11:34 AM, Mar 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
This weekend’s hymn appears to be “Democrats in Trouble.” Follow along with Jonathan Martin and Ashley Parker of the New York Times:
Democrats are becoming increasingly alarmed about their midterm election fortunes amid President Obama’s sinking approval ratings, a loss in a special House election in Florida last week and millions of dollars spent by Republican-aligned groups attacking the new health law.
Appearing in the chorus:
With the health care sign-up period coming to an end this month, Democrats in Congress are looking over at the White House and realizing that the president is not only incapable of saving them, but he looks like a big anchor tied around their necks.
The president is still a good fund-raiser for Democrats. But while the Koch brothers are pounding the party’s Senate candidates and a few House candidates around the country, congressional Democrats are wondering when Obama’s vaunted powerhouse national advocacy network, Organizing for Action, will finally step in with some money to offset the wave of outside spending by the Republicans.
“We have a turnout issue,” Plouffe said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend. “This is a screaming siren that the same problems that afflicted us” in 2010 when Democrats lost control of the House “could face us again.”
“It’s going to be very hard to hold the Senate — I think the Senate goes,” MSNBC's Chris Matthews said on Thursday morning's edition of 'Morning Joe'. “I think we heard from the Ghost of Christmas Future this week. They’re going to lose the Senate.”
Most of the doom is attributed to the damage done to the party’s brand by Obamacare’s troubles and (all together now) those horrible Koch brothers and all of their money. There is talk of going for turnout and scaring voters with stuff about how the Republicans are coming for their Medicare and Social Security. And surely this will happen, along with warnings of wars on women, the young, and the climate.
More interesting, perhaps, is what is not mentioned. Namely, the economy. As another Times reporter noted, earlier this week, some 57% of Americans believe the country is still in a recession. One doesn’t want to go too far out on a limb here, but might that not incline a lot of voters to think it is time for a change. Been six years and, still, things don’t seem to be getting much better.
With a robustly growing economy, even Obamacare (whatever it is, this week) might seem affordable.
And three years of foreign policy missteps. 8:35 AM, Mar 15, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Today marks the third anniversary of the beginning of the Syrian rebellion, a popular uprising that started as a protest movement and degenerated into a civil war that has already claimed more than 146,000 lives. As the White House has come to enumerate the various reasons why it has balked at arming the rebels—they’re fragmented, they’re farmers, they’re al Qaeda—it’s worth remembering that even before the opposition picked up weapons to defend itself against a regime shooting at unarmed protestors, it took Obama nearly half a year before he called for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step aside.
12:00 AM, Mar 15, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
President Obama might have been economical with the truth when he promised Americans they could keep their doctors when Obamacare takes effect, but he is proving a man of his word when it comes to the exercise of presidential power as he defines it. “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” he told his cabinet, developing a theme of his State of the Union message.
11:03 AM, Mar 14, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
White House spin doctors and a sea of lawyers have somehow managed to schedule a presidential appearance:
… at two super PAC events this election cycle to help support Democratic candidates.
But it does not qualify as political fund raising! As the Huffington Post reports:
Michelle Obama: 'We Nag You Because We Love You.'7:21 AM, Mar 14, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The mothers of celebrities Jonah Hill, Adam Levine, Jennifer Lopez, and Alicia Keys star in a new web ad to promote Obamacare:
7:03 AM, Mar 14, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The Obama administration has been under heavy criticism from foes and even some friends for selective enforcement of laws. Executive orders and executive actions have contradicted, delayed, or otherwise modified laws regarding same-sex marriage, immigration, and, most controversial in the last several months, the Affordable Care Act.
2:17 PM, Mar 13, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
HHS is trying to jump start Obamacare signups among the young with an image that is supposed to be the universal disapproving mother scowling at her spawn while saying, “Don’t worry about me, I’ll just wait here until you #GetCovered. – Mom.”
11:31 AM, Mar 13, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Pollsters call it the “rally effect.” In a crisis, people tend instinctively, if abstractly, to support their leaders. The signature example being that, when the Bay of Pigs invasion ended in failure, John F. Kennedy’s poll numbers went up.
'We have our blind spots and we have our dogmas and we've got our crazy folks.'7:17 AM, Mar 12, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama knows that his time is almost up. It's a point he's making to liberal Democratic donors to get them to donate generously in this year's mid-term election.
4:29 PM, Mar 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House pool reporter says that President Obama has gone shopping at Gap in New York City:
3:02 PM, Mar 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
NBC reporter Chuck Todd shouted a question to President Obama about whether he still has confidence in the CIA director. The president refused to answer the question.
Via the pool report:
7:34 AM, Mar 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama joined Zach Galifianakis's “Between Two Ferns”:
Galifianakis asks, "In 2013 you pardoned a turkey. What do you have planned for 2014?" Whether he sent Dennis Rodman to North Korea -- and what we should do about "Ikea"?
Obama taunts the actor by saying it's a "good thing" he can't run a third time for president, because it would be like doing a third Hangover movie.
It would send a message to Russia.4:15 PM, Mar 10, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Who’s surprised that the Obama administration, evolved, urbane and forward-looking, is having a hard time dealing with Vladimir Putin’s unreconstructed Cold War mentality in Ukraine? “We’re hoping that Russia will not see this as sort of a continuation of the Cold War," John Kerry said last week. Even before the Russian invasion of Crimea, Obama was warning of the dangers of seeing the world in terms of Great Power conflict. “We’re no longer in a Cold War,” the president said at the U.N. General Assembly in September. “There’s no Great Game to be won.”