As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Obama’s Inconsistent Messages

One of the oddest things about the current White House message machine is how inconsistent it is. Lines of attack and strategies for promoting the president are begun, only to be suddenly abandoned and dropped on the scrap heap.

You mean I'm not such a bad guy after all?

Remember Boehner the Boogeyman? Just a couple of weeks ago, Obama was framing Boehner as the world’s greatest jackass since Herbert Hoover. The press took the cue and followed up with some stories, like this one in the New York Times, about how Boehner heads over to K Street each morning to get the day’s marching orders from iniquitous lobbyists .

Then, suddenly, Obama decides maybe Boehner’s not such a good target, and voila, today’s piece in the Times about John Boehner, small town boy made good.

Earlier this year, it looked like the White House was going to start trumpeting the false charge that Republicans were fixing to privatize Social Security, when there are actually no real plans to do so. Obama even recorded a radio address trying to scare the crap out of seniors. And then, he just stopped.

There had been talk that Obama would spend the fall trying to sell the unpopular health reform law, and he’s done a couple of events where he’s tried to promote it. But without a consistent campaign, the whole PR endeavor makes no sense.

White House aides program new messages into Obama as he speaks

Vice President Biden had for months been regularly trying to use his limitless charisma to tout the stimulus bill, which of course resulted in the measure becoming more popular than Thanksgiving. Yes, that’s a joke. He rarely talks about it these days and has stopped going to many of those events where he showcases a new bridge, road, or sewer system, or whatever.

Oddly, Obama’s stopped bashing Wall Street and is barely promoting his financial reform bill, which is actually the most popular major piece of legislation he has signed.

And if you’re really looking for inconsistency, wait until after Election Day. Obama has to move toward the center to get reelected, and he’ll need some help from Republicans to make a few moderate, bipartisan laws. Evil Obama will be put to bed, and the inspirational leader with a soft spot for bipartisanship will arise anew.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

5 Responses to Obama’s Inconsistent Messages

  1. There’s always “their mothers wear combat boots” and “they stink” to throw out against the tribal, reptillian minded, bitter clingers.

    The Obama enemies list is too long and includes everyone who doesn’t “love” the Prez, has a different idea than the Prez, isn’t a union member, isn’t Black, is stupid or ignorant or has more money than he does.

  2. Keith,

    This may be odd to say … but THIS article is probably the *BEST* I have ever read on WHD. Not only do you make the salient point about ‘the message’ but how the WH does not even stick to its own talking points, abandoning, like a new Christmas toy, week old series of political attacks, ad hominem’s, or planted stories in the NYT or on left-wing blogs. This is the SINGLE reason I beleive they will lose (and lose big) in November —-> their failure to keep the message clear, consistent and concise.

    *Excellent* peice, this one, Keith. Great job …

    • Tom, Thanks so much! Maybe they need to do what Clinton did when he brought in David Gergen, find some adult supervision. And Annona, and srdem65, your points are dead on. I’m not sure they have ever figured out they are in the White House, which involved consistency and responsibility, and not on the campaign trail, where you have to improvise out of a war room.

  3. They are searching desperately for “what works” instead of telling us their values — why? I suppose because they know few might support their reality.

    Stirring the sh*t, as my mother says, by starting what proves later to be false issues or issues that will be abandoned keeps people occupied and also confused. But I think it’s just desperate stabbing in the dark by the Obama admin in an attempt to find the “magic” bullet that will mesmerize the public as “hope and change” did during the election.

  4. These people think they ARE the adults because the president went to Harvard. I guess they give a course there on being an adult. Many of us had to pick it up in the streets–trying to make payroll, get and pay for housing, food, clothes for the kids, insurance, etc. As Mrs O once said if it weren’t for those royalties on his two books they could not have paid their credit cards. See? They are just like us!