As the president’s poll numbers decline, his political advisors are surely studying the most successful come-from-behind victory in the annals of American elections, at least in contests for the country’s top job. Back in 1948, no one expected the-then incumbent to defeat Republican Thomas Dewey. But, then Harry Truman gave ‘em hell and FDR’s third vice president won a presidential term in his own right.
When elected to the vice presidency in 1944, the Missourian was little more than an afterthought, with all the attention focused on the then-three term incumbent.
Defining the bandwagon effect and showing how, in 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama’s political team used it to help their man win the White House, Jay Cost speculates that this team might “Run the Truman 1948 playbook” in order to help the incumbent win a second term in office:
Harry Truman is today remembered as a straight shooter who told it like it was. That’s true in many respects, but he was also one of the most partisan presidents in the postwar era, and his 1948 campaign was one of the most demagogic. Check out, for instance, Truman’s 1948 nomination acceptance address. The reason Truman ran that campaign was because he was pinched from multiple sides – from the left and the right in his own party, from the Republicans, and from the economy, which ground to a virtual halt by election day. In response, Truman ran hard against the Republicans, arguing that they were set to destroy the New Deal. Expect Obama to run a similar ‘Give ‘em hell!’ strategy, making particular use of Paul Ryan’s budget to demagogue the Republican position. There’s really no reason to pick somebody like Debbie Wasserman Schultz as chair of the DNC, other than to drive home the ‘GOP wants to murder granny’ argument.
Cost is skeptical at how effective this strategy will be in the current political environment: Dewey, in 1948, “pulled his punches” (more…)
Over at the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol has a great post comparing the way then-Senator Edward M. Kennedy and his fellow Democrats in 1987 demonized Robert Bork, President Reagan’s supremely qualified nominee for the Supreme Court, to how President Obama and his minions are attempting to demonize House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan and his plan to control federal spending and reduce the deficit:
The fear-mongering worked in 1987. Robert Bork, one of the great lawyers of our time, playing by the then-customary rules of Supreme Court nominations, didn’t feel he could defend himself, and wasn’t aggressively defended by his political allies. But even though Bork’s nomination was defeated, Kennedy’s assault didn’t work in a larger sense—George H.W. Bush won the presidency in 1988, Newt Gingrich became speaker in 1995, and conservatives did pretty well politically for most of the rest of Edward Kennedy’s life.
One reason Democrats won’t succeed today as readily as they did twenty-four years ago is because of the on expression I highlighted above: “the then-customary rules”. Republicans know that the playbook has long since been altered. This year, they won’t be caught unaware by Democratic efforts to misrepresent and vilify. There is a vast array of conservative organizations willing to raise money, produce and broadcast adds countering Democratic distortions.
Another reason is aesthetics. With his scraggly beard, unkempt hair, and haughty demeanor, Judge Bork looked like he just walked from an audition for the role of Moby Dick‘s cantankerous Captain Ahab. He had spent too many months at sea, away from the manners and mores of the more earthbound landlubbers.
Not so, the neatly groomed, nattily attired and clean-shaven Wisconsin Republican. He had not overstayed his welcome in the secluded groves of academe and facing election every two years, had practice in communicating with the average American.
Okay, now things are going to get ugly… no matter what the book says…
Via DRUDGE REPORT:
**Exclusive** This year’s high stakes publishing project quietly went to press this week, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
After years of research and digging by the nation’s top private investigators, here it comes:
The street date is a LONG month away, and author Jerome Corsi, the man who torpedoed John Kerry’s presidential dreams with SWIFT BOAT, has gone underground and is holding his new findings thisclose.
“It’s utterly devastating,” reveals a source close to the publisher. “Obama may learn things he didn’t even know about himself!”
Does Corsi definitively declare the location of Obama’s birth?
Will the president’s attorneys attempt to interfere with the book’s distribution? [The publisher vows to vigorously fight any legal action that may be taken.]
Will the book finally — once and for all — put an end to the growing controversy?
Or will it just ignite new ones!?
“When Donald Trump said he sent PIs to Hawaii to get to the bottom of all this, he meant this book,” declares an insider.
Via JammieWearingFool via Instapundit, we get this nugget:
Pres. Obama’s re-election campaign won’t be disclosing how much money is taken in at the individual fundraising events attended by Pres. Obama. Neither will the Democratic National Committee.
An official says it’s the same policy by which the Obama Campaign operated in the 2008 election cycle.
Fundraising numbers have to be filed with the Federal Election Commission, but often not until weeks later – and the FEC documents don’t itemize amounts raised at specific fundraising events.
The Obama Campaign is not the first to adopt such a policy, although Pres. Bush’s re-election operation in 2004 freely disclosed how much money was taken in at individual events.
Emphasis in JWF, but not the original.