One of the things that really struck me immediately following the cap pealing of Osama Bin Laden was the coordinated effort of the Bush people to take some of the credit. Sure, it made people who knew better simultaneously throw up in their mouths a little bit, based on the mass amounts of unrepentant lying that would have to go on for them to stick the proverbial landing on that type of spin - but something was highlighted to me during that time period. George W Bush, during his presidency and particularly afterwards, has a cadre of loyal surrogates at his disposal and President Obama barely has any. Since Bush has an ungodly amount of people prepared to say anything to protect what many outside of his circle feel is a pretty flimsy legacy, I’m in no way saying that Obama should even have half as many - but he should at least have some surrogates. I’m of the view that having on-message surrogates to hammer home your message, and more specifically to mildly scold television hosts who constantly take the default position of regurgitating right wing spin, is a must.
Also, watching the month long tornado of racism that was the Donald Trump show, we saw what happens when you take shot after shot - regardless how ludicrous - without properly defending yourself. What was that Joseph Goebbels quote?: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Despite of what we all thought of Trump’s anal squeezings, that nonsense actually started to bleed into his poll numbers - probably the reason he decided to release his long form birth certificate. I know, I know, it all worked out for the best. The President pimp-slapped Trump at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and then proceeded to forcefully drive a stake through his political career with the dispatching of Bin Laden the following day. But that time period is very instructive, especially when you look at the upcoming period before and during the Republican Presidential Primaries. Just think about the plethora of baseless charges that will lobbed in President Obama’s direction, repeated for the next year and a half, politicians gleefully ignoring how many times reporters do due diligence and mercifully debunk their bullshit. All I’m saying is that the President would do himself a favor by having a few surrogates out there to prevent clumsy narratives from infecting the low information electorate, that’s all.
When I look out at the cable news landscape, is there anyone who could be considered to be an honest to goodness Obama surrogate? I’m not talking about liberal leaning writers who may be sympathetic to the President’s agenda and occasionally take on conservatives either, god bless them but they aren’t surrogates. Who is exactly out there? Harold Ford? He’s more of a George Bush surrogate than anything. Karen Finney? I like her, but I think she’s terribly ineffective. The only person who I could come up with who squarely lands in the category of “surrogate” is Al Sharpton. Jesus fucking Christ.