With his presidency losing so much altitude that he’s practically underground now, Captain B+ is about to ‘reconnect with’ the voting public by means of a Palin-style bus tour. Yes, I know – I’ll leave discussion of the irony of the Leftist in Chief following HER lead, of all people, to someone else. What I want to suggest is, what if the notion that this will actually help him politically turns out to be a bigger rookie mistake than even he has made to date?
President Urkel’s has unquestionably been the most scripted and stage managed presidency America has ever seen. With the entire press in his pocket to a degree never before known, the visuals have always been whatever he needed them to be. Need a cheering crowd? Bring one in. Need protesters not to be seen? The film never hits the air. An obviously necessary component of this strategy has always been for the young man to stay relatively close to his centers of power. It can only be desperation driving him to now throw that to the wind.
This trip will take the president deep into what was already enemy territory — the heartland. That he never thought this was necessary before, let alone an astute move, is evidenced by the fact that he’s never tried it. In the 3 years since he was installed, he has
yet to visit several of the places this trip would have to take him. And with even his officially admitted-to numbers at the bottom of the 40s, I really don’t think absence has made heartland hearts grow fonder than they had been in 2008.
Bus tour visits to small towns in Middle America have a certain feel — the point is to look folksy, regular, connected to the common man. That this doesn’t exactly come easy to the president is shown by the fact that his people so often find themselves trying to manufacture it by bringing their own extras to play the crowd. But this will be no blue state street theater. There are real mid-westerners out there in the mid-west. If Team Zero tries to bring its own cast of extras with it to be the crowds where he stops, well… let’s just say it will be a serious test to the ability of the national media to control the message they have been rapidly losing their grip on for the last 3 years. Buses full of people are not exactly inconspicuous, and every small town has local news people who want to get their faces out there nationally on a big story.
Personally, in his position at this point, with the Team 6 tragedy, the credit downgrade, and everything else, I think there could scarcely be a worse time for him to try to show his face in the heartland. It is hard to fathom the combined desperation and bankrupcy of ideas that would lead him to now give it a try. This may be shaping up to be the biggest PR catastrophe at least since the Ceausescu regime went the way of the dodo. It might just be the beginning of the end.