. area – sunny, in the 70s much of the morning – but David Axelrod . . . didn’t have such a great day.

First, I’ll let Jim Treacher spotlight the fantastic verbiage from the president’s chief strategist.

“The choice in this election is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead, and their kids a chance to get ahead, and an economy that continues down the road we’re on.”

Good point, Dave.

The Obama campaign has been able to devote its singular focus to Mitt Romney for less than a week. It’s been a fun one, hasn’t it?

Q: Who’s having a worse week, David Axelrod or his boss? A: Yes.

Step back, everyone! This man’s a communications professional!

Video here.

Jen Rubin dissects the rest of Axelrod’s performance on the Sunday shows:

There was plenty more that Axelrod said that was downright wrong or misleading. He “accuses” Romney of wanting to the rich to pay at a lower tax rate; what he doesn’t say is both Romney and the Simpson-Bowles plan also take away deductions and credits so the rich won’t be paying less taxes relative to the rest of the population.

He uses the president’s favorite straw man: “No one can argue that it makes sense that people who are making a million dollars a year or more to pay less than the average middle class worker in this country.” And no one is. In fact the top 10% of earners have been paying roughly 70 percent of the taxes. The bottom 50 percent pay about 3 percent of the tax load.

But let’s take a step back. Where in this is a plan to accelerate growth and job creation? How does creating a sort of new minimum tax for 4,000 taxpayers assist in the recovery? Maybe that is why Obama and Axelrod spend so much time on gimmicks and phony “fairness” arguments. They haven’t got a clue how to create an economic environment in which investors, employers and consumer will all benefit.

Richard Fernandez at the Belmont Club concludes:

Pity poor Axelrod. What must be truly terrifying is the growing realization among President’s supporters that he could actually lose to Mitt Romney. Yes, to Mitt Romney. Not because Romney is a superlative candidate who is electrifying the American voter but because the contest is shaping up to be ‘anyone but Obama in 2012′.

The core problem is the exent of the President’s incompetence. It had always been thought that even if the President were poor at governance, he would be good at campaigning. They relied on that idea and forgot what all track and field coaches know: that the 100 meter man will not necessarily place well in the 42,195 meter marathon.

President Obama could find a second wind from somewhere. Yet clearly his key strength of futurity — the ability to act as a blank screen upon which people could project their aspirations — can no longer be useful in the face of his track record. Barack Obama in 2008 was a promise. Barack Obama in 2012 is a busted flush. The efforts by Axelrod to make the debate once again about the future of America have largely failed.

And they will continue to fail because many of Obama’s early blunders are now coming to term. He now has a past and and a present in addition to his ever glittering future. And the expected present consists of bulletins from an economy poisoned by his largesse; a war in Southwest Asia run on a crazy strategic premise; a foreign policy whose centerpiece is “leading from behind”; and an environmental policy that has produced one bankrupt energy company after another. Nothing but bad news. His people are demoralized. They are losing it. Perhaps even the Secret Service has caught the air of dissipation in the White House.

The rest of the Jolt looks at the insanity within the Secret Service, insanity within the United Kingdom’s House of Lords . . . and some general all-purpose insanity in the news.


Tags: Barack Obama , David Axelrod , Mitt Romney


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