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Campbell Brown: Obama 'Grating and Even Condescending'

5:36 PM, May 19, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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Sunday's New York Times features a strong piece by Campbell Brown, "Obama: Stop Condescending to Women." Brown isn't a big fan of President Obama's Barnard commencement speech last Monday. Here's the heart of her op-ed:

WHEN I listen to President Obama speak to and about women, he sometimes sounds too paternalistic for my taste....It’s all so tired, the kind of fake praise showered upon those one views as easy to impress....

The women I know who are struggling in this economy couldn’t be further from the fictional character of Julia, presented in Mr. Obama’s Web ad, “The Life of Julia,” a silly and embarrassing caricature based on the assumption that women look to government at every meaningful phase of their lives for help....

I have always admired President Obama and I agree with him on some issues, like abortion rights. But the promise of his campaign four years ago has given way to something else — a failure to connect with tens of millions of Americans, many of them women, who feel economic opportunity is gone and are losing hope. In an effort to win them back, Mr. Obama is trying too hard. He’s employing a tone that can come across as grating and even condescending. He really ought to drop it. Most women don’t want to be patted on the head or treated as wards of the state. They simply want to be given a chance to succeed based on their talent and skills.

Of course, maybe if Obama had Hillary at his side in the campaign instead of the useless Joe Biden, she could teach him how not to come across to women as "grating" and "condescending"!

And speaking of dumping Biden, here's an excerpt from an e-mail I received in response to my editorial from one of the savviest political pros I know:

Makes sense to dump him. Not one vote will be lost if they switch VP's.  Even if he isn't promised State no one will care. He has absolutely zero die-hards. What they should do is leak a few bad stories about him and the bottom will fall out. 
 
Clinton would be a plus. So would [Sen. Mark] Warner I suspect. But she makes most sense at this point....
 
Alternative move: Ken Salazar or Mark Udall. With Colorado in the bag Obama's path to victory much easier. Salazar: Was sort of a moderate. Brings big Latino vote to strengthen Nevada, New Mex and Arizona. Might add a bit in Fla, and some of the industrials. Senate plus Cabinet. Former AG......Udall: Again Colorado. Plus helps in Arizona and New Mex. Not a national figure though and new to Senate etc.  
 
Either of these guys--and of course Hillary--are more helpful than Joe and far less likely to self destruct.

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