I was all set to do a post praising Chris Wallace for his tough interview with Romney-advisor Ed Gillespie on yesterday's Fox News Sunday. But then I caught the panel discussion and all my props went out the window. It was little more than a thinly disguised effort to paint the Obama campaign as dysfunctional – while mostly ignoring Romney’s dance with the Birther Boy, Donald Trump.
Wallace set the tone for the discussion with his introduction: “After 2008, the Obama team had a reputation as political masterminds but so far, this campaign, not so much.”
Then he turned to Republican Chip Saltsman for an answer to the kickoff question, “How are they doing at the political fundamentals of blocking and tackle?”
Saltsman gave exactly the kind of answer Wallace surely expected. “The first week… we got hip and cool, now they seem hapless and confused.”
Wallace followed that up with, “Here’s another blunder that you may not have seen.” He was referring to a video of Vogue editor Anna Wintour inviting Obama supporters to a fundraising dinner that was released on Friday, the day the bad jobs report came out.
There was no Democrat on the panel. Juan Williams, the lone liberal in the group, piled on. “That looks like a parody. It looked like the Romney campaign planted Dr. Evil in the house of Obama.” However, he went on to say that the campaign is doing the right thing by criticizing Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts.
Wallace did work in a brief mention of Trump – but not his birtherism. Yet even that was part of a stab at Obama. “For all the talk of the campaign and Axelrod and of course we haven’t even mentioned the fact that Romney spent a day with Donald Trump which didn’t you know (Wallace chuckled), cover him in glory, the big news this week… the only thing anybody’s going to remember about this week are those jobs numbers and the very weak job creation. How big a deal? Is it time for the Obama campaign In Chicago to panic?”
Time for the Obama campaign to panic? Only in Fox News’ dreams.
Video available at Mediaite.
If America hasn’t figured out how the globalized “economy” works by now, then by all means give Mitt Rommel a try and watch Wall $treet magically soar while the middle class vanishes.
The truth is that the Obama people aren’t taking anything for granted, but they’re in a good position to defend their record and to answer Romney’s attempts to challenge them. Because it means that Romney has to stand up and say something rather than wait for his opponents to fall away.
If anyone is becoming desperate, it’s the Romney campaign. They have a candidate that most of the Republicans did not want to support, trying to fight an uphill battle against a president who is still popular with the voters. If the economy were in free-fall, as it was in 2008, or in just a steady decline, as it was in 1980, Obama would be in a hard position. But having a jobs report that just doesn’t show enough jobs gained this month? If that’s all Romney has, it’s not going to be the catalyst to put him in the Oval Office, and he knows it.
The GOP has been desperate to remove Obama since before he even took the oath of office in 2009. Every single action or statement he has made has been challenged at one level or another. If the unemployment rate rises a tenth, they say it’s because of his bad policies. If the rate drops, they say it’s because people aren’t looking for work. No matter what he does, they throw bricks. And even if he’s doing his job and getting things done, they make things up – like the “apology tour”.
Over the next five months, the desperation will grow in the GOP ranks, until things completely come to a head in October. One has to wonder what Dick Morris will be predicting by that point…