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Obama campaign Tag

What Beto O'Rourke lacks in policy chops, he seems to make up for in fundraising abilities. During the 2018 midterms he amassed a war chest of $80 million dollars. After officially launching his 2020 presidential bid, he raked in over $6 million in 24 hours. Now Beto has attracted some of Obama's top funders and a former Obama aide.

What a difference eight years makes. With few exceptions, our national media is confused and depressed about the prospect of President Donald Trump. Back in 2008 however, the media was downright giddy over the election of Obama. Some journalists even wanted George W. Bush to step aside early so Obama could be sworn in before January 20th. The Media Research Center recorded all of this for posterity:
December 15, 2008 - Must Swear In Obama Right Now “We can’t afford to waste an hour, much less a day or a week or a month. And this business of being a lame duck President and saying, you know, ‘Adios. I’m going to the ranch. I’m just not going to do very much during this period.’ We can’t afford it....We’re in possibly, possibly the biggest crisis we’ve been in since December 7, 1941, and maybe since the time of the Civil War. So, we can’t afford to have this interregnum.” — Ex-CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, December 5.

We've covered the back and forth today, from John Kerry's angry policy speech putting most of the blame on Israel for failure to reach an agreement on the final status of the dispute, to Bibi Netanyahu's equally blistering rebuttal. The rallying around Israel and Netanyahu by politicians on both sides of the aisle is a reflection of both ideological support for Israel and the fact that Israel remains hugely popular among the American public. The maligned "Israel Lobby" consists of a substantial majority of Americans who not only support Israel, but support Israel over the Palestinians. The American people are the Israel Lobby. But that can't explain the reaction against Obama's U.N. move.

Tea Party groups won a major victory last week, when Judge Susan J. Dlott of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio certified a class of Tea Party organizations that allege the IRS intentionally delayed their applications for preferential tax treatment based on their political viewpoints. Winning class certification in NorCal Tea Party Patriots v. Internal Revenue Service is a big deal, because it means the Court has already made several determinations, all of which favor the class.  The Court has determined that the number of Tea Party groups effected by the IRS's alleged behavior is so numerous that they can proceed together as a class.  The Court has also determined that all of the Tea Party groups have valid legal claims against the IRS which share common legal issues; in other words, that the IRS has treated them all the same way. Having survived the hazardous class certification step, the Plaintiffs will now get substantive discovery from the IRS and from third parties.  As the Washington Times summarized:

Professor David E. Bernstein has written a great last-minute Christmas present or belated Hanukkah gift. Lawless: The Obama Administration's Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law is sure to ruin the holiday for whoever reads it - Republicans because it confirms President Obama has run roughshod over Congress and the Constitution, and Democrats because it confirms what they have so long denied.  Which is why everybody should read it, digest it, debate it and institute changes to prevent future presidents of any party from doing such damage again. Bernstein teaches Constitutional Law, among other things, at George Mason University School of law, and his easy facility with technical, legalistic topics makes Lawless accessible and understandable without eliding over details. The picture Bernstein paints so adroitly is of an unprecedented and unlawful consolidation of power in the executive, and a president unrestrained by his own promises, by custom, by standards of legal ethics, by statute or by the Constitution.

President Obama and the Defense Department are warning of the dangers of deploying ground troops to Syria without first answering whether ISIS can be defeated without them. Critics say the status quo is not doing the job.  Max Boot wrote in the Wall Street Journal on December 8 that air power alone cannot defeat ISIS.  The same morning, former Army Chief of Staff retired General Ray Odierno likewise told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that air power has never won any war in history, and added that “[y]ou can't defeat ISIS without having people on the ground.” On the other hand, Gen. Paul Selva, Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee the next day that, “[i]t's clear from ISIL's strategy that their objective is to cause us to engage in what they believe is an apocalyptic war with the West.”  Selva added, “anything that we do to feed that particular frame of thinking counters our national security.”

At a large Donald Trump event yesterday, someone in the crowd asked a question which accused Barack Obama of being Muslim and complained about Muslims. Trump appeared to brush off the question mid-stream, but didn't denounce the claims, and was vague enough in his response to set the media on fire: It also set Hillary Clinton on fire: That's mighty rich of Hillary, considering it was her campaign which started both the "Obama is Muslim" and not born in the U.S. claims and pushed them into the public consciousness during the 2008 primary campaign against Obama. "The Internet" was quick to remind Hillary that she started it:

The New York Times yesterday featured an article on Hillary Clinton's electoral strategy for 2016. In short, she apparently is mimicking President Barack Obama's strategy for his second term.
Instead, she is poised to retrace Barack Obama’s far narrower path to the presidency: a campaign focused more on mobilizing supporters in the Great Lakes states and in parts of the West and South than on persuading undecided voters. Mrs. Clinton’s aides say it is the only way to win in an era of heightened polarization, when a declining pool of voters is truly up for grabs. Her liberal policy positions, they say, will fire up Democrats, a less difficult task than trying to win over independents in more hostile territory — even though a broader strategy could help lift the party with her.
There's a phrase in those two paragraphs, "era of heightened polarization," that's worth reflecting on. I know how all right thinking people lament the growing partisanship in politics, but there's a pretty clear cause and effect implicit here, though the Times won't admit it: Obama in his quest for reelection, pursuing a narrow strategy, has increased the polarization in politics. Clinton plans to follow suit. I question if this is a wise strategy for Clinton to pursue. I'm not alone.

George Bush did not "lie us into war," no matter how many times the media and Democrats claim it was so. But Barack Obama did lie himself into office, when he falsely claimed to oppose gay marriage on religious grounds during the 2008 campaign: In fact, we now know as a fact what we always suspected, that Obama's 2008 position was purely political, so as not to alienate the religious black community, whose enthusiasm and turnout was critical to Obama's campaign. What used to be just a "right-wing" tag line about Obama not being honest about his faith, now is proven by Obama's key confidant and political advisor, David Axelrod as reported in Time, Axelrod: Obama Misled Nation When He Opposed Gay Marriage In 2008 (emphasis added):

In an op-ed published in The New York Times on Monday, former American peace negotiator Dennis Ross wrote that it's time to hold the Palestinians responsible for turning down peace.
Since 2000, there have been three serious negotiations that culminated in offers to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Bill Clinton's parameters in 2000, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's offer in 2008, and Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts last year. In each case, a proposal on all the core issues was made to Palestinian leaders and the answer was either "no" or no response. They determined that the cost of saying "yes," or even of making a counteroffer that required concessions, was too high. Palestinian political culture is rooted in a narrative of injustice; its anticolonialist bent and its deep sense of grievance treats concessions to Israel as illegitimate. Compromise is portrayed as betrayal, and negotiations -- which are by definition about mutual concessions -- will inevitably force any Palestinian leader to challenge his people by making a politically costly decision. But going to the United Nations does no such thing. It puts pressure on Israel and requires nothing of the Palestinians. Resolutions are typically about what Israel must do and what Palestinians should get. If saying yes is costly and doing nothing isn't, why should we expect the Palestinians to change course?
Abbas, as Ross noted, torpedoed the American-sponsored peace process last year (just as former Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni recently recounted) only to see political pressure brought to bear on Israel. Ross ends by asking, "But isn't it time to demand the equivalent from the Palestinians on two states for two peoples, and on Israeli security? Isn't it time to ask the Palestinians to respond to proposals and accept resolutions that address Israeli needs and not just their own?"

Yesterday was oral argument at the Supreme Court in a lawsuit over whether Congress had the power to designate Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel on passports. The case is Zivotofsky v. Kerry, and the issue is a fight between Congress and the Executive Branch, Via Scotus Blog:
Issue: Whether a federal statute that directs the Secretary of State, on request, to record the birthplace of an American citizen born in Jerusalem as born in "Israel" on a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and on a United States passport is unconstitutional on the ground that the statute "impermissibly infringes on the President's exercise of the recognition power reposing exclusively in him."
Prof. Eugene Kontorovich points out that legally the issue is not the same as the political issue of recognition of Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. Most observers of the oral argument believe it it will be a 5-4 split, most likely in favor of the Executive Branch. But oral arguments are not necessarily accurate predictors of ultimate outcome, so who knows. Regardless of the legal technicalities, the media and public perception is that this is a political issue regarding Jerusalem, particularly in light of hostile and threatening statements made by the Obama administration over Israeli exercise of sovereignty over "East Jerusalem" (the part of Jerusalem illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949-1967). Via Mirabelle from Israelly Cool:
Some of Obama’s biggest recent grievances in that relationship [between Obama and Netanyahu] seem to have been over Jews living in various neighborhoods in Jerusalem. In the past few weeks, Obama or his spokespeople have expressed their displeasure with Jews moving into homes they legally purchased in Silwan, planned construction of mixed Jewish and Arab housing in Givat Hamatos, or Monday’s announcement of homes in Har Homa and Ramat Shlomo. Rather than go on a lengthy rant about my complete and utter disappointment at my own President, I though we’d just take a trip in the Wayback Machine, to 2008 . . .
In 2008, Obama pledged that Israel could keep its undivided Capital of Jerusalem, if it likes it. That was then. This is now:

We keep hearing that Obama has checked out and is no longer interested in being president. But was he ever especially interested in the work of being president? From the very start, what seemed to interest him was giving speeches and campaigning. For the rest, he appeared to believe that just being his glorious self would somehow magically cause all the things he wanted to happen to actually occur, with a minimum of effort. And although that sounds rather deluded, in a sense it was reality-based in his case. Isn't that more or less how much of his life had gone until now? Obama never was very engaged with the work of government, although much of his career has been spent in government. As president, even his signature "accomplishment" early in his administration, Obamacare, was designed and pushed mostly by others (Pelosi, for example), who did the heavy lifting for him. That doesn't mean he's not an ideologue with leftist goals; it merely means that he wasn't very interested in the day-to-day specifics of the hard work he'd have to do to reach them. Obama is used to adulation and feeds off it, and when the adulation stops he doesn't seem very interested in going on with the activity. Campaigning and elections are tailor-made for a personality such as his. They feature speeches and promises and debates (words) rather than the need to work with others and accomplish something concrete. The main activity is travel---constant movement---and speaking before adoring crowds. Most important of all, they are time-limited and have an easily-defined and perceived payoff---the election results, which Obama has almost always (with the single exception of his run for Congress to unseat Bobby Rush) won handily. Campaigns last about a year or a little more, and then the candidate gets his/her reward. It is a relative sprint compared to the longer-distance race that is a presidency, especially a two-term presidency.

If anyone working in media today wants to help restore some of the damage done to the reputation of their industry, an apology like this would be a great start. Rather than using their influence to prop up Obama, the editors of the Billings Gazette in Montana are simply admitting they were wrong:
Gazette opinion: Obama earned the low ratings Sometimes, you have to admit you're wrong. And, we were wrong. We said that things couldn't get much worse after the sub par presidency of George W. Bush. But, President Barack Obama's administration has us yearning for the good ol' days when we were at least winning battles in Iraq. The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal polls show that Americans are giving Obama lower marks than in 2006 when Iraq was going poorly for Bush and a tepid response to Hurricane Katrina sunk Bush's ratings. It's not that popularity polling should be the final or even best measure of a president. There is that old saw that points out there's a difference between doing what is right and what is popular. For us, though, it's the number of bungled or blown policies in the Obama administration which lead us to believe Obama has earned every bit of an abysmal approval rating.
John Nolte of Breitbart summarizes the rest of the piece:

On the assumption that Hillary will be running, it's going to be interesting to see how liberals who attacked Hillary in 2008 will say, "that was then, this is now." One particularly nasty attack on Hillary was to accuse her of being a White Power advocate and using Klan talking points.   That line of attack, routinely and falsely used against Republicans, seemed to reflect Bill Clinton's complaint that the "race card" was played against Hillary. It came in response to this video in which Hillary opined on the significance of polling as reported by AP (h/t John Ekdahl) The attack appeared at the liberal website The Daily Banter from a liberal blogger who works for Media Matters but blogs both at Media Matters and independently. Hillary White Power Clinton Daily Bantor Oliver Willis 2008
Hillary White Power Clinton: