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Flop Sweat and Dog Whistles


Here’s our old friend, David Axelrod, the former impartial and unbiased Chicago Tribune “newsman” turned campaign strategist and all-around party hack, caught in the glare of Chris Wallace’s headlights and doing his best deer imitation on Sunday as he struggles to save his boss from a fate worse than Jimmy Carter’s:

But the fact that the Jake Lingle of his day is now the face of the Obama campaign is extremely telling. Axelrod’s usefulness to Obama has nothing to do with his advice on, say, national security issues and everything to do with his patented JournOList rolodex. Axelrod’s a terrible public spokesman — shifty, breathtakingly evasive and unlovely to look it — but the reason he’s out there is to keep his buddies in the media (and they are legion) on message. And what better way to do it than… to be dog-whistling at the media while on and in the media every day?

It’s a kind of genius of inverted Reaganism, really — going straight over the heads of the American people to speak directly to the media, a 24/7 propaganda operation dedicated to maintain the illusion of the president’s intellectual brilliance, work ethic and his deep and abiding patriotism. Displaying the same amoral ease with which he used to cover both sides of the street during his Tribune days, Axelrod now swaps out his Washington presidential adviser hat for his Chicago campaign consultant hat


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