Thursday, July 19, 2012
Mitt backers are getting euphoric, probably too euphoric. But I can't resist the irony that if it turns out O's super-gaffe ("you didn't build that") is a turning point in the campaign, O will indeed be able to take credit for his opponent's victory. He'll be able to say -- he didn't do that; I did it for him. Probably not what he had in mind, but still a nice irony.
It will also be interesting to see if the, uh, curious strategy of the WH of just denial, even in an age of digital tape, the internet, transcripts, etc. etc., will work. Can the MSM get so much on message, repeat often enough "no one could possibly sincerely think that the President meant that!" that people will come to believe it, a la repeat a lie often enough? (Assuming of course there is such a thing as a lie; I take no position.) It actually worked pretty well with the open mic incident with Russian tyrant-lacky Medvedev -- oh, ha, ha, who could actually think O was telling a foreign leader he was going to say one thing to the American people but not to worry, he was just BS'ing them, and would be quite flexible after he got himself reelected. No outrage, just LOLs. That Obama is such a caution! Cue the sitcom music and laugh track. Unbelievable.
So how this plays out is not a foregone conclusion. If I were an O operative, I would want there to be a debate about what the president really meant, let that reach some sort of crescendo, and then he can come forth and say, more in sorrow than anger, that his has been misunderstood (meaning deliberately) by some (his evil enemies) and of course he meant [insert innocuous and barely plausible to the credulous explanation here -- I prefer the "those darn roads and bridges; where would we be without them?" variable, but I defer to the experts]. Some chunk of independent voters may even buy it. A little emphasized fact is that many independent voters are deeply ignorant when it comes to politics and not the sharpest pencils in the pencil holding thing. OTOH a lot of them are small business sorts and even a dog knows the difference between being tripped over and kicked.
It’s as if President Obama climbed into a tank, put on his helmet, talked about how his foray into Cambodia was seared in his memory, looked at his watch, misspelled “potato” and pardoned Richard Nixon all in the same day.
And that's what makes it so special. Do you also get the sense that somewhere up on a mountain some Greeks gods are ROFLing? Speaking of those who engage in illicit sex, as Greek gods so often did, it would be interesting to hear what Bill Clinton is saying about this. Probably less printable words have never been spoken. Paul Mirengoff is probably also correct that if this gaff does not turn out to be a defining moment, that will itself be a defining moment, in a bad way. Sort of like the elites being able to redefine American standards from What?! to Whatever in the matter of Clinton's formerly unbelievable but eventually entirely understandable activities in the White House with certain young person(s), which was personal.