I thought you might be interested in this video of Obama campaign manager Jim Messina’s “strategy briefing,” sent around to the Obama campaign email list and circulated on the web yesterday.
First of all, if this was really a strategy briefing, it wouldn’t be on YouTube. So let’s get that out of the way. This is an attempt to fire up supporters, lock in their commitments, get them started early, and have them to recruit new Obamatrons. It provides only an overview of how the campaign wants to conduct itself.
I think the Obama people are making a fundamental mistake in their approach, embodied in Messina’s call for an insurgency. They sound like a middle aged guy with a beer gut in a baseball cap who thinks he’s still a kid.
We ought to not act like an incumbent. We ought to act like an insurgent campaign taht wakes up every day tryhing to get every single vote we can.
Messina says they need to create something “new,” but everything he says sounds like they are trying to rerun the 2008 campaign.
By portraying themselves as an insurgency, the campaign is actually playing to Obama’s weakness, which is that people don’t think he is a serious president. He golfs, he’s already campaigning, he starts wars without asking Congress or telling the American people, he has no plan for the deficit, and so forth.
MR. PRESIDENT YOU ARE NOT A BEARDED REBEL YOU ARE THE PRESIDENT. ACT LIKE IT.
The campaign, in its launch video and in this Messina Movie, repeatedly emphasizes that the campaign must do the campaigning while Obama must do his “day job” as president – as if repeating this aloud makes it true.
As the president does his day job, he needs all of us around the country to take the reins of his grassroots operation and build this together . . . the president will remain focused on the American people.
Fact is, Obama is getting famous for vacations and recreation, and he’s already campaigning aggressively. His swing out West last week included six fundraisers and two politically charged events designed to show voters how much he cares about the deficit.
Messina shows a chart of a group of 12 states that Obama won by less than 15 percent – and what do you know, three of the four televisions interviews Obama is conducting at the White House today with local reporters are with stations from these states – Virginia, Michigan and Ohio. The other station, from Georgia, is a state John McCain won by only five percentage points.
If the campaign was smart, Obama would actually keep his day job. Being president is a pretty good resume item. And then his operatives could stop pretending he’s not campaigning.
Here’s the video.