By lex, on June 3rd, 2010
Our president’s political career began in the Illinois state senate, where he won office over an veteran politician who fumbled her registration campaign, leaving the 34 year old Hyde Park resident essentially uncontested. During his eight years in the state house, he famously voted “present” an astonishing 129 times.
His 2004 ascension to the US senate was facilitated by the self-destruction of his Republican opponent after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Schnider – a Democrat – released previously sealed child custody documents showing that GOP candidate Jack Ryan had taken his wife to seamy adult entertainment shows in the hopes of engaging in public frolic.
In 2008, having spent two of his four years in the senate campaigning for the presidential election and running against a strangely inept Hillary Clinton and revealed philanderer John Edwards, Mr. Obama was elected to the highest political office in the land on the thinnest public record in history.
And now, political allies who had supported his meteoric rise wonder where the magic has gone:**
They toppled Hillary Clinton, crushed John McCain and managed to get the first black man elected president of the United States.
But now a series of recent missteps just keeps getting worse for Barack Obama’s political operation, already under fire from inside the party for losing its golden touch.
The second-guessing of the White House political shop — which is coming in part from top House Democrats — was sparked anew late Wednesday by news that the White House tried and failed to coax another Democratic Senate candidate out of making his race by dangling administration jobs in front of him.
In a possible repeat of the Joe Sestak episode in Pennsylvania, insurgent U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff of Colorado said deputy White House chief of staff Jim Messina reached out to him — with a wince-inducing e-mail that is now public — with three possible jobs in September 2009. Obama wanted to keep him out of a race against Sen. Michael Bennet, the White House’s favored candidate.
Taken together, the Sestak and Romanoff cases suggest a White House team that is one part Dick Daley, one part Barney Fife.
They undercut Obama’s reputation on two fronts. Trying to put the fix in to deny Democratic voters the chance to choose for themselves who their Senate nominees should be is hardly consistent with the idea of “Yes, we can” grass-roots empowerment that is central to Obama’s brand.
And bungling that fix is at odds with the Obama team’s image — built around the likes of Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Obama himself — as shrewd political operatives who know the game and always win it…
One senior House Democrat said it is baffling “how one group of people can be so good at campaigning and so bad at politics” — a phrasing nearly identical to that of a second veteran House Democrat who expressed the same sentiment.
There never was any magic. It was all just smoke and mirrors. What’s truly baffling is how many people fell for it.
** 10-04-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.