Peter Nicholas of The Wall Street Journal is playing dumb. He played it straight when When Politico’s Mike Allen asked Obama campaign manager Jim Messina “which Republican would have had the best shot at beating your boss?” and Messina said Jon Huntsman.
“We were honest about our concerns about Huntsman,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said at a Politico breakfast event Tuesday. “I think Huntsman would have been a very tough candidate.” This is like praising the last player at the end of the bench.
In 2008, Barack Obama with obedient media members such as New York magazine's John Heilemann convinced America that if they put their hope behind a junior senator from Illinois, their lives would instantly change for the better.
Now that things didn't turn out as rosy as these folks claimed they would, the White House needs to scare the public into thinking things would be far worse if Mitt Romney is elected, and Heilemann obediently published a piece Sunday explaining how the team he favors plans to do it (serious vulgarity warning):
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air put it best on the latest Obama campaign video: "You know, nothing says classy in a presidential campaign like having to bleep out a word from the national campaign manager in a prepared video." Campaign manager Jim Messina tells supporters it's "bulls---" that Obama will run a "billion-dollar campaign." In the shadow of Occupy Wall Street, will the media help Obama implausibly frame his campaign as somehow a small-bore, Mom and Pop enterprise?
Some in the major media have noticed, too, like Devin Dwyer at ABCNews.com, who added "The Obama campaign has never explicitly thrown out the billion-dollar figure and aides have pushed back hard on media reports that they anticipate raising that much during the campaign. They raised a record-high $746 million in 2008. Obama has raised $87 million so far this year for his re-election fight." Is it implausible to guess they'll get to a billion dollars this time? Messina also sent this not-a-billion message in an e-mail to supporters in mid-week:
It's no secret that most campaigns are heavily funded by big checks from lobbyists, PACs, and rich donors, but President Obama's campaign team is turning away from that assertion, instead showcasing the claim that it is 98-percent-funded by grassroots support. Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager, said "we did this from the bottom up," pushing the idea that the $86 million fundraising figure released on Wednesday was fueled almost entirely by grassroots organizers.
While 98 percent of the checks may have come from grassroots donors, it doesn't mean that 98 percent of the money did. Many media outlets are taking the bait and are ignoring the two percent of donors whose contributions may turn out to be a far greater portion of Obama's campaign funds than Messina is making them out to be.
For comparison, eight years ago when then-President George W. Bush was ramping up for his re-election campaign, the media magnified a small fraction of extremely wealthy donors to be the image of his campaign.