Why is this bad? I can think of two ways, off the top of my head:
1) Very few people know John Boehner, and even fewer have yet to form an opinion of him.
2) If the House GOP hopes to make significant gains in 2010, it will need a leader the public thinks it can trust and respect. As of now, that leader will be John Boehner.
See where I’m going here? You can bet that David Axelrod, Rahm Emmanuel and Chris Matthews do.
Thank you very little, Chris Muir.
From Muir’s Day By Day cartoon of this weekend: A scene of a smiling politician, who looks an awful lot like John Boehner, waving to an airport crowd. To his left is this caption (all emphasis added):
Remember how the Republican Party rallied us in 2009? How John Boehner flew back from his taxpayer-paid junket in Europe, and lifted our spirits by delivering that stirring anti big-government speech on the tarmac?
The cartoon is one big snark-filled jab at top Republicans, whom Muir thinks aren’t doing enough over the summer recess to fight Obamacare. (I’ll omit any more details, in case you want to read the cartoon for yourself).
OK…presuming that John Boeher is indeed on a junket (I can’t imagine Muir writing this cartoon if he wasn’t)…yes, that’s a politically tone-deaf thing for him to do.
BUT—Boehner is the presumptive Speaker of the House, if indeed the GOP Jets beat the DNC Colts and reclaim the House in 2010.
IMO, in order to win in 2010, we’ll need a visible leader figure. Someone whom the American people can look at, again and again between now and November 2010, and grow comfortable with. Someone who the American electorate is willing to think of as being “in charge” in the House of Representatives. (Remember—we need FORTY seats to beat the Colts).
Unless someone else comes forward soon, our quarterback will be John Boehner.
Axelrod, Emmanuel, Matthews, etc… know that, if you can’t make the voters like your guy, the next best option is to make them dislike the other guy. You de facto salt the earth with charge after charge after allegation after innuendo after rumor after whisper after ad nauseum. If your opponent can’t gain traction, he really can’t strike you, can he?
Expect the sliming of John Boehner to start soon. If you thought Hardball went wall-to-wall with Birther coverage, wait until the Boehner Stinks Saga begins.
And, if I were Matthews, if any Republican were to complain, I’d point to Muir’s cartoon and say “Hey! YOUR side brought it up in the first place!”
John Boehner doesn’t have a friendly MSM to cover for him, as Nancy Pelosi did. Nor do many Americans know him. First impressions matter. And, you can be sure, Team Axelrod will do their best to be the ones who create that all-important first impression most Americans will have of Speaker-in-waiting Boehner.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the folks on our “side” (as I’m presuming Chris Muir is) could refrain from giving the other side ammunition? I mean, they have such a big lead on us already…do they really need any more help?
I’m sure Muir didn’t mean to help Team Axelrod/Obama. But he just did.
We have to be smarter about this, people. Our margin for error is so small.