Blaming the Messenger?

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(Sorry about the Boeing advert up-front—it’s part of the clip. But if you were possibly in the market, for say, a small jet, I hope that was helpful to you.)

Now that we’re in the second day of foofaraw over Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s oddly off-message statement on Meet the Press, I feel comfortable saying: Meh. I know. Some people are saying he’s trashed the Obama campaign’s line of attack regarding Romney’s record at Bain. I think that on the merits of Romney actually not having a damn thing else he’s running on, it’s still a good line of attack, as these things go, especially when you look at things like the amazingly lop-sided profits to creditor repayment ratio in the Ampad deal (that looks like a Mafia bust-out, seriously). It’s still a valid line of questioning regarding Romney’s involvement with job-creation (or destruction, as the case may be), as Booker himself has pointed out in his walk-back.

The “both sides do it” part of his comments is what I found more distasteful. There just isn’t an equivalence between Obama’s attendance at Trinity United Church being used as a smear (“Black! Liberation! Theology!”) against him, versus a critical look at just what Mitt Romney is putting forward as his claim to understanding the economy. The former tactic is a device to try and make President Obama responsible for every out of context thing another person may have said in his presence to present him as a dubiously American “other”. The latter is, I would say, the thing Mitt Romney’s campaign has invited us to do by making his record as businessman the central rationale for his campaign.

I just don’t think there’s really a long-term harm coming from a muddled message, here. Honestly, although there’s going to be some waving of Booker’s statement around in a “even Obama Surrogate Cory Booker said….” fashion, it’s still early in the campaign. It’ll pass. And actually, I’m more interested in some ways with the degree of push-back Booker has gotten from Obama defenders (I’m kind of glad to see it, actually).  It tells me people are fed up with false equivalence and fired up to set the record straight.

Also, I don’t think it should do much more for Cory Booker than remind him: there is no such thing as post-partisan in an election year. I can appreciate the point of keeping a positive message as a surrogate for Obama, and he did mention some good points about how Obama’s policies have benefited the economy already—but without pushing back against smears, given how dirty this campaign is shaping up to be with all the PAC money involved—he wasn’t really doing it right.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 05/21/12 at 10:20 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaBedwettersElection '12MittensOur Stupid Media

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but without pushing back against smears, given how dirty this campaign is shaping up to be with all the PAC money involved—he wasn’t really doing it right.

Yeah, pretty ineffectual surrogacy if you ask me. Although I agree with point, made else where, any time spent debating the merits of Bain, in the media and for days with a little luck, is time well spent for the Obama campaign.

Also too, if Mr Booker really does have statewide and eventually national aspirations, he’s going to have to do a lot better than this.

Comment by Jewish Steel on 05/22/12 at 02:09 AM

As usual, POTUS hits the nail on the head with a clarification yesterday . . . 

He’s saying, I’m a business guy and I know how to fix it, and this is his business,” he said. “When you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, your job is not simply to maximize profits

Willard’s experience is in making money, not jobs.

It’s early days in the campaign. Time for defining what kind of a man this Romney character is. The Obama campaign and Dems in general can’t let Romney and the Republicans be the ones to set that definition.

Once the campaign season ripens, and the candidates begin to debate each other, every promise they make and everything they say will be filtered in the public eye through the public’s assessment of their character.

Longterm Booker hurt himself more than Obama. It comes as a great surprise that he’s more Harold Ford 2 than Obama 2.

From your first link:

We also interviewed Marc Wolpow, a former Romney colleague at Bain, who defended the buyout business as promoting American competitiveness. The main goal at buyout firms, however, is never maximizing employment, Wolpow told us. It’s maximizing returns for investors.

oh that he would go on Faux News and say that but it’s far too honest.

Not to mention the fact that Booker is waaay in hock to Bain Capital for hundreds of thousand$$ for his earlier campaigns. 

From THinkProgress:

Bain and Financial Industry Gave Over $565,000 To Newark Mayor Cory Booker For 2002 Campaign bain-financial-industy-gave-over-565000-to-newark-mayor-cory -booker-for-2002-campaign/

Comment by rdale on 05/22/12 at 04:01 PM


He was just making sure he kept dancing with the one that brung em*. 

*I’m told this is a southern saying, and my understanding of it is that it fits Booker’s Bain servitude and TV ineptitude quite well.

Romney didn’t even consider the fate of the companies Bain got involved in except to decide what outcome would maximize his profit. 

That’s what makes him so dangerous…if the price is right, he will do anything.

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