THE PERMANENT CAMPAIGN – AT 11:25 A.M. ET: As we've said before, some of the best journalism on American politics comes from Britain. The Brits have a sharp eye when it comes to our political games, and they instinctively seem to know what's going on. This, from Toby Harnden, in London's Daily Mail, on Obama's permanent campaign:
Barack Obama has already held more fundraising events to build cash for his re-election bid than all five Presidents since Richard Nixon combined, according to figures to be published in a new book.
Actually, there have been six presidents since Nixon, excluding Obama: Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, and Bush 43. I assume Harnden is leaving out Ford because he wasn't technically running for re-election in 1976. He had acceded to the presidency upon Nixon's resignation.
Obama is also the only president in the past 35 years to visit every electoral battleground state in his first year of office.
The figures, contained a in a new book called The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign by Brendan J. Doherty, due to be published by University Press of Kansas in July, give statistical backing to the notion that Obama is more preoccupied with being re-elected than any other commander-in-chief of modern times.
And we are paying for those re-election trips.
While the Obama’s campaign activities in office have been largely in line with historical trends, he is especially vulnerable to criticism because in 2008 he promised to change how politics works and to curb links with special interests.
Vowing in 2008 to ‘launch the most sweeping ethics reform in US history’ Obama said that if elected he would ‘make government more open, more accountable and more responsive to the problems of the American people’.
Yeah, change we can believe in. We've seen how that's worked out.
In his State of the Union speech in January, Obama bemoaned the ‘corrosive influence of money in politics’. The following month, he reversed course and announced he was allowing cabinet members and top advisors to speak at big money events for so-called super PACs – unaccountable outside groups raising money for his re-election.
COMMENT: No wonder young people have lost their enthusiasm for Obama. He's just another politico doing what politicos have always done. There is no real hope and change in this administration. The extraordinary thing about it is its ordinariness.
April 29, 2012