As if trying to talk themselves into the idea that there might be a wave of liberal politicians inspired by Obama like he was the black JFK, NPR’s Morning Edition on Thursday tried to make national news of a Democrat running in Iowa for the Secretary of State job.
“Meet Brad Anderson,” began NPR reporter Don Gonyea. “He was the spokesman for Obama's 2008 Iowa campaign. Four years later, he ran the president's entire Iowa operation. Now, Anderson has a new candidate: himself.” But get a load of how much Brad overplays the inspiring wonders of Obama’s achievements:
BRAD ANDERSON: He has inspired me in terms of not only his words, but really what he has been able to accomplish -- incredibly challenging economy and turning that around. In terms of the issue of health care reform, that is personally important to me and my family, that has a pre-existing condition, he is just an inspiring guy.
Gonyea then brings in establishment journalist and author Alan Ehrenhalt to suggest that “gridlock” might be destroying the hope of a wave of Obama-inspired candidates:
ALAN EHRENHALT: Obama is an eloquent and, at times, charismatic figure. But you have to weigh that against the sense of deadlock and the absence of possibility that pervades all levels of government right now.
GONYEA: Ehrenhalt wrote the book The United States of Ambition, which examines why people run for office. Regarding a possible Obama generation of candidates, he says it's simply too early to tell if one will materialize. He says most Obama volunteers are still years from running for office. They're working on careers and starting families. But in addition to than that, he says we simply may not see a candidate boom, like after JFK and Reagan.
EHRENHALT: Gridlock is a factor that works against people wanting to enter politics. I think that that is a discouragement to running for any office, even if it's state legislature or city council.
We’ll be hearing more of this if Republicans take the Senate to compound "gridlock" for Obama’s remaining two years in office. Anderson and his friend the NPR reporter tried to make voter ID the “civil rights issue” of the century:
ANDERSON: As you all know, this race used to be a sleepy little race about mechanics liens and business filings. And it's now become a national race about what I believe one of the most important civil rights issues facing our generation, which is the right to vote.
GONYEA: That's the main theme of his campaign, his belief that Republicans in Iowa and elsewhere have pushed voter ID laws and other measures that make it harder for people to vote.
Democrat-sympathizing reporters have trouble noting that large majorities back asking for an ID at the polls -- try 70 percent of Americans, even 52 percent of Democrats. Gonyea somehow couldn't face the polling reality.
At least Gonyea turned to the Republican in the race, Paul Pate, to accuse Anderson of being a “partisan political operative” running for a nonpartisan job. Plus, Gonyea had to admit, “Obama's approval ratings aren't what they once were in Iowa.”