If the recent election taught us anything, it’s that Barack Obama certainly knows how to campaign. While to many of us his speeches were full of seemingly small-bore issues like Sesame Street and contraceptives, these turned out to be perfectly calibrated to appeal to low-information voters. He is continuing this successful approach with the negotiations over the “fiscal cliff.” He’s even cut a campaign-style ad making his case for tax hikes.
Two things about the video below are noteworthy. First, Obama is framing his position as a tax cut for middle class families. He claims his proposal will give them “relief”, but in reality they would simply face the identical tax burden they have for the past decade. Taxes on the middle class would indeed go up next year if no action is taken, but that is only because Obama insisted on just a temporary extension of the Bush-era tax rates. Obama himself set a great deal of the “fiscal cliff” in motion.
Second is the extensive use of CNN “analysts” parroting the White House talking points on the negotiations. A significant percentage of CNN’s remaining viewers may simply be Democrat operatives looking for effective sound-bites for their TV ads. It’s an illuminating glimpse at the Democrat-Media industrial complex. Democrats issue talking points, media reproduces them as political “analysis,” and the Democrats recycle this as confirmation of the correctness of their positions.
If Obama’s latest campaign ad does anything, it ought to prompt a little soul-searching at CNN as they attempt to rebuild their tarnished image.