May 2012


President Obama, who lost ten counties and 41 percent of the vote to a convicted felon earlier this month in the West Virginia Democratic primary, sustained two more body blows last night in the Arkansas  and Kentucky primaries.

In Arkansas attorney John Wolfe picked up 41 percent of the vote against Obama, which was well above the 30 percent that he has told a reporter he thought he might attract.  Worse though for Obama was Kentucky, where “Uncommitted” picked up 42 percent of the vote, showing just how much the Appalachian region of the country feels about the president.

The voting is largely symbolic as Obama has secured the Democratic nomination, but it is still an embarrassing footnote to a candidate who just four years ago swept into office by promising voters hope and change and instead has had to grapple with the highest unemployment rate in more than a generation.

I wonder if Joe Biden understands why the voters went for “Uncommitted” in Kentucky as much as he did about West Virginians voting for a convicted felon?

 

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The Obama campaign went into damage control mode yesterday after Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker, an acknowledged Obama surrogate appeared on Meet The Press on Sunday and defended private equity and Bain Capital.

“This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides . It’s nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity. Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright.”

Not only did Booker defend private equity, he also compared the Obama campaign’s attacks on Bain Capital with the Republican attacks on Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright, which the Democrats have been trying to paint as racist and divisive.

Booker’s remarks set off a firestorm in the Obama campaign with senior political strategist David Axelrod telling MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that Booker was wrong to equate the two and defended the campaign’s right to go after Romney’s business record.

Chris Matthews, a diehard liberal Democrat was apoplectic last night trying to figure out how the Obama campaign was going to undo the damage Booker did to the campaign by not only praising private equity but comparing some of the things he has done, like firing people to what Romney did at Bain.

Matthews argued that rather than being a surrogate for Obama, Booker was in reality a surrogate for Romney and the best thing that could have happened for the GOP.

Howard Fineman told Matthews that if the Obama campaign can’t use Romney’s Bain record, what else do they have?

Booker did issue a video to try and walk back his remarks, but as Joe Scarborough said yesterday, it looked more like a hostage video, recorded under duress than his actual opinions.

But Booker wasn’t the only Democrat to back private equity.  Former Rep. Harold Ford, once a rising political star in the party said on Morning Joe that Booker was right.

 “I agree with the core of it. I would not have backed them out… private equity’s not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, private equity is a good thing in many, many instances.”

Matthews may have summed up the damage done to the Obama campaign the best when he called Booker’s statements “the most effective bit of campaign sabotage of the campaign season to date.”   Strong words from a loyal Democrat.

With surrogates like this, who needs enemies?