Articles

The White House Misfires on Limbaugh

March 11, 2009

Presidents throughout history have kept lists of political foes. But the Obama White House is the first I am aware of to pick targets based on polls. Even Richard Nixon didn't focus-group his enemies list.

Team Obama -- aided by Clintonistas Paul Begala, James Carville and Stanley Greenberg -- decided to attack Rush Limbaugh after poring over opinion research. White House senior adviser David Axelrod explicitly authorized the assault. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel assigned a White House official to coordinate the push. And Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gleefully punched the launch button at his podium, suckering the White House press corps into dropping what they were doing to get Mr. Limbaugh.

Was it smart politics and good policy? No. For one thing, it gave the lie to Barack Obama's talk about ending "the political strategy that's been all about division" and "the score-keeping and the name-calling." The West Wing looked populated by petulant teenagers intent on taking down a popular rival. Such talk also shortens the president's honeymoon by making him look like a street-fighting Chicago pol instead of an inspirational, unifying figure. The upward spike in ratings for Rush and other conservative radio commentators shows how the White House's attempt at a smackdown instead energized the opposition.

FULL ARTICLE: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123682426946303905.html

Related Article

Bc9de6c1e6b7cd562b3f070db4281100
April 18, 2019 |
Article
Despite any suggestions to the contrary, Sen. Bernie Sanders’s televised Fox News town hall on Monday did not come out of Bizarro World. ...
00e7e74365ef711075cf2ba1ad2bd080
April 11, 2019 |
Article
Abolishing the Electoral College is a fashionable campaign pledge for Democrats running for president. Declaring “every vote matters,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren says we should “get rid” of it. ...
4557dc28593b7cc65aab4e5c1ec615fd
April 04, 2019 |
Article
Prospective Democratic presidential candidates now get opposition-research packets dumped on them before they enter the contest. Ask Joe Biden, who is edging closer to joining the 2020 Democratic primary. ...
D19d55385ef4fe02c7f3b776af9c6dcf
March 28, 2019 |
Article
Only Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017 could have been a sweeter day for the present occupants of the White House than last Sunday.  ...
Button karlsbooks
Button readinglist
Button nextapperance