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August 20, 2012

Obama Campaign Plagued By Infighting, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz

Every company comes to resemble the virtues or faults of its CEO.

I assume someone has said that before or it's like a business thing or something. It sounds like it should be.

his has produced a campaign being animated by one thing above all. It is not exclusively about hope and change anymore, words that seem like distant echoes even to Obama’s original loyalists — and to the president himself. It is not the solidarity of a hard-fought cause, often absent in this mostly joyless campaign. It is Obama’s own burning competitiveness, with his remorseless focus on beating Mitt Romney — an opponent he genuinely views with contempt and fears will be unfit to run the country.

Obama is sometimes portrayed as a reluctant warrior, sorry to see 2012 marked by so much partisan warfare but forced by circumstance to go along. But this perception is by most evidence untrue. In the interviews with current and former Obama aides, not one said he expressed any reservations about the negativity. He views it as a necessary part of campaigning, as a natural — if unpleasant — rotation of the cyclical political wheel.

Obama’s trash-talking competitiveness, a trait that has defined him since his days on the court as a basketball-obsessed teenager in Hawaii, was on display one night last February, when the president spotted a woman he knew was close to Sen. Marco Rubio in a Florida hotel lobby. “Is your boy going to go for [vice president]?” the president asked her. Maybe, she replied.

“Well,” he said, chuckling, according to a person who witnessed the encounter. “Tell your boy to watch it. He might get his ass kicked.”

Meanwhile, Stephanie Cutter and David Axelrod can't even talk to each other to decide what lies each will tell:

As Team Obama was gearing up to face Romney after the GOP primaries, Axelrod and Cutter — close friends who oversee the campaign’s massive messaging and communications operations — clashed over a minor incident that left them barely on speaking terms during a critical early part of the campaign.

The spark, according to people close to the situation: Axelrod suspected Cutter of taking a network TV appearance he had been asked to do. The conflict, well-known inside Obamaland but not outside the inner circle — was really the reflection of a grinding campaign, Cutter’s propensity for stepping on toes, and Axelrod’s elliptical and disorganized management style.

And:

Many of Obama’s advisers have quietly begun questioning whether they should have picked Wasserman Schultz, an outspoken Florida congresswoman, as his DNC chairwoman. She has clashed with Chicago over her choice of staff and air-time on national TV shows — and they think she comes across as too partisan over the airwaves.

They ran a poll on her; she comes in last. Now, here's something a bit alarming for Team Obama: David Gibbs is actually their most popular surrogate, then Stephanie cutter, than some "Psakai" or something I've seen mentioned but I've never seen on TV.

That's not a Yankees-style Murderers Row.

More stuff in the article. Actually worth a read in full.


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posted by Ace at 01:24 PM

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