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.
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.
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.