Sunday, September 18, 2011

George Will on Obama's Electoral Skills

The great George Will makes the following observation on Obama's powers of political suasion on today's This Week on ABC:
He went to Massachusetts to campaign against Scott Brown; Brown is now a senator.  He went to New Jersey to campaign against Chris Christie, who’s now governor.  He went to Virginia to campaign against Bob McDonnell, who’s now governor.  He campaigned for the health-care plan extensively, it became less popular.  He campaigned in 2010 for the Democrats, they were shellacked.  He began, in a sense, his presidency flying to Copenhagen to get Chicago the Olympics; Chicago was the first city eliminated.  There is no evidence that the man has the rhetorical powers that he is relying on.
I would like to see more of this trend, as others have recognised.  When Air Force One touched down at Austin's Bergstrom Field in August 2010, Governor Rick Perry tried to hand Obama a letter (eventually passed to Valerie Jarrett) to "again request sufficient federal resources to combat the increasing violence" from the drug cartels on Texas' border (the letter can be seen here), but Perry's Democrat opponent in the gubernatorial election at the time, Bill White, was nowhere to be seen, claiming a schedule conflict.  A Democrat candidate for one of the more important offices in America can’t make time to be seen with Obama, but Perry can?  White, the former mayor of Houston, went on to lose the election anyway, of course.  He may be a failed candidate for governor, but he isn’t a fool.

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