Politico reports that six of the Democratic candidates battling for the presidential nomination in New Hampshire have used old clips of the disgraced 44th president in campaign ads.
Joe Biden, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, Liz Warren, Deval Patrick, and Tulsi Gabbard have all utilized Barack Obama to prime the pump.
The quotes in the spots are from years ago when they were running for different offices or engaged in other activities. But the spots are cut to make it appear that Obama is endorsing them today. To date the former president has said kind words about several of them. However, he has officially endorsed no one.
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In fact, he may not endorse anyone until the convention or until there is a definite front runner with a clear path to the nomination. He and his wife are holding their fire so they upset no one, lest those not endorsed not endorse Michelle Obama for her possible upcoming statewide run in Illinois.
But the larger issue in using Obama highlights the fact that the Democrats are caught in a bizarre time warp/echo chamber where the hits from yesterday are playing to a much too appreciative audience.
Part of the reason is our old pal GOP political incompetence. Also bad timing was at play. The 2008 McCain presidential effort was shoddily run and it happened to coincide with national economic calamity. But the Democrats ignore those factors and think Obama pulled off an electoral miracle. Saying, for argument’s sake, that Obama did pull a nice stunt, it was over ten years ago. The nation has moved on.
And in 2012 they ran against Mitt Romney. Need we say more?
Do the Democrats really want to compare the economic and national security records of Obama and Trump? The Obama administration brought us a slow as molasses jobless uptick. Trump has brought economic boom.
In national security the prevailing Obama images are American sailors being taken prisoner by the Iranians and in response Obama flying billions in last minute pallets of cash to them just before he left office. The Trump defense record so far has an overriding image as well. Qassem Soleimani eating a hellfire missile.
Given these examples, why in the world would the Democrats want Obama’s endorsement? Sure, it’ll play well in the primary season and especially well with black voters on Super Tuesday.
Nevertheless, by seeking it they go down a tone deaf and anachronistic path that will serve them ill in the fall.
Let’s hope they don’t realize it until next winter.