MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough recently got a lot of tongues wagging by saying that he didn’t know any establishment Republicans who thought Mitt Romney could win in the fall. “Nobody thinks he’s going to win,” Joe said, referencing the vast, unnumbered GOP establishment that Joe hangs with in the Green Room.
I don’t doubt Scarborough is telling the truth about what he hears, but he doesn’t get out much. Not many people from the world of big media get out much, and when they do they are lunching with other big media types and the political class who court them. The Manhattan-Beltway media elite live in the bubble they assert Romney inhabits, and within that media bubble the president remains a towering, transformative figure of astonishing political powers.
Outside the Beltway, where voters live (and smart talk shows originate) the president is an abject failure, an object of ridicule, the punchline for “What does o-double-i-o-double-i stand for? Obama is in over his head.”
The media elites think that if the unemployment rate somehow slips under 8%, Obama coasts in. Voters know that Obama promised the rate would never get above 8% and another recession is looming in Europe that could fulfill the CBO’s prophecy of a return to 9% unemployment in 2013.
The media thinks that voters won’t blame Obama for the cost of gas at the pump (even though the same media predicted voters would blame Bush for the price of gas at the pump during his term). In fact voters do blame Obama, and the Keystone XL Pipeline is just one example of his jihad against domestic oil production. MSM embraces the president’s dodge and points to rising overall production, but they ignore his shut down of production on public lands and in new areas off the coasts.
The list goes on and on. Voters know, but media elites and Beltway sharpies don’t.
In the past week the president has the worst day of his presidency, getting caught promising the president of Russia a new and better deal after he tricked the American people into re-electing him by not leveling with them about his plans for a deal with Russia.
Then Obamacare got boxed about the ears for three high profile days. Then the president threw a tantrum about the Supreme Court that hadn’t even acted.
Romney by contrast campaigned across Wisconsin with the GOP’s change agent –Paul Ryan—while Obama’s change agent at GSA had to scamper out of town for spending $835,000 on teambuilding.
The media elites sneer that Romney couldn’t dispatch the so-called “weak field” of three governors, two high profile house members, one former senator with deep ties to the conservative movement and a charismatic businessman. But Romney has clinched it, and even though the ex-chair Michael Steele intentionally set up a fractured, absurd system intended to stop anyone from clinching it.
Read the transcript of my interview with Politico’s Mike Allen about his new eBook, written with Evan Thomas, to see how far removed the two views of the current political situation are.
Allen and Evans believe the three months of primaries weakened Romney, as do most Beltway scribblers. Romney managed to lock down the nomination with everyone in America calling him “too moderate,” which is exactly what you want to be as you head into the general: A conservative with a reputation for moderation.
The media elite think Romney’s health care plan in Massachusetts is an anchor, but his approach was constitutional, bipartisan, small, and popular in the Bay State as it is appropriate for the conditions in Massachusetts, while Obama’s deeply flawed monstrosity is unconstitutional, intrusive, wholly ineffective and a fiasco from start to finish.
Romney thinks Russia is a bad actor on the world stage and Putin a dictator. Obama has a secret deal with them pending.
And Romney knows how to turn around the fiscal mess. Obama wants to dig the hole deeper.
Joe Scarborough has uttered the 2012 equivalent of New Yorker movie film Pauline Kael’s famous puzzlement over how Nixon won, the accurate version of which was tracked down by John Podhoretz: “I live in a rather special world,” Kael said. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”
What a surprise awaits not just Joe but all the sharpies who talked to Mike Allen and Evan Thomas, who hang on the president’s every bracket pick, who think their teleprompter-challenged POTUS can rail at SCOTUS and stop the oceans from rising.
Want to know how clueless Jimmy Carter was in 1980. Study Barack Obama. Real change is coming.
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