DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was unable to name a single Senate race in which President Obama has campaigned.
Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin asked Wasserman Schultz why Bill Clinton has been campaigning in competitive Senate races instead of Obama.
“The president is campaigning in competitive races during this election cycle,” Wasserman Schultz said, deliberately avoiding the word “Senate.”
After a slew of unsatisfying answers and some Deb-splaining, co-host John Heilemann made an effort to call Wasserman Schultz out for avoiding the crux of the question.
“But what competitive Senate races is the president campaigning in?” Heilemman asked. “Is there one?”
“There are races that the president is campaigning in around the country, and he’s also governing,” Wasserman Schultz said. “He’s doing his job and he’s also spent time recording robo calls, and doing radio spots, and making sure that our GOTV focus is aggressive as possible.”
Wasserman Schultz has made a concerted effort to distance the president from at-risk Democratic Senate candidates, constantly reiterating that “Barack Obama is not on the ballot.”
BY JULIE PACE
AP WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is finding himself with few friends in Washington.
His former Pentagon chief is criticizing his foreign policy. Longtime political advisers are questioning his campaign strategy. And Democrats locked in tough midterm campaigns don’t want Obama anywhere near them between now and Election Day.
The disenchantment with Obama is in part a reflection of inevitable fatigue with a president entering his final years in office. But some Democrats say it is also a consequence of the president’s insular approach to governing and his preference for relying on a small cadre of White House advisers, leaving him with few loyal allies on Capitol Hill or elsewhere.
“This president is supremely independent,” said Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist and longtime adviser to President Bill Clinton. “In many ways that is a very good thing. He probably came to the presidency owing less to other people than any president in memory. The risk is that independence can morph into isolation.”
While White House officials dispute the notion of an isolated or weakened president, there’s little doubt that Obama’s standing with the American people and his own party has fallen since his resounding re-election in 2012. Battered by a flurry of crises at home and abroad, the president’s approval rating has hovered near record lows for much of the year. His party is at risk of losing the Senate in the November midterms and not one Democrat locked in a close race has chosen to make a campaign appearance alongside the president thus far.
It’s against that backdrop that some of Obama’s longtime advisers have begun levying unsparing criticism, most notably Leon Panetta, the widely respected former congressman who served as CIA director and defense secretary in Obama’s first term. In a new memoir and a series of interviews, Panetta has taken aim at both Obama’s foreign policy decision-making and overall leadership skills.
Panetta writes that as Pentagon chief, he feared that Obama’s withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq in late 2011 could put that country at risk of becoming “a new haven for terrorists to plot attacks against the U.S.” The U.S. is now launching airstrikes against a militant group in Iraq, as well as Syria, that Obama administration officials warn could ultimately pose a threat to the West.
But Panetta’s most scathing critique is reserved for Obama’s leadership style. Writing about Obama’s inability to stop deep budget cuts at the Pentagon, Panetta said the episode reflected the president’s “most conspicuous weakness, a frustrating reticence to engage his opponents and rally support for his cause.”
“Too often, in my view, the president relies on the logic of a law professor rather than the passion of a leader,” Panetta added.
Panetta’s critique echoes regular complaints from lawmakers in both parties who say the president has made little effort to forge relationships on Capitol Hill and often keeps lawmakers out of the loop on decision-making. Indeed, the president rarely makes trips to Capitol Hill or socializes with lawmakers, preferring instead to spend his time with his family and a small team of longtime aides.
The president has repeatedly dismissed the notion that more extracurricular activities, particularly with Republicans, would help him muscle legislation through Congress.
“When I’m over here at the congressional picnic and folks are coming up and taking pictures with their family, I promise you, Michelle and I are very nice to them and we have a wonderful time,” Obama said last year. “But it doesn’t prevent them from going onto the floor of the House and blasting me for being a big-spending socialist.”
But the criticism from Panetta and others has suggested that Obama may not only lack a reserve of support outside the administration, but that he may also struggle to command loyalty from those who have advised him most closely.
Beyond Panetta, Obama has endured criticism of his foreign policy this year from two other former Cabinet secretaries: former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. On Sunday, Obama also took a hit from his longtime political adviser David Axelrod, who said Obama made “a mistake” when he said last week that his economic policies were on the ballot in November.
“I wouldn’t put that line there,” Axelrod said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
White House advisers and others close to the president have dismissed the flood of criticism and the distance from Democrats as part of the natural arc of the presidency.
“This is very much the product of the six-year itch,” said Anita Dunn, Obama’s former White House communications director. “If you’re sitting in the White House, you put your head down and you do your job and realize that at the end of the day, you still have two more years to do a great deal.”
But Jim Manley, a former senior adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that job may only get harder if Democrats in Washington turn even further away from the president as the race to replace him gets underway.
“The fact of the matter is the president and his team have done a pretty poor job of trying to build of a group of loyal Democrats,” Manley said. “They don’t have too deep of a well to dip into anymore.”
September 24, 2014 By Matthew Burke
The Obama IRS targeted groups educating on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
It is a well-known and admitted fact that the Obama Regime, using the IRS, targeted pro-freedom Tea Party and other conservative groups for their political beliefs, who were also political opponents of Barack Obama, a clear violation of the First Amendment.
But on Tuesday, Georgetown law professor Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz reported that the tyranny went even further than just targeting Obama’s political opponents.
The politically weaponized Obama IRS expanded their targeting beyond the Tea Party, targeting groups that were “educating on the “Constitution and Bill of Rights,” in January of 2012, just months before the election in November of 2012.
In a timeline on page 30 of the Inspector General’s report, the IG states that the Obama IRS added the new criteria in January of 2012, because the July 2011 criteria they used to harass patriotic American citizens wasn’t specific enough.
Here’s the exact verbiage from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, in the report titled, “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review, from page 30 (emphasis added):
Criteria changed to “Political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding government, educating on the constitution and bill of rights, social economic reform/movement” based on Determinations Unit concerns that the July 2011 criteria was too generic.
On page 38 of the report, the Inspector General found that the Obama IRS, on January 25, 2012, expanded their BOLO (Be on the Lookout) criteria updating it to include “political type organizations involved in “educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
When an administration targets American citizens for teaching their fellow citizens about the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights (since government schools aren’t), the very Constitution they take an oath to defend and uphold, this is a treasonous act at worst and an impeachable and illegal act at least. If this is not an impeachable act, exactly what would be?
Republican Richard Nixon was threatened with impeachment for much less (and at least had the decency to resign), and Democrat Bill Clinton was actually impeached (in the House but not convicted in the Senate) for much less as well. If Obama is not impeached and removed from office, both of these men are owed huge apologies.
Why are you, Congress, giving Obama, whose multiple crimes against the U.S. Constitution are in the dozens, a pass?
Clinton said Obama administration’s strategy would receive backlash
BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
September 24, 2014 8:35 am
Former President Bill Clinton believes President Obama will be judged based on his strategy to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) and other extremist groups in the region. Clinton speculated Obama would garner support for his strategy to “degrade and destroy” ISIL because the American people want the executive to appear strong.
“I think that the American people generally tend to judge the president by whether we are more secure and look strong, so I think they do support what he’s decided to do,” Clinton said.
The former president said he agreed with Obama and most Americans on keeping U.S. ground troops out of the conflict. Clinton said ISIL would prefer the U.S. fight with ground troops. “[Obama] hasn’t been suckered into that,” he said.
Clinton added that it was evident the Obama administration’s strategy would receive backlash. “[Obama] had certain elements of the media and Republican Party who were always against him,” Clinton said.
The U.S. military began conducting direct airstrikes this week against ISIL and Khorasan, another extremist group in the region.