The Obama campaign has three high-profile spokespeople who regularly tweet. David Axelrod, Stephanie Cutter and Ben LaBolt.
No one gets the kind of right-wing hate that Stephanie Cutter does, and it comes from men and women. Women tend to be snarky and mean, picking at what she wears or how she looks. Men, on the other hand, are downright disgusting and sexist, saying things like the tweets I collected from a five-minute twitter search today.
Rush Limbaugh, meanwhile, has referred to Cutter with the brash mix of sexism and unrequited lust that only he can administer, alternately referring to her as “Obama’s chief campaign babe” or the “chief spokesbabe for Obama-Biden.” He’s also insulted her intelligence and suggested she’s just a pretty face for the campaign. “Stephanie Cutter is a puppet. The words in her mouth have been put there by Obama,” he said in July. More recently, his opinion of her seems to have soured: “The clueless and blind, lying hack, Stephanie Cutter. I don’t know how smart she is. I really don’t.”
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, meanwhile, mysteriously told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in August, “I would say, this woman has a lot to hide.” “She’s a shameless lying liar,” conservative blogger Michelle Malkin told Hannity a few weeks later. Indeed, Hannity seems to have targeted Cutter with a vengeance. He ran a full taped profile segment on the aide, whom he called “the one person that can be credited for driving the hateful tone that has been spewing from team Obama.” “Willing to say anything to get her candidate elected, Cutter has waged a campaign of lies and slander … using the same tactics for nearly a decade,” Hannity explained. In another segment, he said she had a “difficult and surly personality.”
On CNN today, Cutter patiently explained to Wolf Blitzer why Libya was not a foreign policy failure, but the right was having none of it. Reactions on Twitter ranged from mockery to vicious claims of treason, even.
Why? Here's my theory: Stephanie Cutter is a strong, confident, clear-spoken woman. She is not only attractive, but she's smart and unafraid to say what needs to be said.
Also, she's a woman. And the right wing treats women like...well, Rush Limbaugh teaches them to do. Just like they treat Latinos or black folks, women are simply an object to ridicule or reduce to a sex object.
It must have something to do with their tiny little brains, which seem only to respond at the most basic level of comprehension, and then only at the level of prehistoric man. Not that I'm calling them Neanderthals or anything, you understand, but I must admit their reactions are a strong representation of how I imagine Neanderthal man to behave.
PS. Happy birthday, Steph Cutter. Sorry you had to spend it at a debate.
Police say someone fired a shot at an Obama campaign field office in Denver on Friday afternoon.
No one was injured, though people were inside the offices when the incident occurred, said Denver police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez.
"It looks like it was one shot that was fired into the structure," she said.
The incident happened at about 3 p.m. at the campaign's offices on West Ninth Avenue near Acoma Street, Lopez said.
Sam Levin, a reporter for the alternative newspaper Westword, later posted a photo on Twitter showing one of the office's large, front windows broken out. By early evening, the window shards had been removed and a glass company was putting plywood up.
Lopez said police have a description of a "possible vehicle of interest." She said she could not release that information while detectives are reviewing any available video footage of the incident and pursuing leads.
When Teddy Roosevelt first proposed a system of single payer insurance for the United States, it was popular and quite nearly a done deal. That is, until the AMA intervened and began a whisper campaign about how it would "socialize health care" and place patients under government control. During the 21st century battle for universal health care, President Obama was able to get the AMA on board with it, which is part of the reason it actually passed.
How did he do that? Well, part of the reason it worked is because the AMA has splintered into subgroups, sometimes according to specialty and other times according to political bent. One of the more prominent (and scary!) splinter groups is the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), of which Rand Paul is a member.
The AAPS just had a tea party on September 18th. Not only did Rand Paul attend, so did our favorite Nevada teabagger, Sharron Angle. And not only Sharron Angle, but Georgia's Paul Broun, also a doctor.
JONATHAN KARL: So, Steve, how bad is it going to be for the Democrats in these mid-terms?
STEVE HILDEBRAND: I don’t think it has to be bad. I think if our Democratic candidates would actually be proud of to stand for their votes that they’ve taken, not all of them, but some. People who have supported health care shouldn’t run from it. They should be as proud of that vote as any vote they’ve taken in their lives. This is actually going to help people in a pretty serious way. It’s not going to hurt people.
JONATHAN KARL: And is that what you see people doing though because they’re afraid this vote is going to be used against them. In fact it’s already being used against them by Republicans they’re running away from it, running away from the President.
STEVE HILDEBRAND: Yeah, and the fact that they’re cowards in such a serious way. I mean, is this about their reelection or is this about helping people? What are they in politics for? What are they in government for, if they’re not in government to help people? They should simply get out. They shouldn’t run for reelection. And we should put people in there who are strong leaders, who want to do something to help people. That health care bill is going to help young people, old people, poor people, middle-income people. It’s vitally important to this country and any one of them that walks away from it, isn’t proud of that vote, is a coward.
JONATHAN KARL: If the current trajectory remains the way it is for the next two months, and the kind of Democratic strategy remains the way it is, do the democrats lose the House?
STEVE HILDEBRAND: The Democratic strategy right now is to run from the president, run from important proposals that help this country. If we’re not going to do something about health care, if we’re not going to do something about climate change, if we’re not going to do something about the economy, about the deficit, about the war, Washington is going to get punished. The Democrats might get punished more because they’re in power, but Washington in general is going to get punished. And you’ve seen it in Republican primaries across the country. You’ve seen it in Democratic primaries across the country. And you’re going to see it with a lot of just pure incumbents from both parties in November. They’re getting punished because they’re not dealing with the issues. They’re not dealing with the real problems that we face as a country. And they should be punished. Stand up and lead or get out of the way. And you might be replaced with someone worse, but you know, those are the options that are sometimes given to people.
A couple of thoughts: The most interesting thing, to me, is that a man who was one of Obama's top campaign staffers is saying that the Democrats deserve to lose. Right? "They should be punished." So that's kind of fascinating, that he'd say that publicly.
The Congress critters understand that. Why wouldn't they be scared? They know they voted for a crappy, complicated bill that will, yes, improve life for a lot of people -- but make it harder for others. I still believe it will be good in the long term, but not for now, not for everyone:
JONATHAN KARL: In a year like this when the Democrats are in danger of losing the House, even the Senate, you'd think they could use a guy like you out there.
STEVE HILDEBRAND: (Laughs) No one is knocking the door down to try to get me to help, so I’m pretty set on the fact that I'm not going to go help people that don't deserve the help they need where they are not standing up strong as Democrats. I’m just not going to do it. I’m not going to encourage other people to do it either.
JONATHAN KARL: How many of the people that are actually running these campaigns, back in Washington, the committees, are they agreeing with your message on this?
STEVE HILDEBRAND: No, I don't think so. There is a pretty specific strategy of winning a majority at any cost. The Democrats do it. The Republicans do it. It’s winning at any cost. I'm not interested in that. Do I want to hold the majorities? Absolutely. Do I think it’s better for the long term for things I believe in to have the Democrats control the majority in the Senate and the House? Absolutely, no question. But, at a point. they need to be told that: You had every opportunity to hold those majorities, by doing what was right, to stand up for the things you campaigned on, the thing that Democrats elected you for, and they didn't do that. There were too many of them that took a walk, and the Democratic leadership in both the House and the Senate allowed them to do that so that they could get reelected. This is where we're at now. We face a possible loss for both the House and Senate Democratic majorities, and I really believe it comes down to whether or not you chose to lead. And, I don't think they chose to lead. I think they ran scared from day one. They made it impossible for Barack Obama to get his agenda passed the way it needed to be passed.
JONATHAN KARL: How do you think the President is handling the midterms? Is he doing enough?
STEVE HILDEBRAND: Oh yea, I mean I think he's doing a ton. He knows the stakes. He clearly knows that it’s very important for his future as president to have these majorities, for a lot of reasons, for political reasons, but more importantly, for policy reasons.
JONATHAN KARL: Is it your sense it’s frustrating to the White House to see these Democrats out running for reelection by running against him, or is it that they've signed off to this win at any cost and if you have to criticize us to...
STEVE HILDEBRAND: I think they know these politicians are going to do whatever it takes
By now most of you know that Al Gore was a mere poseur, and that David Plouffe actually invented the internet. Naturally, as such, he has access via his 3 billion gig I-phone, to the email address of every single liberal blog reader on the planet. But if you have somehow eluded the Obama Campaign Manager's technological omniscience, you can click in the blue box shown and Mr. Plouffe will personally pick you up at your cave entrance (in his Prius, natch) and take you to the polls on November 4. Well, not really, but close.
(Needless to say, voter registration is critical to helping the Democratic nominee win this election.)
Does anyone know why McCain doesn't use a computer or email? As a couple readers suggested to me, it might be because his injuries prevent it. I mean he can't lift his arms much higher than his chest and it looks like he has all sorts of other mobility problems with them. Maybe he can't type or use something like a blackberry. I don't know. But I hope the Obama campaign found out before they played the granpa Simpson card on McCain. I'd hate for Obama to be mocking a veteran's disability to score cheap points.
Over the past two weeks, the lies emanating from the McCain/Palin campaign have become so brazen that even the most cynical campaign reporters are clearly taken aback. While lies are commonplace in politics, you rarely see candidates continue to repeat factual claims that have been widely debunked in the media, especially claims about biographical facts (lying about your opponent's policy positions is another matter).
The fact that McCain and Palin continue to tell these tall tales about Palin's record in Alaska is aggravating--there's no question--but it also presents the Obama campaign with a golden opportunity. The key to exploiting that opportunity, however, is not to get angry or to join in the lying game. Neither of those tactics ever work well for Democrats. The key to fighting back is to brand McCain and Palin as liars through the use of mockery. I realize that everyone and their brother is playing the role of armchair political consultant at the moment, but please indulge me for thirty seconds.
I completely agree with Nate Silver: the Obama campaign needs to make better ads.
It's not that Obama's ads are bad by any normal metric. They're well produced and they usually hit the right themes. The problem is that they're very conventional. Obama is supposed to exude change. But his ads don't. They look like the ads we see every election cycle: images, text, and video footage linked together by the voice of a professional narrator. They may be marginally effective, but they are exceedingly forgettable and often make Obama come across as just another politician playing the same old game (even though his ads are much more honest than McCain's).
The Obama campaign needs to think a little more outside of the box. They should aim to produce ads that are either more creative/funny than a typical campaign ad, or more sincere.
Rachel Maddow appeared on"Countdown" last night to talk about John McCain's joke(?) about entering his wife in a topless beauty contest, and hit on an important point: in order to compete with Barack Obama's rock star appeal, the McCain camp has decided to find places where large people gather for other reasons and bask in the unwarranted limelight.
OLBERMANN: Also, maybe a somewhat serious point contained in all this malarkey; on stage at Sturgis, he referred to the—preferring the roar of the 50,000 Harleys to 200,000 Germans cheering in Berlin. But in doing that, did he not underscore the fact that those 200,000 Germans in Berlin actually showed up to hear Barack Obama speak, but the 50,000 bikers on the roar of their Harleys, they had shown up at Sturgis not to see John McCain, but to see Kid Rock, Kelly Pickler and a bunch of female wrestlers and other women not wearing tops?
MADDOW: This is a critical and basic difference between the John McCain campaign for president and the Barack Obama campaign. Barack Obama creates large crowds when he gives speeches. John McCain‘s campaign has just figured out to find out where there‘s going to be a large crowd for another reason and to hope to slip their candidate in between other acts.
I guess you can't really blame McCain. When your opponent draws tens of thousands of people who genuinely want to hear him speak, and you have trouble filling the dining room of a Sausage restaurant, you have to find ways to compensate. It's just ironic that they attack Obama's celebrity appeal yet try to emulate it any way they can.