Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Why the Media Don't Get Obama's Campaign

To be fair, how can one really explain this?

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How can we explain this (the new NBC/WSJ poll showing President Obama leading both Mitt Romney and Herman Cain by healthy margins)?

Let me try. First off, President Obama really has a solid campaign... And all the early investment is already starting to show results. As we've talked about here before, folks in "Middle America" may not be excited about Obama, but they're also not stupid enough to believe he alone is the cause of all our problems. Contrary to what Nate Silver suggested last weekend, most Americans may really be smart enough to know this election is more about "Obama vs. Not Obama".

Again, OFA is making a real, early investment in building a strong campaign. While pundits in The Beltway obsess over this and other polls, OFA volunteers are on the ground, knocking doors, making calls, and registering more voters. And while the Republicans keep beating each other up over salacious scandals and tea party ideological "purity", OFA volunteers are recruiting even more volunteers as new offices open, more Democratic voters are getting calls, and more neighbors are seeing friendly OFA volunteers at their doorsteps.

It also helps that The White House has finally been succeeding in honing in on a strong economic message. Obama has had to figure out how to get past the obstructionist Congress to deliver his message directly to the American people. He's had to deliver his own message while also allowing Americans to realize who his Republican opponents really are. And he's had to demonstrate to the country exactly how Congressional Republicans are out to sabotage economic recovery and threaten the well-being of the country.

This certainly hasn't been an easy task, especially considering the mostly negative coverage of Obama by the media. I know that whenever I turn on the TV and flip on one of the cable "news" channels, I see this in full force. But when I go out and talk to other people in my local community, the opinions I hear are far more complex and thought-out than the typical TV shouting match.

And maybe that really explains it all. While Obama's campaign is busily, though relatively quietly, building up its volunteer base and developing its road map to winning next year, it's not really creating the kind of incessant drama we're seeing on the GOP/"tea party" side of the aisle. So of course, "NEW!" and "SEXY!" and "CRAZY!" win out and get the media fawning... But they're not fooling the majority of Americans that are getting sick and tired of the craven political games being played by Beltway Republicans as real proposals to put Americans back to work are being blocked.

Yes, Americans are angry... But it's a mistake for media pundits to just assume that "Americans hate Obama!" because the economy isn't in ideal shape. And it's a mistake to completely ignore why we're where we are now. And it's a mistake to just assume that Koch Industries and Karl Rove funded TV ads matter more than the real people power we're seeing develop here in the real world. And it's a mistake to just assume that voters are too stupid to figure out who caused the mess we're in today.

This 2012 campaign certainly promises to be a wild roller coaster ride. It's just too bad that too many in the media prefer to toss real facts and figures overboard as they take us on another wild ride through hype and speculation.

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