President Obama formally kicked off his re-election campaign in Richmond, Va., and Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, and his theme was certainly not, shall we say, "it's morning again in America" -- President Ronald Reagan's optimistic re-election slogan in 1984.
Obama's central message was more like: "Hey, I realize things look bad, and I'm not going to pretend you want four more years of this. But just think how much worse it would have been without me and how much worse it's going to get if you get rid of me."
Interestingly, mainstream media journalists Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake were certain enough that Obama wasn't sufficiently forthcoming in his speech that they co-wrote a piece for The Washington Post "parsing" it. Without a whiff of disapproval, they said, "This being politics, Obama said less than what he meant. But, that's where we come in." The two then set out Obama's "most quotable lines" and followed each with their "translation of the message he was trying to send."
The writers are obviously sympathetic to Obama's agenda and, as fellow liberals, share his end-justifies-the-means sleight of hand -- whatever it takes to keep this federal juggernaut barreling along. Let's look at just a few of the quotes they highlighted.
Obama said: "I don't care how many ways you try to explain it: Corporations aren't people. People are people." The writers said Obama was responding to Mitt Romney's earlier remark that "corporations are people," and they said Obama intended to send this message: "Romney is the business candidate. I am the people's candidate."
Well, Romney is right. Most corporations (excepting holding companies and the like) are owned and operated by people. But Obama must depersonalize them because it makes his attacks on business seem less personal, which brings us to another point. Obama has denied he is anti-business, but everything about him screams otherwise, and even many of his liberal defenders, from these two writers to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Fareed Zakaria, have been hard-pressed to deny that he either is anti-business or sends unmistakable signals that he is.