Wisconsin confrontation could be fatal flaw in Obama's 2012 re-election strategy 

One reason why Obama Democrats are now backing away from their earlier enthusiam for the public employee union protestors chanting in the streets of Madison, Wisconsin, against Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the newly-elected GOP majorities in the state senate and house may be their realization that they're on the losing side.

Too bad they didn't consult with Richard Pollock before filling the busses with protestors headed to Wisconsin. Pollock is Pajamas TV's Washington editor and is a former Fox News and ABC Good Morning America producer. He is an insightful analyst of Washington's never-ending insider politicking.

Pollock thinks the Madison protests represented the second of a two-track Obama 2012 re-election strategy. The first track, of course, was the effort to portray Obama as the moderate guy willing to compromise with the new Republican sheriffs in town following their 2010 election sweep.

Compromising with the newly resurgent GOP to extend the Bush tax cuts for a couple of years was the first major manifestation of the first track and predictably earned Obama widespread praise among Democrats and the mainstream media for emulating President Clinton's successful 1996 re-election strategy.

But Pollock argues in his latest Pajamas Media column that Wisconsin was the flawed beginning of the second track and Obama and his advisors got it all wrong:

"The decision by the Democratic Party and its allies to draw a line in the sand in Wisconsin was the wrong strategy, in the wrong state, at the wrong time, on the wrong issue, and executed in the wrong way.

"The White House, which for the last two years seemed so tone deaf over health care, jobs, and the economy, may again be displaying a stunning political miscalculation. Unless the Democrats pull the plug on their ill-conceived Wisconsin campaign, the statewide and national backlash now beginning to emerge may continue to resonate all the way to the 2012 presidential elections."

The tip-off was Obama's giving an interview to a Wisconsin television reporter at the height of the Egyptian crisis. Why would a president allegedly engrossed with managing the crisis in the Middle East suddenly pull back to blast the budget and labor policies of a newly-elected GOP governor in a safe Democratic state?

"The Wisconsin political blitzkrieg on Gov. Walker was not a spontaneous eruption. It is now clear that it was a highly organized operation planned in Washington, D.C., to unleash a national counterattack on the gains made by Republicans and Tea Party activists," Pollock said.

"Getting Organizing for America and the president to act in close coordination was itself no small feat. The plan included busing in thousands of government employees, arranging for Democratic lawmakers to flee to an adjoining state, flying speakers and political organizers into Madison, organizing thousands to leave their jobs in public safety and in classrooms, and staging rallies inside and outside the statehouse. They even enticed sympathetic doctors to draft bogus doctor excuses for government workers," he said.

"It all worked like a charm. Except that it struck all the wrong notes and portrayed all the wrong images."

Pollock knows a little something about images. Go here for the rest of a must-read column.

 

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Mark Tapscott

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