The Obama Campaign’s Ungracious Character

Poor choice of role model, Mr. President.

Consider these post-debate quotes from various key figures in the Obama campaign:

” The President did a good job explaining his positions, but give credit where credit is due. Governor Romney had a great night. He was focused and clear, and obviously connected with the audience. He’s a capable adversary, as we always knew. President Obama can and will equal and surpass his performance in the coming debates.”—David Axelrod

” Governor Romney proved himself to be a formidable debater, and the President will have to be more aggressive in countering his arguments, which he certainly has the ability and the ammunition to do.”—Stephanie Cutter

“I didn’t feel I had a poor debate, but I obviously need to have better ones. Sometimes the other guy just beats you, and you have to accept that, tip your hat, and win the next time.”—President Obama

If you haven’t seen these respectful, gracious quotes, all typical of the comments of past candidates and their staff after debate performances that were seen as falling short of their opponents’, there’s a reason. Nobody on the Democratic side, including Obama himself, nor most of the media pundits except those who would be fairly classified as conservative, have been willing to give Mitt Romney any recognition for a well planned, well-executed, professional and compelling debate. “What happened?” Diane Sawyer asked the President. “I had a bad night,” he replied. Romney, you see, had nothing to do with it.

He lied. He cheated. The moderator favored him. He was engaged in “salesmanship,” sneered Axelrod, as if political campaigns aren’t always about salesmanship.  The President was “shocked” at changes in Romney’s position, and couldn’t bring himself to respond effectively. Obama was bothered by the thin atmosphere, said Al Gore.

In fact, the President wasn’t bad in the debate by any measure. Mitt Romney was just much, much better, and if Obama really pays attention to those sports he loves, he should have learned that the gracious, professional, sportsmanlike, admirable, fair, respectful way to accept defeat is to give the victor credit, and come back more determined and ready than before in the next game. Blogger-attorney Ann Althouse has theorized that the excessive focus on Obama’s “terrible” performance by both the campaign and the media is a calculated strategy to avoid calling attention to the fact that Mitt Romney beat him on style, delivery and content—he as presidential, relaxed, articulate, and forceful. If she’s right, and I don’t think she is, it’s a bizarre plan that depends on the “Jumbo” tactic: “Elephant? What elephant?”  (On the other hand, it is based on the assumption that the public are easily confused idiots, and that delusion has characterized much of the Obama campaign of late.)

My theory is more direct. I think Barack Obama is the least gracious Presidential candidate since Richard Nixon. I think that this character flaw has infused his campaign and party. It is not attractive, and is thoroughly dislikable.


19 thoughts on “The Obama Campaign’s Ungracious Character

  1. omg? is this a right wing crazy page? Romney LIED throug and through during the whole debate, and still does, always have. Obama has an amazing character. Someone plz wake me from nightmare posts like the one above..

    • Do you actually read these posts, or just skim them? Every political debater since Lincoln and Douglas feels that they can make the “he lied” accusation. after the debate. Most, the ones with honor, fairness and dignity, don’t.

      The time to object is during the debate. Obama sounds like George Costanza in the “the jerk store called, and they’re out of you” episode. Anyone can win a debate when the other guy isn’t there.

    • Take a step back and try to understand strategy for a second. The Obama campaign had a decision to make in early spring of this year, either hit Romney as a filp-flopper (liar) or go after him as an extreme right winger. Ignore for a second what holding those two options as both possible implies, and understand that on Bill Clinton’s advice they choose to go after him as an extreme right winger.

      So you have all summer the Obama team arguing how extreme Romney’s positions are, including the president in the debate. As soon as the debate ends, the Obama team is out with the liar, flip-flopping, moderate mid can’t keep his story straight message. Their change in strategy, their abandonment of their prior message and quickly opening up a new line of attack, is the single best piece of evidence that the Obama team thinks they lost.

      You, by your parroting the LIED line are even more evidence for the changed strategy of the Obama team. Why change strategy if you won?

  2. Jack, I agree with your assessment, that all the talk about how poorly Obama did, while giving no credit to how well Romney did, is due to a lack of character as oppose to Jumbo plan. This is a corollary to ‘never attribute to malice what you can attribute to stupidity’.

  3. Slightly off-topic, but I think the only reason that Bill Clinton is pushing for Obama’s re-election is so that Hillary won’t have to run against an incumbent in 2016.

  4. This is an Ethics blog, and no mention of lack of character in the purposely misinforming of the American Public, 95% of which is on the Republican side. Only one side is trying to take away the Right, not privilege, to vote in this country. And the MSM turning this into a horserace for ratings. In what is known as the Republican party today (NeoCon, Fascist, Corporate party are closer descriptors) the party line is to Lie, Cheat and Steal the election.

    And all you have to talk about is the “ungraciousness-nessing of character” displayed by the “corporatist-lite” party that is the Democrats. That’s pretty pathetic, Jack – and I’m speaking from way outside the box, minus all the Military / Surveillance / Prison / Medical Industrial Complex secret / real agendas.

    But I’m just a conspiracy theorist, so feel free to dismiss my comments as “tinfoil hat nutjob,” because I have no idea what I’m talking about.

    Comment of the Day!

    • Comment of the Day? You’re kidding, right? I imagine all astute readers will take the advice you thoughtfully provided, and dismiss your comments.

      • Hi Joe!

        1) I’ll just quote All the Presidents Men: “…That sounds like a non-denial denial to me…” London’s newspaper The Sunday Times has defined
        A Non-Denial Denial as “an on-the-record statement, usually made by a politician, repudiating a journalist’s story, but in such a way as to leave open the possibility that it is actually true.” – Snagged from Wikipedia.

        2) “When you can’t Dazzle them with Brilliance, Baffle them with B*llsh*t.”

        3) If you have no argument to change the minds based upon the facts, attack your opponent’s character ( and my ironic “advice” and “COTD” ).

        So thanks for proving my point.

        • Kudos for clearing up any confusion about your capability to construct and communicate a cogent point, or cohesive argument.
          (YES! I am part of the Alliterative Blog Posters Complex!)

          • (read this as Norm MacDonnald as Turd Ferguson ) Nnnaaa ha – funny. Alliterative Blog Posters Complex. Funny.

            Again, slice and dice the messenger, but make no counter “cogent point” or “cohesive argument”. Jetson, you’re fired.

    • BBA: No, I don’t regard you as just another conspiracy theorist at all. I read your blog, my friend—you are an articulate, passionate, intelligent, civil, and perplexing conspiracy theorist.

      But saying that either party is more dishonest than the other in this contest is confirmation bias personified. And the claim that the MSM is pushing Romney is real tin foil hat stuff. Beneath you.

      • By the way, the argument that requiring ID to vote is some kind of sinister voter suppression plot is intellectually and ethically indefensible. When allowing illegal immigrants to establish beachheads in our communities is the unofficial (but plain) policy of one political party, making sure that voters are who they say they are, always reasonable, is now imperative..

        • Thanks for the nice comments, Jack – warms me cockles. That being said –

          I won’t go into much detail with this, but the Elderly, College Students and People of Color who are geographically and economically challenged are “illegal immigrant” – guilt by association? Nice try!

          Use them to tend your gardens, care for your kids and clean your house, pay them sh*t, take advantage of them through predatory lenders who loanshark out your checks to them, but then if they want to vote”-er Fraud” them back to “Mexico” – plus Obama has cracked down on your “Illegal” canard x3+ more than our Republican Friends have ever done… hence no “illegals” to pick our rotting vegetables in the South.

          Be careful what you wish for..!

          This is being pushed by Republican Governors and their ilk Only, out of the Rovian playbook, Koch Brothers funded, pure and simple. Discussed behind closed doors “in quiet rooms the 47%” etc” while the public persona is again, lie, cheat lie, steal – we care about you, believe us.


          The Fact that the cover of Time has to Ask the Question “Who is telling the truth?” this week appalls me that this is the Reality we are being force-fed, Obama Admin. included. There’s plenty of Pie for All, but the Elites are so fearful and narrow minded that their main “pyramidical™ thinking” of keeping themselves at the top at the planet’s expense will be their Karmatic downfall.

          Jack, this parallels my own activities in my life – Chicago Ideas Week had a speaker series last night @ the sold out 3000+ seat Oriental theater – hosted by Mitch Albom of “Tuesdays with Morrie” fame. Among the decorated speakers were Deepak Chopra, spiritual pioneer, founder of the Chopra Center for well-being, and his co-author, Rudy Tanzi – Kennedy Professor, Hahvahd medical School / Mass Gen Hospital and Alzheimer’s expert.

          Maybe you know a few of these guys, since they are from your neck of the woods.

          In their co-lecture, they talked about the nature of reality itself, and how our brains interpret our reality that is within and around us. They are trumpeting something that the Elites I reference in the paragraph above – and this cuts to the core of our politics and “Our Reality” in general.
          To make this point way better than me – a brilliant opinion article from Common Dreams – Empire and its Consequences:

          Quote from Rove, that I found in the comments section:

          “We’re an empire now and when we act, we create our own reality and while you’re studying that reality, judiciously, as you will, we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too. And that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors, and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” — Karl Rove

          Finally tying this all together, Why? So we’ve spread ourselves all over the globe, spent trillions, accumulated vast wealth for very few at the expense of just about everyone else, when those at the tippy top know the true nature of reality, and they take advantage of that fact, as Herr Karl quote illustrates. But as Deepak and Dr. Rudy state, in sum, that we are all the Universe from different perspectives, experiencing itself as “individual” Spiritual beings having Human experiences. I think that Fact turns everything we’ve ever know completely on its head, and we should ( I don’t like shoulds ) immediately rethink… Everything.

          Especially the top-down Pyramid scheme presently in place. Email me and ask me about my own theory about that – I’ll send you an Executive Summary. And I’m not kidding.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.