Diary

Chicago Politics in the White House

Remember when Clinton was in the White House? For the first time that I remember, the media had to start breaking out the polling between job and personality — that is, they had to separate out that the public really approved of the job Clinton was doing, but they thought he was a sleazy individual they personally did not much care for.With Obama, we have the opposite. People love the guy, but they really don’t like his policies. As a result, the tactics Obama is deploying are different from what we are used to. Obama, himself, comes out at times trying to look stern while pensive, then he sends out the apparatchiks and goons.Writing in the Wall Street Journal this morning, Karl Rove goes into detail about those tactics.

Senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett and her chief of staff, Michael Strautmanis, are in regular contact with MoveOn.Org, Americans United for Change and other liberal interest groups. Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina has collaborated with Americans United for Change on strategy and even ad copy. Ms. Jarrett invited leaders of the liberal interest groups to a White House social event with the president and first lady to kick off the lobbying campaign.

Were this a Republican administration, Henry Waxman would be demanding an investigation into the White House conspiring with outside elements in the “People’s House.” Can you imagine the reaction if Karl Rove met with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in the White House? The left would be out on every television network with every media “analyst” speculating that the activity was illegal.To sell an unpopular agenda, the White House has resorted to third party organizations to fight for Obama. And why? That’s the really important question.It all goes back to the polling. Obama says he wants moderate policies. What he actually pushes are far left policies. He wants to keep his popularity rating high, so he cannot get out himself and sell his policies. He has to resort to left wing organizations to do the selling, lest he get tainted by his own agenda. Relying on those organizations, Obama’s administration is directly collaborating on ad copy, messaging, and — most importantly — targets for the left to go after.Look at the players: Americans United for Change and MoveOn.org. If you notice the pattern, after Obama publicly went after Rush Limbaugh, both organizations went on the attack against Rush. After Obama attacked Eric Cantor, both organizations attacked. After moderate Democratic Senators questioned the President’s budget proposals, both organizations went on the attack.These organizations have become appendages of Barack Obama’s White House. We must make him own them and make him own his policies.