Norah O???Donnell of CBS News was not won over by President Obama???s disingenuous attempts to distance himself from his ugly re-election campaign, during a surprise press appearance on Monday. ???This is a question that Obama has to answer for,??? O???Donnell said, referring to ???the tone of the campaign.???
She also pointed out that, contrary to ???Hope and Change??? mythology, Obama ???ran a very negative campaign in 2008 as well.??? Interestingly, Obama???s top campaign advisor, David Axelrod, said the same thing, using considerably more colorful language, in a new book about the President???s re-election campaign called Obama???s Last Stand, by Glenn Thrush of Politico.
To be specific, Axelrod dismissed the image of Obama???s positive 2008 campaign as a ???bullshit notion.??? This might seem like an odd thing to say about your own candidate, particularly when he???s running for re-election, but Axelrod is frustrated by the tendency of disappointed reporters to compare Obama???s incredibly ugly 2012 campaign with the mythology they built around his previous presidential race.
Obama is being held to a standard he assiduously cultivated in 2008, and continues to run on to this day. No one is pushing Axelrod???s ???bullshit notion??? harder than Barack Obama, who complains endlessly about all the money that will be spent on horrible negative ads against him during the election. In his press appearance yesterday, Obama carefully portrayed himself as floating above the gutter campaign waged on his behalf, stretching credulity to the breaking point by claiming he didn???t even know about some of the more vile actions of his campaign and its allies.
It???s hard to imagine a worse way for Obama???s team to push this strategy than grumbling about the gullible media foolishly believing all their ???hope and change??? nonsense from four years ago. The press is also growing weary of Obama???s too-cute-by-half efforts to dance around the smears his campaign has leveled at Romney, without denouncing them. It has been carefully noted that it took weeks for Obama to finally make a grudging allowance that ???I don???t think Governor Romney was somehow responsible for the death of that woman,??? as he said of the nauseating Priorities USA ad on Monday. He didn???t need to wait for his first encounter with serious reporters in two months to express those sentiments.