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In the wake of Brown Victory, Obama Returns to Campaign Mode

Right now, what Obama really needs is a prime minister, someone better suited than he to attend to the day-to-day management of government.  With said person in place, say, as White House Chief of Staff, the president can do what he does best, give speeches and otherwise interact with the news media.  Basically, he needs a more adept manager reminding him of political and fiscal reality.

His right-hand man in the West Wing (well, with Obama, he might better be called a left-hand man), Rahm Emanuel, is first and foremost a political partisan.  He would be better served someone who both knows the way Washington works and has earned the respect of Republicans.  Bill Clinton picked just such a man for the post when he tapped Leon Panetta as his Chief of Staff in the summer of 1994 as the first signs of the coming Republican tsunami were being made manifest in special election victories and popular unrest over the then-incumbent’s health care initiatives.

Panetta took over too late to avoid major losses for his party in the 1994 elections, but he helped the Clinton White House find its balance in the second half of the Democrat’s first term.   His boss then became the first Democrat to win reelection in 48 years.  Obama would be wise to follow his fellow Democrat’s example and appoint a Panetta-like figure to replace Emanuel.

But, instead of going for a respected politician with a knack for policy, “Obama’s first significant personnel change in the wake of the Massachusetts debacle”,  Jennifer Rubin reports, “is to hire back his campaign manager“:

Not a new economic team. Not a new chief of staff. Not even a new national security staff to replace the gang that dropped the ball on the Christmas Day bomber. No, with the Obami, it is never about substance or getting the policy right. It’s not about governance. It is about the perpetual campaign. So the campaign manager gets the emergency call.

And from the spam Michelle has received, we learn that campaign manager David Plouffe’s first significant actions since taking on his new portfolio has been to gin up the old campaign operation to promote Obamas policies.  Not to reevaluate his legislative priorities in the wake of a stagnant economy and increasing opposition to health care reform, but press them into the campaign “to finish the fight for health insurance reform”.  Looks like that ol’ Black Knight is getting ready to lose another limb.

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14 Comments

  1. what Obama really needs is a prime minister,

    No, the country needs someone other than an incompetent buffoon in over his head to do the job.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 25, 2010 @ 5:40 pm - January 25, 2010

  2. The Axelrodding AstroTurfing is already in gear, I see.

    Comment by Tully — January 25, 2010 @ 5:41 pm - January 25, 2010

  3. Didn’t you think Obama was going to fire someone over the Christmas Bomber screw ups? Now we know that AG Holder decided by himself to treat him as a crook instead of a terrorist. But still no firings. No economic team firings. Is it possible Obama thinks we will all forget? Or does his lack of executive experience show starkly here too.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 25, 2010 @ 6:35 pm - January 25, 2010

  4. In heraldry, something on the left side is sinister. It seems a fitting term for the administration.

    Comment by Jax Dancer — January 25, 2010 @ 7:00 pm - January 25, 2010

  5. the president can do what he does best, give speeches and otherwise interact with the news media

    With or without his teleprompter?

    Maybe he could just be a regular on “The View” and Michelle could fly in for date nights and he could be a regular parade on 5th Avenue.

    Perhaps he could restart Air America (TV unit) and it could be required prime time viewing on every channel every night between 8 and 9:30.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 25, 2010 @ 7:26 pm - January 25, 2010

  6. This is definitely the result of his lack of significant experience in the governance of anything. The campaign has been over for a year. However, the only roots that Obama has to return to is campaigning/organizing. The citizens of the United States of America are done with the great experiment in Affirmative Action with respect to the Presidency. The citizens are done with the “I got an idea” approach to the reality of the economy and job losses. I am tired of the professional “motivational speaker” approach to my dwindling 401K plan, taxation of my savings accounts and broken mortgage. I am so over the “I got a dream” with regards to health care. Obama needs to do something that is concrete and with results. You want more money in the banks? Quit taxing my bank accounts. You want more respect of politicians? Prosecute the ones who break the laws of the United States. Don’t appoint them to your Cabinet. You want more respect in general? Get off the TV. Dont have any more of your pictures showing up anywhere. Stay in the Oval Office and do some work!!! And finally, listen to your citizens and stop with the “I know better than you do” attitude. Get your Yes Men off your team and actually cross the aisle.

    Comment by killiteten - Native Intelligence — January 25, 2010 @ 9:27 pm - January 25, 2010

  7. This is THE most juvenile admin I’ve ever seen. This man must be terribly embarrassed by his failure to master any of the skills needed to be president of my country.
    I really think we are going to one of three scenarios work out here.

    No. 1, huge demo loss in Nov, Hillary resigns and starts campaign to unseat Obama.

    No. 2. Obama is so unhappy being President, and finds the job so hard, he decides not to run for re-election, allowing Hillary to run without opposition.

    No. 3. What I really believe will happen. Obama is so stressed and so overwhelmed by the job that he will have a total mental breakdown, probably in public.

    Comment by John in Dublin CA — January 26, 2010 @ 12:57 am - January 26, 2010

  8. The installation of Pluffe at the National Campaign Office means Obama intends to run every Democrat’s bid for office this year ….and I doubt he’ll allow anyone to go on a trip to India before election day.

    Comment by Spartann — January 26, 2010 @ 1:13 am - January 26, 2010

  9. a prime miniser? Why? He already has a zillion czars. With all this hired help he can´t run the country? Maybe that´s his problem; too many talking heads has him consfused.

    Returns to campaign mode? Hell, I never thought he left it. I hope he campaigns for every Democratic congressional and senatorial candidate. His presence with the candidate seems to be the kiss of death. Right now he´s 0 for 3.

    Comment by Roberto — January 26, 2010 @ 11:49 am - January 26, 2010

  10. a prime miniser? Why? He already has a zillion czars. With all this hired help he can´t run the country? Maybe that´s his problem; too many talking heads has him confused.

    Returns to campaign mode? Hell, I never thought he left it. I hope he campaigns for every Democratic congressional and senatorial candidate. His presence with the candidate seems to be the kiss of death. Right now he´s 0 for 3.

    Comment by Roberto — January 26, 2010 @ 11:51 am - January 26, 2010

  11. I don’t think Obama, Campaign Ver, will be able to repeat the kind of success he had during the primaries and election. Obama didn’t campaign on what he had done, which was little, but what he could do or would do. He ran on that hope and change, and people were willing to give him a chance. The problem is now, he can’t campaign like he did…he can’t run from what he has done or has tried to do. I don’t see the glory of that campaign coming back for a second time.

    Comment by Darkeyedresolve — January 26, 2010 @ 4:06 pm - January 26, 2010

  12. People, people…. you missed the point about “Prime Minister”.

    In the Westminster system the king or queen is served by the Prime Minister. In the Old Testament times the vizier is identifiable as the Prime Minister – the one who looks after the country when the king is away. In the UK the Prime Minister runs the government. The Queen is just a figurehead. In Australia the Prime Minister is in charge of the Government with the Governor-General being the queen’s representative and has figurehead status (except that a GG can if necessary dismiss the government and appoint a caretaker govt until an election is held – per 1975 events).

    I think what Daniel was trying to convey is that Obama sees himself in the role of a king, or emperor…. one who should leave the governance of the country up to someone else (who knows what they are doing). In other words the O is so incompetent he needs someone else to be in charge (perhaps Scott Baio as Charles in charge 🙂 ]

    Comment by StraightAussie — January 26, 2010 @ 4:50 pm - January 26, 2010

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