Politics & Policy

Up in the Air

Barack Obama’s cloud-piercing, cash-seeking cry-in.

‘You pay now!”

Though more subtly expressed, that was Barack Obama’s message as he beseeched contributors while jetting about in Air Force One a few nights ago.

“President Obama sounded weary and maybe a tad worried late Friday during a rambling conference call with campaign donors whom he repeatedly begged to send money — and send it now,” the Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove wrote Saturday. The website obtained an audio recording of Obama’s appeal to high-dollar patrons. This Obama classic had it all: finger-pointing, moping, and lies.

“The majority on this call maxed out to my campaign last time. I really need you to do the same this time,” Obama implored, as he returned to Washington after touring fire damage in Colorado Springs. (Never mind the recent disclosure that Obama apparently had not spoken with Governor John Hickenlooper (D., Colo.) between June 12 and June 27, while this swing state burned to a crisp.)

Obama continued: “We’re going to have to deal with these super PACs in a serious way. And if we don’t, frankly I think the political [scene] is going to be changed permanently, because the special interests that are financing my opponent’s campaign are just going to consolidate themselves. They’re gonna run Congress and the White House.”

In his 18-minute supplication, Obama also whined that “in 2008 everything was new and exciting about our campaign. . . . And now I’m the incumbent president. I’ve got gray hair. People have seen disappointment because folks had a vision of change happening immediately.”

First of all, compare Obama’s plight with that of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. After the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, to widespread shock and outrage, the entire American center-right realized that SCOTUS cannot do our work for us. Repealing Obamacare means repealing Obama. Consequently, the Romney campaign received some $4.6 million overnight from 47,000 Americans, averaging about $98 each.

Contrast Romney’s bright day with Obama’s dark night: phoning from Air Force One with a shaky, exhausted pitch to his benefactors. This is hardly the portrait of a confident leader or an optimistic campaign.

Second, the fundraiser-in-chief moans about Romney and “the super PACs.” Guess what? Obama has his own super PAC. Priorities USA, led by former Obama aide Bill Burton, collected about $4 million in May and about $20 million so far this year, with another $20 million in commitments. So Obama’s complaints are — surprise, surprise — rampantly hypocritical.

Third, unlike Romney, Obama will enjoy both cash and in-kind services from America’s labor unions. The money that Romney collects is offered voluntarily. Unions, however, derive their campaign funds from compulsory union dues that they pry from workers’ wallets. Someday, this shameful injustice will stop. For now, it remains a huge advantage for Obama.

Fourth, Obama lately has lagged in fundraising, in part, because he has vilified the “fat cats” and “millionaires and billionaires” on Wall Street. Few people enjoy being insulted at dawn and solicited at dusk — all by the same candidate. While financiers were among Obama’s biggest boosters in 2008, many of them have greeted his class-warfare battle cries by snapping their checkbooks shut.

Obama is learning a lesson from Grateful Dead: “If you plant ice, you’re gonna harvest wind.”

Finally, it would be reassuring if the president of the United States stopped lying. It is unseemly and immoral.

Pointing fingers, which he now does with Olympic-grade skill, Obama whimpered that “it turns out change is hard, especially when you’ve got an obstructionist Republican Congress.”

Liar! There is no “Republican Congress!”

Republicans control only the House of Representatives. Obama’s fellow Democrats run the U.S. Senate.

Indeed the Republican House has passed 27 bills specifically designed to resurrect the American economy and spur job creation. Harry Reid and Senate Democrats refuse even to vote on these measures.

Even worse, for the last three years, the Democratic Senate has violated the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974. This federal law requires Congress to pass a budget “on or before April 15 of each year.” The GOP House has delivered two budgets to the Senate, which has rejected them without adopting its own spending plans. Meanwhile, President Obama’s budget this spring was defeated unanimously in the House and Senate — receiving precisely zero votes from either Republicans or Democrats. Indeed, the Democratic Senate last passed a budget on April 29, 2009.

Rather than excoriate “obstructionist Republicans,” Obama should try something new: He should provide at least enough leadership so that his own party passes his own budget in the Democratic Senate.

Until then, Obama must endure the indignity of shaking his tin cup while speeding through the clouds aboard his taxpayer-funded Boeing 747.

— New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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