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May 01, 2012

Afghanistan Must Be A Swing State, Because Obama Just Landed There To Give A Speech
Update: Will Address the Nation "Tonight" (I'm Thinking Primetime, Baby!)

Even Nebbishy Nincompoop Dana Milbank notices that the President's job duties seem limited to "campaigning."

In a political culture that long ago surrendered to the permanent campaign, Obama has managed to take things to a whole new level. According to statistics compiled for a book to be published this summer, the president has already set a record for total first-term fundraisers — 191 — and that’s only through March 6. Measured in terms of events that benefit his reelection bid, Obama’s total (inflated in part by relaxed fundraising rules) exceeds the combined total of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.

It’s not just the gatherings officially categorized as campaign events. To a greater extent than his predecessors, Obama has used the trappings of his office to promote his reelection prospects even while handling taxpayer-funded business.

According to the same book, “The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign,” by Naval Academy political scientist Brendan Doherty, Obama was the first commander in chief in at least 32 years to visit all of the presidential battleground states during his first year in office. He has kept that pace, devoting nearly half of his travel to 15 swing states that account for just over a third of the population.

The election is still six months away, but it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish Obama’s political events and speeches from the official ones.

So now he's in Afghanistan. Supposedly this is an official visit -- and not, say, a campaign event, which will supply video and photographs to be used in commericials and donor solicitations.

He'll be speaking shortly. I'll bump the thread when he's on. Update: I saw that he'll address the nation "tonight," which I take to mean -- of course -- prime time.






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