Get a load of this juicy and frankly refreshing morsel from Politico's just-published e-book "Obama's Last Stand" by POLITICO reporter Glenn Thrush. From the article "POLITICO e-book: Obama campaign roiled by conflict":
Obama really doesn’t like, admire or even grudgingly respect Romney. It’s a level of contempt, say aides, he doesn’t even feel for the conservative, combative House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Hill Republican he disliked the most. “There was a baseline of respect for John McCain. The president always thought he was an honorable man and a war hero,” a longtime Obama adviser said. “That doesn’t hold true for Romney. He was no goddamned war hero.”
Delicious! Anyone that doesn't think Obama's got ideological teeth or political grit is sure in for a surprise. Here's another nugget:
"This has produced a campaign being animated by one thing above all. It is Obama’s own burning competitiveness, with his remorseless focus on beating Mitt Romney — an opponent he genuinely views with contempt and fears will be unfit to run the country."
Obama clearly understands the long-term negative ramifications for the country of a Romney win, and it's exciting to know that he's as excited to topple Romney as we are and understands the stakes as much as we do.
The title of the article ("Obama campaign roiled by conflict") notwithstanding, it sounds like the described infighting is somewhat exaggerated. Other than Stefanie Cutter and David Axelrod's admittedly brief (if overdramatized) spat, which the article reports they quickly patched up, and in spite of how upset some in Obama's camp (mostly West Wingers) were at Biden for the gay marriage "flap" that accelerated Obama's historic announcement of support for the gay community, the e-book seems to show a tremendous amount of passionate, burning dimension to Obama, which is invigorating to me personally. Below are some of these, with my interpretations bolded:
1. Obama is super committed to Joe Biden
In an emotional one-on-one meeting with Obama, Biden apologized profusely and said he’d been betrayed by Obama’s aides.
The president tried to calm him down, saying, “Look, Joe, there are people who want to divide us. You and I have to be on the same page from now on. You and I have to make sure that we don’t get divided.”
This is particularly salient amidst last week's chains "gaffe" and the hand-wringing op-eds that ensued
. It is really nice to hear, from the horse's mouth, the commitment of our Commander-in-Chief to his right-hand man.
2. Obama has the long game in mind and is absolutely playing chess
The two things Obama fears most about a Romney victory: A 7-to-2 conservative Supreme Court within a few years.
He gets it :).
3. Obama fears the GOP taking credit for the inevitable economic rebound they did everything to obstruct
And the equally unbearable possibility, in his mind, that Romney will get to take a victory lap on an economic rebound Obama sees as just around the corner. “I’m not going to let him win … so that he can take credit when the economy turns around,” Obama said, according to an aide.
This, along with the long-term impact of Supreme Court appointments, are perhaps the two key reasons why we cannot stand in the sidelines this election and must work just as hard if not harder to re-elect Obama than we did to elect him four years ago. If the GOP is allowed to take credit for our side's financial philosophy and/or is able to appoint conservative justices, the left-leaning social and political agenda and its politicians will be dealt a crushing ideological and electoral blow for generations to come.
If that doesn't get you up out of bed for the next two months, nothing will.
4. Obama vehemently opposes and views Citizens United as an existential threat to democracy
Obama still believes Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that unleashed the super PACs, poses a huge threat to representative democracy by equating the largesse of self-serving billionaires with free speech.
5. Obama Cares How Enthusiastic We Are
During secret Sunday Roosevelt Room meetings with his top political and White House advisers, Obama has expressed concerns that the enthusiasm gap between his 2008 and 2012 support could cost him the election. He often peppers participants with pointed questions about campaign metrics — he’s especially interested in gauges of base enthusiasm, including the latest reports on volunteer enrollment in swing states and college campuses.
This may come as a surprise to some of us here who engaged in the roiling internal wars a year or so ago...
6. Obama is confident as hell
“Look, guys. I plan on winning this race,” he said, according to a person briefed on the interaction. “If I don’t win, then anything we say now doesn’t matter. I plan on winning this race. So let’s figure out how to win this race.”
7. Obama doesn't mind playing ball–
He views it as a necessary part of campaigning, as a natural — if unpleasant — rotation of the cyclical political wheel.
8. –yet remains, at his core, committed to the spirit of the high ground
Despite Obama’s all-in commitment to the campaign, there have been signs of strain. And people close to him detect, from time to time, a yearning for the high ground. It is most often reflected during his drafting of speeches — a therapeutic, clarifying exercise for a politician with a writer’s impulse to reconciling contradiction through narrative.
I'm fired up and ready to GO!
DIARY TITLE CHANGED FOR THE SAKE OF COMMUNITY. Not because I agree with the amazing hand-wringing below. Hat tip to Calidad.
Jesus Christ on a Rafalca dancing stick.