Saturday, May 26, 2012

Romney can't close his enthusiasm gap, but Obama's widens. A Curious case of backstabbers appears

The Romney steamroller rolled on...and got worse results in Kentucky and Arkansas than he received last week, in both cases less than 70% of the Republican vote even though he is technically unopposed.
That wasn't the story the (biased Republican) Kentucky media wanted to sell, which was that Obama didn't get 40% of Democratic votes in Kentucky (and Arkansas; and also in West Virginia, which voted before the whole gay marriage flap).   Before that his previous protest votes had rarely ranged as high as 20%.  But these three states were the most violently pro-Hillary Clinton in 2008 and it is likely they retain some animus from that period.  Why Romney has been unable to rally the Southern Conservatives is a more interesting question. It is difficult to believe they won't vote for him in the fall, but it is also difficult to believe there is any enthusiasm.

 The Obama campaign dealt with several very curious incidents this weekend, both where supposed allies tried to undermine his re-election candidacy.  The first was a revival of the notorious and ridiculous birther controversy. The second was an attack by the African-American mayor of Newark on an Obama campaign ad.

Both these incidents are very curious because they highlight the differential treatment of Republicans and Democrats in the press.

In the first case conservative blog Breitbart uncovered a pamphlet from a no longer existing company that supposedly represented Obama as a literary agent when he was an unpublished author, and claimed he was born in Kenya, the son of a finance minister.  Since I met Obama in 1983 and he told me he was born in Hawai'i, I know for a fact he was not claiming to be a Kenyan national at that time.  The alleged author said it was a fact-checking mistake, but I'd be very surprised indeed if the whole incident isn't a forgery, both the pamphlet which somehow missed the light of day in 2004 when Obama was a keynote speaker, or when he ran for Senate in Illinois, or when he ran for president in 2008 against very capable opposition in his own party. If so, that would mean the woman who said she made the "error" would be lying.

The second was Cory Booker's defense of "private equity." The Newark mayor pretended to be "nauseated" by Obama's attacks on Bain Capital.  It was not reported why, but the Obama campaign discovered the reason, namely that Bain had given big money to Booker in his mayor's race.

However,  while the Obama campaign found that interesting tidbit, the "media" did not cover that story, nor did they find out what Bain expected to get for such a lot of money in such a small place with such inexpensive elections.  In fact, to the extent they did cover the story, it was to imply that the White House "slapped down" Booker on the issue, as opposed to revealing the pertinent fact that Bain funded Booker.

The news companies handled these stories a little gingerly but with a raging bias.  ABC merely noted that the publishing error "might have been the source" of the birther story,  falsely implying the birthers were rational not crazy, when not a single birther ever brought it up before now.   All the networks covered Booker's attempt to point a finger at Obama for "dirty campaigning" when Obama has not yet even scratched the surface of the Romney perfidy as we've seen on this blog.   None of them questioned Booker's expertise in the matter of "private equity," which is something a New Jersey mayor would not normally be expected to know a lot about.   I hope the Obama people fully understand now the extent of uphill battle they have with the media in such relentlessly hostile hands.

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