Axelrod to @GlennThrush: “Bullshit notion” that 2008 was a strictly positive campaign.—
Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 20, 2012
In May, ABC News portrayed President Obama as a uniter at heart with a natural aversion to “politics as usual,” forced to embrace super PACs and negative advertising by those icky Republicans. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to run the most positive campaign ever; he was just being pragmatic and resigning himself to the political climate.
David Axelrod says otherwise.
He called it a “bullshit notion” that Obama ran a positive campaign in 2008, according to “Obama’s Last Stand”, a new e-book by Politico reporter Glenn Thrush.
Yeah, no kidding. Despite all the fawning lapdog media reports about Obama’s “above the fray” campaign style, we kinda noticed that. Here’s what Axelrod told Thrush:
The campaign is doing what it did in 2008, drawing a contrast between Obama and the opposition, he insisted. The difference now is that the pundit class is holding the president to a phony, Catch-22 standard.
Phony standard? Even as Obama embraced negative campaigning in 2008, he repeatedly talked about dispensing with politics as usual. You know, because hope and change. So the pundit class didn’t build that standard alone — Obama made that happen. Intentionally.
Just last month Obama railed against “negativity” and “cynicism” in campaign ads and Axelrod decried Romney super PAC ads “accusing Obama of running a negative campaign.” And now Axelrod is complaining about a false narrative? Obama’s lapdogs regurgitated the talking points they were fed.
Clearly Axelrod knows a thing or two about b.s. notions.
Thrush previews his e-book here, making it clear that Obama eats campaign negativity for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In the interviews with current and former Obama aides, not one said he expressed any reservations about the negativity. He views it as a necessary part of campaigning, as a natural — if unpleasant — rotation of the cyclical political wheel.
No reservations, indeed.
RNC Deputy communications director Tim Miller weighs in:
More from Glenn Thrush’s new e-book: