WASHINGTON, October 21, 2014 — Regardless of whether you voted for him, the chance to see the president is a chance to be a part of history, to be able to tell your grandchildren, “I saw the president.”
But not this president. Instead, your story might be, “I walked out on the president.”
One of the greatest gifts President Obama may have given us is to show future Commanders in Chief that Americans won’t tolerate a president who ignores them. The lack of transparency and dozen or so scandals and major failures — Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS, VA, NSA, EPA, Bowe Berghdahl, illegal immigration, Afghanistan prisoner release, executive orders, Obamacare, ISIS, Syria, Russia — have taken a toll.
We just might have Obama fatigue.
When the president made surprise appearances at rallies for Democrats Anthony Brown, lieutenant governor of Maryland, and Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois, his base walked out on him..
A crowd of some 8,000 at the event in Maryland gave Obama a welcome befitting a sitting president; however, his repeated harping on the “turn up and vote” message got old. Before it was over, nearly 4,000 had left the event after ad nauseam repetitions of, “You’ve got to vote,” and “There are no excuses. The future is up to us.”
What was most surprising was his choice of rhetoric in referring to the residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland. It has been a strong redoubt for the President, but now he told the crowd to get their “cousin Pookie” off the couch.
“The Brown-Ulman ticket is one that is going to continue the legacy of Democrats here in Maryland, people who are going to fight on behalf of those who are middle-class, folks who are working hard to get into the middle class, people who work hard every single day,” the president said. “But I’ve got a very simple message, which is this will be a done deal if you vote. But it’s not enough just for you to vote. You’ve got to get your family to vote. You’ve got to get your friends to vote. You’ve got to get your coworkers to vote. You’ve got to get that cousin Pookie sitting at home on the couch — he’s watching football right now instead of being here at the rally — you’ve got to talk to him and let him know it is not that hard to exercise the franchise that previous generations fought so hard to obtain.”
Somehow this attempt to connect to Pookie, and the primarily black audience, is possibly a prime example of Obama’s masterful manipulation that left voters, like Peggy Joseph in this video, in awe of the politician.
Joel Gilbert, who filmed the full-length documentary film, “There’s No Place Like Utopia,” found Joseph six years after the 2008 convention.
Ms. Joseph told Gilbert that not only has Obama not been paying her gas or mortgage, but both have gotten progressively harder to pay.
“During that time, we needed a change, but change for the better, not for the worse,” an awakened Peggy Joseph told Gilbert.
“He had a very big voice, just like the Wizard of Oz,” Joseph said, comparing Obama to the famous phony wizard. “The wizard was this little teeny-teeny tiny man, and I think it’s the same thing with Obama, the man behind the curtain,” Joseph said in a reflective, disappointed tone.
A recent AP poll shows that even as they are discontented with the Republican leadership, most likely voters expect the Republican Party to take control of the U.S. Senate; “by a growing margin, they say that’s the outcome they’d like to see.” (AP)
President Obama’s poll numbers are low, 54% of voters believing that he’s incapable of getting the job done
Democrats risk losing control of the U.S. Senate in the November 4 midterm elections, and the President’s real concern that Democrats have not, historically, voted in midterm elections is valid. Additionally, middle-of-the-road voters — not the extremes — have become tired of the White House blaming Congress, former President Bush and the Republican Party in general for the failings coming out of the White House.
At some point, people will hold the president accountable for his presidency, and that time seems to have come for President Obama.
People turning their backs on the President is a real indication that the smooth talk, without the walk, is no longer working.
Women, a demographic that often votes candidate over party, ensured Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney in 2012 and now, Politico.com reports that they may also be turning their backs on the democratic party in the 2014 mid-terms (Obama’s standing with women hurts Senate Dems)
AP reports that since September 2014 women have moved toward the GOP with 47 percent of female likely voters saying they favored a Democratic-controlled Congress while 40 percent wanted the Republicans to capture control. In a recent AP-GfK poll, the two parties are about even among women, 44 percent prefer the Republicans, 42 percent the Democrats.
Adding to the President’s failing optics is that democratic candidates have avoided photo-ops with the president. Those standing shoulder-to-shoulder images that would then show up in advertisements and election pamphlets giving the impression of the candidate having handshake access and influence to the White House being the goal.
In fact Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Allison Grimes won’t say whether she did, or didn’t, vote for Obama. And now Georgia Democratic Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn, leading in some polls against Republican David Perdue, is mum on her voting record.
President Obama’s help, or lack thereof, may not matter much to Mr. Brown, who is 11 points ahead of Republican opponent Larry Hogan, according to an average of polls by RealClearPolitics.
Obama’s other stop was in Chicago, where Governor Pat Quinn is being challenged by Republican Bruce Rauner. Quinn’s lead is very narrow, and losing the Illinois Governor’s Mansion would be yet another political blow for Obama, says political scientist Kent Redfield, University of Illinois-Springfield.
“He’s going to have losses in the Senate and may even lose the Senate,” Redfield said. “And if he loses Illinois’ governor’s race, it’s just one more point in that narrative that the country is moving to the right.”
Michelle Obama has also campaigned on behalf of Quinn. Former president Bill Clinton and Vice President Biden are campaigning for Quinn this week in what has turned out to be one of the most expensive gubernatorial races in the country, packed with plenty of negative advertising, with each man claiming the other is incapable of leading the state..
“The national Democrats are going all out to try to save THE WORST GOVERNOR IN AMERICA,” Rauner wrote in a fundraising e-mail this week. “You and I know that Illinois can’t take another four years of Pat Quinn.”
The campaign has turned to a barrage of negative advertising in which both candidates say the other can’t be trusted with leading one of the “most economically fragile states.” Quinn paints Rauner as anti-union and a “professional outsourcer,” while Rauner alleges that the governor is corrupt, and that his leadership has been a failure.
Noting that Quinn is a decades long politician and governor for the last six years, Rauner says his is “a record of failure — on jobs, on taxes, on schools, on corruption and cronyism and political patronage.”
Obama brought the message to get out and vote to Chicago as he did in Maryland as tight polling suggests the governor’s fate hinges on the ability for democrats to act on November 4.
Unfortunately for Democrats, Obama fatigue might keep Pookie, and other voters, on the couch.