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October 25, 2012

Team Obama Now Pinning Blame on... Bill Clinton

Always an excuse. Always a scapegoat.

Now they're blaming Bill Clinton for giving them bad political advice.

Which they took. Which they decided was the best advice available to them.

But it's Clinton's fault.

How Bill Clinton May Have Hurt the Obama Campaign

by Matt Bai

...


[T]here is one crucial way in which the 42nd president may not have served the 44th quite as well. In these final weeks before the election, Mr. Clinton’s expert advice about how to beat Mitt Romney is starting to look suspect.

You may recall that last spring, just after Mr. Romney locked up the Republican nomination, Mr. Obama’s team abruptly switched its strategy for how to define him. Up to then, the White House had been portraying Mr. Romney much as George W. Bush had gone after John Kerry in 2004 – as inauthentic and inconstant, a soulless climber who would say anything to get the job.

But it was Mr. Clinton who forcefully argued to Mr. Obama’s aides that the campaign had it wrong. The best way to go after Mr. Romney, the former president said, was to publicly grant that he was the “severe conservative” he claimed to be, and then hang that unpopular ideology around his neck.

Matt Bai excuses Team Obama for taking this advice:

...

It’s not hard to understand why Mr. Obama and his advisers took Mr. Clinton’s advice to heart; to disregard it would be like telling Derek Jeter, “Hey man, appreciate the input, but I think I know how to make that flip play from the hole just fine on my own.”

It's difficult to find the words. There is just something deeply pathological about Obama and his minions. They can always find an excuse and a scapegoat. Their decisions and their mistakes are never their own-- it's always someone else's fault.

At Commentary:

This is clearly intended to absolve the anonymous Obama aides for making a decision that they — and the president — must have signed off on before it was implemented. Bai goes to great lengths to take them off the hook, and even compares their position to a ballplayer who would reject advice from Derek Jeter. In other words Bai is saying that anyone, even really smart political operatives like those working in Obama’s Chicago headquarters, or the top guys themselves like David Axelrod or David Plouffe, had no choice but to bow to the 42nd president’s wisdom.

...

[T]he idea that it was only Clinton that advocated this strategy or that without his influence the geniuses running the Obama campaign would not have made this mistake is so patently self-serving on the part of his sources that it’s a wonder that a generally savvy observer like Bai doesn’t point this out.

There was some debate over which strategy Obama would pursue, flip-flopper or extremist ideologue. Ramesh Ponuru argued that Obama would obviously pursue the latter -- the former makes him sound too much like a moderate/centrist/independent voter, who tend to be up in the air about policy questions too.

Clinton may have argued for that strategy, but it was approved in Chicago.

And now they want to claim they were just victims, victims yet again.


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posted by Ace at 03:07 PM

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