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    Permanent campaign

    You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s that time again? Doesn’t it feel as if we’d just gone through this a few months ago? Make it stop, mother!

    President Barack Obama plans to send supporters a text or e-mail message announcing his intention to run for re-election, multiple Democratic sources tell CNN.

    The president is making his campaign official slightly earlier than is typical for an incumbent so he can get a jump on fund-raising in a season that’s likely to shatter all records. Obama’s team has been asking campaign bundlers to raise $350,000 each, no easy task since campaign finance laws limit gifts to $2,500 per donor. Two sources tell CNN the campaign team hopes that in total their bundlers will raise $500 million, leaving the campaign to raise another $500 million and amass a record-breaking $1 billion war chest.

    Just when I thought I’d gotten my Scotch consumption back to levels my doctor was happy with, the campaign’s starting again. Have another Antibes vacation on me, Laphroaig distillers!

    On the bright side, I’m assuming “presidential campaign bundler” counts as a type of job created (or saved) this year, so if there are that many of them that busy, we’ll have some rosier employment figures tout de suite!

    Naturally, the Obama administration can’t just say, “It’s going to be a vicious campaign, so we figured we’d get an early start on 2012.” Nope. Guess whose fault the accelerated spin cycle is?

    Oh, come on—more specific than that!

    One top Democrat says, “The Republicans are out there day in and day out beating up on the president — they’re basically running without filing. So to say we’re going first isn’t totally fair.” This person adds, “No one wants to start running now. The president is engaged in the country, this is about getting (campaign) staff up and running.”

    Additionally, top Democrats say two former White House staffers are likely to set up a third-party outside spending group. Former Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, former aide to then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, have been approached by Democratic donors who are concerned about countering the influence of Karl Rove and the Koch brothers in the upcoming 2012 election.

    “Running without filing”? By opposing the other party’s president’s policies and principles (assuming they can even figure out what they are—I sure as hell can’t)? I always sorta thought that was just part of the rough-and-tumble debate we’re supposed to have in a free society. It’s not as if the GOP were relying on Tim Pawlenty or Mike Huckabee, after all, to register their displeasure; plenty of sitting congresspersons with no known presidential ambitions are also saying the president is doing a bad job.

    And is it my imagination, or is this bee in the leftist bonnet about the Koch brothers something that started buzzing really, really suddenly just several weeks ago? I mean, Gawd, now they’re commensurate in evil with Karl Rove. Pretty impressive. I’d have thought that would take a lot longer to work up to—but then, they’re libertarians, so you can’t put anything past ’em.

    In any case, the CNN piece says the announcement could come “as early as Monday morning,” so we have at least a few precious hours of tranquility left before the show starts. Where’s that bottle?

    11 Responses to “Permanent campaign”

    1. Eric Scheie says:

      I do not expect them to ever stop. Certainly not during my lifetime.

    2. Sarah says:


      First of all, I must tell you that you’re off the deep end. How can your mom make it stop? She’s probably wishing someone would make it stop. (Though a bunch of us moms descending on DC and washing their mouths with soap is a lovely fantasy.)

      Second, I know someone who knows the Kochs — she says they’re nice, nice men and typical libertarians. As in “the Libertarians failed to Organize”. Only the permanent obfuscation machine could make them into totalitarians.

    3. Sean says:

      Sarah, I was thinking of The Exorcist. (I mean, for the “Make it stop, mother!” part.) What you said about the Kochs made me chuckle; as a libertarian, I’m often really perplexed at the way so many on left and right alike get all woozy with ecstasy when confronted with an example of group rule (as long as they happen to like the rule).

    4. Julie says:

      Hmmm, I don’t really think Obama is “engaged in” anything, certainly not our country.

      Now that I’ve said that, does that mean I’m running (without filing) for President?

    5. Julie says:

      Oh, and also…welcome back!

    6. Sean says:

      Thanks, Julie.

      Re. the ad, which I forced myself to watch: I thought it was hilarious when our friend and compatriot “Alice” explained that it’s our job to fire ourselves up because the president is too busy doing what we’re paying him to do. I was kinda thinking that maybe if he’d take a break from twisting war powers to breaking point, publicly castigating everyone from Cambridge police to Kanye West, and micromanaging the health-care system, he might have time to talk to a constituent or two about exactly what he thinks he’s doing.

      I also liked the way “Katherine” explained that politics is how we govern ourselves. No, madam, self-discipline is how we govern ourselves. Politics is how we try to strong-arm other citizens into doing what we want whether, all Weber-y-like, they want to or not.

      • Jodie says:

        I think the publisher must question the work done by the reporter. The experienced Auto Driver claims, out of 1000/= collected, 500/= goes towards Petrol. Means, at to17#&y82da;s cost of 70/= per liter, when he collects 50/=, he spends 25/= on petrol.From Virugambakkam Police Station to Pondicherry Guest House (KK Nagar) is hardly 1.5 KM. Automan demands and collects 50/=. Does it mean that for 25/= worth of petrol, his auto can run only for 1.5 KM? Even if we concede 25% more, can it run only for 2 KM?In other words if 25 Rs petrol for 2 KM, for 1 liter (70 Rs), Auto can run only for just 5.6 KM ? Please do not encourage greedy frauds.

    7. Julie says:

      I like the way it made me want to switch to GEICO.

      Self-discipline isn’t dramatic and exciting, though, and I think that’s a big problem for its public image. Self-discipline needs the full creative energy of a top ad agency and then a charismatic actor or two to shill for it.

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