It has been a very rough patch for Our President, and I do believe it is going to get rougher still. Do not be surprised, as the month goes on and August runs into September, that his campaign budget becomes tighter. President Barack Obama is spending more money than he is raising. It will get worse. A president who mismanages the federal budget the way Obama does cannot be expected to manage his campaign budget much better. Lavish spending, it turns out, is a way of life for the community organizer who became our 44th president. Lavish spending on Campaign 2012 will be looked back on and seen as one of the campaign's greatest weaknesses. He can spend the money, but my guess is he will not be able to raise it.
Yet this week he had other headaches too. This week, "Politico" finally reported the dissension and backbiting that have been rumored for weeks within the campaign. You will be hearing a lot about this in the weeks ahead. The magical team that David Axelrod and David Plouffe put together in 2008 is falling apart.
At "The American Spectator," we reported years ago that this team was in reality the greenest pack of greenhorns ever assembled to take over a White House. For over three years, the mainstream media have covered for the Obama galoots. It is a perfect example of the Taranto Principle by which the mainstream media's biased reporting only encourages liberal excess. Well, now Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett and all the rest of Obama's minor figures who aspired to be major players are at each other's throats. It will fall to the president to gather them up and lead them to one more term in the White House. Except that as Ron Suskind demonstrated in his excellent book, "Confidence Men," Obama does not lead. He cannot. He just walked out on another meeting.
But there is more. Niall Ferguson dominated the cover of "Newsweek" to tabulate the carnage that is our economy. Also he added up the foreign policy failures of the administration. It does not look good. Ferguson rather rudely asked Obama to "Hit the Road, Barack." Finally, the president reported that his dog Bo is overweight and will be going on a diet.
So with all this drear, Our President hastily called a press conference the other day. He has not held one in months. He attempted to say that his charges that Mitt Romney has been responsible for at least one death and is a tax cheat were not outside the "bounds" of presidential discourse. "If you look at the overall trajectory of our campaign," he said, "and the ads that I've approved and are produced by my campaign, you'll see that we point out sharp differences between the candidates, but we don't go out of bounds." Actually, if Romney is responsible for all the misdeeds Obama has laid to him, he should not be running for president. He should be behind bars.
Lately in Washington the scurrilous tone of Obama's campaign has even made the mainstream media uneasy. They again launch into their false theater about how "both sides do it and oh woe is us." They cite the Obama campaign's claims about the dead woman and Romney's taxes. They mention Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, who charged Romney with a "felony" for the way he exited his business connection with Bain Capital. Then they bring in their examples of the Republicans' excesses. Inevitably, they go back to 2004 and the charges that Senator John Kerry, then the Democratic candidate for president, had his war record mangled by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and other Republican apparatchiks. Though wait! The Swift Boat Veterans spoke the truth. They even relied on taped Congressional hearings before which Kerry charged his fellow combatants with war crimes. His problem was his record in Vietnam, not the Swift Boat Veterans' allegations. The mainstream media also trot out an allegation about Romney claiming that the Obama Administration is "gutting" welfare. Two Republicans, they say, were among the governors who asked for some sort of waiver on welfare. The Republicans deny it. It is all pretty thin gruel.
Let us come to the point. Obama is reaching out to his very own special constituency. It is composed of those who believe that the Republicans would put up as their candidate for the presidency a person who in his business life would engage in fraud, tax evasion, even murder. Obama is casting his net for the moron vote. I do not believe that there are enough morons out there to reelect him.
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor-in-chief of "The American Spectator" and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Death of Liberalism." To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.