Fineman Swings, Whiffs

Newsweek / MSNBC pundit Howard Fineman attempts to provide some cover for Senator Obama in his latest news analysis, but pretty much fails.  But it’s a valiant effort, so I’ll mock it. 🙂

No, Barack Obama was not making fun of Sarah Palin when he talked about some Republican putting “lipstick on a pig.”  He was trying to be colloquial

Yep, that’s why he stopped and waited for the laughs after saying “put lipstick on a pig”, instead of completing the entire phrase (“You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig”) and then waiting for the laughs.  (This was obvious even before Obama went on Letterman and claimed that he was thinking of Palin as the lipstick, and McCain as the pig.  Must burn to toss away your credibility, and then get tossed under the bus by Obama anyway.)

Here’s a hint, Howard, when you trash your credibility in the first paragraph, it’s not going to be a good article.

Declining to take federal financing for the general election
This mistake is two-pronged. Obama stands accused of flip-flopping on the matter, saying in 2007 that he’d accept those funds and the cash limits that come along with it.

Um, no.  He doesn’t “stand accused of flip-flopping on the matter”, he is outright, 100.00% guilty of “flip-flopping on the matter”.

Declining McCain’s offer to hold ten town hall debates
When Obama was leading the race in leaps and bounds, he blew off this GOP proposal. Too bad. Had Obama locked in that deal, he would now be able to confront McCain face-to-face about some of the Republicans’ more aggressive – if not to say cynically manipulative – recent television advertising claims.

Obama declined those debates because he knows that he’s an empty suit, and the debates would have showed up that fact.

If he offered McCain the debates right now, McCain would probably take him up on it, and then proceed to take Obama apart.  Which is why Obama won’t make the offer.

Failing to go all the way with the Clintons
Yes, I know, Bill and Hillary got prime speaking roles in Denver. And yes, I know, the Clintons are difficult to deal with and probably hope Obama fails. Still, it’s Obama’s task to latch on to them, even against their will. But he was too proud.

This is where I have the most sympathy for Obama, but also where I think he screwed up the most.

He was entirely right not to want a Clinton VP.  OTOH, he could have gone to her (and Bill) a week after she conceded, and said “look, I’m not going to have you as my VP.  You would make a lousy second banana, and I’m not going to screw up my Administration by picking someone as VP would wouldn’t be a good Vice-President.  But I would like your advice on who I should pick as VP, and I’d like to work with you on some things that are important to you.”

IOW, feed their egos, stroke them, get them on board in ways that wouldn’t hurt him.

But his ego wouldn’t let him do that.  He was going to win, with or without their help, and therefore they and their supporters needed to cultivate him, not the other way around.


The 22-state strategy

The Obama ego strikes again.  He is The One, he can get anyone to vote for him.

Oh, and when you’ve got a ton of Other People’s Money, there’s not need to be “conservative” about spending it.

Failing to state a sweeping, but concrete, policy idea
It is not enough to be for change – everybody is, or is trying to be. To make it stick, Obama needed, and needs, to put forth an easy-to-grasp grand proposal, one that would encapsulate what his central message. [sic]

Obama’s “central message” is “love me, vote for me, because I am The One.”  He doesn’t have any real policy proposals, because a: he’s an empty suit, and hasn’t bothered to think about what he’d actually do to make America better (his mere election is sufficient for that), and b: He’s a hard-core leftie.  The American people won’t like his actual policies, so he must do everything he can to keep them hidden until the suckers elect him.

Remaining trapped in professor-observer speak
When you listen to Obama, it sometimes feels like you’re hearing a smart but distant analysis of the political scene. He sounds like a writer or teacher, but not the leader of a political crusade. Obama has been far too “meta” – a detached commentator on his own situation and his own country. Voters want an action plan, not an exegesis.

Um, you’re now complaining about the “core” of Obama.  He has no “action plan”, and never has.  He just is.

Failing to attack McCain early
Obama was wary of attacking a man who had suffered so much during the Vietnam War – an understandable emotion. But that wariness, combined with Obama’s natural inclination to be seen as the nice guy (one who lets others do the knifing) lead to an unfortunate result. It gave two free months for McCain to build up a head of steam as a war hero, as opposed to what Obama needed to paint him as publically: a man beholden to corporate interests and a likely clone of George W. Bush.

Ah, yes, that perennial compalint “gosh darn, we’re just too nice to win.”  Tell it to Bristol Palin.

The problem isn’t that he hasn’t been attacking McCain.  The problem is that the attacks haven’t worked.  This is because the American people aren’t as dumb as you think they are.

The #3 recipient of Fannie Mae lobbying money doesn’t get to attack others for being “beholden to corporate interests.”  You can’t honestly paint the leader of the Gang of 14 as “a likely clone of George W. Bush.”

Wrong again.

So, what’s it like being so far in the tank (for Obama) that you’ve grown Gills?


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2 Responses to “Fineman Swings, Whiffs”

  1. kingdom media Says:

    this lipstick issue demonstrates yet again that McCain’s strategy for winning is based on personal attacks and distracting people from the main issues… i just hope people aren’t as gullible as the McCain administration seems to think

  2. gregq Says:

    Gosh, because we all know that talking about “putting lipstick on a pig” isn’t the least bit personal, and talking about “change”, without ever specifying exactly what it is you’re going to change, or how you’re going to change it, is a great why to focus on the “main issues.”

    Um, no.

    So, nice try, but you fail.

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