There’s not a clear winner here.
WHAT A DAY.
How do you hope to spend your 20th anniversary on Oct. 3?
The President: Well, I don’t think we can get too wild because our 20th anniversary is a month before the election.
Mrs. Obama: Do you want me to dream? Okay. I’d want to retrace our honeymoon. We started in San Francisco and spent a week driving through some of the prettiest-
The President: Napa and Big Sur and Carmel-
Mrs. Obama: We would stop, go to a nice dinner. I really loved that trip.
And reality check: Since California’s not a swing state, what do you think you’re really going to get?
The President: We will get dinner.
Mrs. Obama: That would be heaven. If we’re in the same place. Hear that, schedulers, Oct. 3!
“Barack and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary today — and we’ll be spending it in a way I never could have imagined when we first got married. That’s because tonight, I get to watch my husband on stage, on national television, standing up for everything we believe in.”
National Review: Romney’s advisers have a simple strategy: They want their candidate to balance his finely tuned arguments with personal warmth. Since Romney is a reserved man, his advisers acknowledge that it will be difficult for him to endear himself to the country, especially under the hot studio lights. But they consider it critical. “This is really about introducing him to the country,” a Romney adviser says. “It’s the largest audience he has ever had. Everybody’s watching.”
Bob Cesca: “It’s really about introducing him to the country? Was the convention not good enough? …Was the last 9 months of the campaign not enough of an introduction? I believe America has been properly introduced to Mitt Romney, and Americans don’t like what they see. And if you’re just getting around to introducing yourself, or still struggling to demonstrate that you aren’t a cyborg when the election is only five weeks away, you’re losing.”
47 percent of the country is already pretty familiar with Willard Romney. We’ve been introduced. Which reminds me of the best headline today, and which highlights the essential problem with Mitt Romney, from Martin Bashir:
“People will say this has already been reported. Well, actually, it hasn’t been reported. And I know because I reported on it the first time.” — Tucker Carlson to Sean Hannity on Fox “news” last night.
motherjones: Charles Dharapak, AP photographer, for the win.
images above: kohenari
Joan Walsh: Mainly, their complaint came down to: How dare a black president (or at the time, presidential candidate) talk to a black audience about black poverty and suffering! And the legacy of slavery, and the endurance of racism! Has he no shame? [...] Let me pull out just a few of the worst distortions. Hannity and Carlson hyped Obama’s “shout-out” to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but amazingly ignored the part of his speech where he said Wright “introduced me to someone named Jesus Christ, and I learned that my sins could be redeemed.” (This from our first Muslim president.) On Fox, Hannity played the Wright “shout-out” side by side with Obama’s later denunciation of Wright, as though the Wright remarks revealed in 2008 were already public when Obama greeted him at the 2007 speech. I shock myself at my ability to be shocked by these frauds, but that was pretty shocking.
The National Memo: Most observers quickly dismissed the stunt as an attempt to create a “47 percent” moment for the president that reveals his disdain for some Americans. Hannity at one point said that then-candidate Obama made derisive comments about “poor people” — when Obama was clearly speaking about the need to provide skills training to neglected groups including the homeless, veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and young adults coming out of foster care. Carlson went on Fox and Friends Wednesday morning to blame the dismissal of the tape on the “throne sniffers” in the mainstream media. Yet by morning even Drudge had dropped the story from his top headline and moved on to the next manufactured outrage.
In case you need a reminder why you should never take the Drudge Report seriously… – A ThinkProgress study of the the Drudge Report reveals the popular internet aggregator has linked 184 times to InfoWars and World Net Daily, two sites that promote the internet’s worst conspiracy theories, since June 2011. By directing millions of visitors to these websites, Drudge is providing critical financial and reputational support to publications that argue 9/11 was an inside job, FEMA is building concentration camps and President Obama was not born in the United States.
Does this reek of Willard flop sweat?
The Guardian: The Democratic national committee described the conservative attack as “lame”. The bigger question is whether the Romney campaign played any part in the release of the footage. Both campaigns can be guilty of dirty tricks operations, passing on material to sympathetic journalists. But Romney officials denied all knowledge and distanced itself from the video, portraying it as thin.
Igor Volsky: Romney Campaign Encourages Voters To Consider Drudge’s Race Video: Senior Romney adviser Kevin Madden refused to dismiss the race bating tactics of the Drudge Report, Fox News, and the Daily Caller, during an appearance on CBS This Morning on Wednesday, saying that voters should decide if a racially charged 2007 video of then-Senator Barack Obama discussing Hurricane Katrina is “relevant” to the election.
DRUDGE TEASERS throughout the day:
The Drudge version:
The speech version:
Margaret Hartmann: A day after Mitt Romney’s 47 percent video surfaced, Matt Drudge countered with a fourteen-year-old video in which Barack Obama makes the scary-sounding admission that he believes in “redistribution.” The clip failed to get any traction, so on Tuesday he tried again, hyping a “bombshell” video of “Obama’s Other Race Speech” with help from the Daily Caller and Fox News. [...] Five years later, Carlson has finally obtained the full video, complete with some “explosive” new facts: Obama takes a slightly different tone when addressing a predominantly black audience, he once called Rev. Jeremiah Wright “a friend and a great leader,” and he was pretty “steamed” about how the federal government responded to Hurricane Katrina.
Obama’s Right: We Failed Black New Orleans After Katrina – David Frum: Is it really so outrageous that a black presidential candidate would want to talk about the displacement of black Americans in this way? Maybe a better question is: why isn’t the condition of black America an important topic for all presidential candidates of all backgrounds and all races?
Charles P. Pierce: But, honestly, beating the drum for an “exposé” of a video Carlson himself discussed on MSNBC five years ago is probably the most singularly pathetic moment in a career that has become singularly pathetic, and I used to watch The Spin Room on CNN….
Ta-Nehisi Coates: Carlson’s descent from reasonably credible magazine journalist to inept race hustler is well mapped territory. He has not been the same man since Jon Stewart took him down. The ethering reverberates through the years with such force that we now find its recipient slathering yesterday’s nothing-burgers in weak sauce, and serving them up as the daily special. Even those who would like to be fooled are not. “What’s the ‘So what’ of this video? I don’t think it’s going to really go anywhere,” Republican Rep. Allen West said on Fox News.
Zandar: I will add however that Romney’s internal polling numbers must continue to be absolutely horrific if the Tighty Whitey Patrol here is resorting to what is actually a really damn good speech by then Senator Barack Obama as some sort of secret instructions to us black folk to rise up and…build…infrastructure in…primarily minority neighborhoods…to benefit…minority owned local businesses. Or something equally fabulously offensive.
Steve Benen: I’m not sure whether to be annoyed (by the ugly, racially-charged tactics), insulted (they’re treating Americans like fools), or feel sorry for them.
Josh Marshall: You don’t imagine you’ve got a big shocker story like this unless you really think you’ve got something big. And that tells me that there’s a big chunk of rightwing America living in a cocoon in which black people even talking about racism or race at all is ipso facto shocking. I think Americans know Barack Obama is black.
Better Drudge headline:
Matt Drudge, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson (wearing a big-boy tie now) hyped a video all day yesterday that had been previously reported about in 2007. Bombshell! As a matter of fact, Andrew Sullivan posted a full transcript in June of 2007. What’s the big deal now? Oh, well they want to air a segment where (then) Senator Obama name checks Rev. Wright, which wasn’t on the video in 2007:
“I’ve got to give a special shout-out to my pastor. The guy who puts up with me. Counsels me. Listens to my wife complain about me. He’s a friend. And a great leader,” the president said of Wright in an address to the Hampton University Annual Ministers’ Conference in Hampton, Va., in June 2007 in video posted by The Daily Caller and first aired on Fox News.
For the rightwing extremist, that’s all she wrote. Why? I don’t know. I’m not a rightwing extremist. But Obama goes on to say — and I think this is interesting:
“Down in New Orleans, where they still have not rebuilt 20 months later, there’s a law, federal law — when you get reconstruction money from the federal government — called the Stafford Act. And basically it says, when you get federal money, you’ve got to give a 10 percent match. The local government’s got to come up with 10 percent. Every 10 dollars the federal government comes up with, local government’s got to give a dollar.
“Now here’s the thing, when 9/11 happened in New York City, they waived the Stafford Act — said, ‘This is too serious a problem. We can’t expect New York City to rebuild on its own. Forget that dollar you got to put in. Well, here’s 10 dollars.’ And that was the right thing to do. When Hurricane Andrew struck in Florida, people said, ‘Look at this devastation. We don’t expect you to come up with y’own money, here. Here’s the money to rebuild. We’re not going to wait for you to scratch it together — because you’re part of the American family.’ … What’s happening down in New Orleans? Where’s your dollar? Where’s your Stafford Act money? Makes no sense. Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much.”
BLACK PEOPLE ARE THE REAL RACISTS! I guess? ABC News reports “Carlson told Fox Tuesday night the clips were evidence the then-candidate was ‘whipping up race hatred and fear. Period.‘” Really! Obama also adds:
“People ask me whether I thought race was the reason the response was so slow. I said, ‘No. This administration was colorblind in its incompetence.’ But everyone here knows the disaster and the poverty happened long before that hurricane hit. All the hurricane did was make bare what we ignore each and every day, which is that there are whole sets of communities that are impoverished, that don’t have meaningful opportunity, that don’t have hope and they are forgotten. This disaster was a powerful metaphor for what’s gone on for generations.”
Whatever. First of all, this is so blatant an attempt to try and change the subject from Romney’s hidden camera remarks on the 47 percent that it reeks of flop sweat. Secondly the entire time Drudge was barking on the midway yesterday, preparing to release the flying monkeys, he was also linking to a page to contribute to Mitt Romney’s campaign. Certainly no collusion between Romney, Drudge, Hannity and Carlson over this latest bit of desperation, I’m sure.
Finally, and most importantly, look (or listen) to what Obama said — it’s an interesting observation: why WASN’T the Stafford Act waived for New Orleans after Katrina like it had been for other monumental disasters? Do you agree that simply mentioning that fact is racist?
There’s no need to go to Tucker Carlson’s website to watch the video — you can watch the longer version here.
The word for Wednesday: teamwork.