It's Not Obama's Fault, But...

May 9, 2012 - 4:57 AM

For a campaign that has been up-and-running since just about January 21, 2009, the Obama crowd did not have a good "official" first week.

Last weekend, Barack Obama officially launched his campaign for re-election at a rally on the campus of Ohio State University. A couple of things were wrong with the event. About 14,000 people showed up, but the arena holds many more and the traveling press made much of the empty seats.

That's not Obama's fault. It's the fault of the advance team and the campaign, but there you are.

During his remarks, Obama lashed out at Republicans in Congress for refusing to provide infrastructure funds including funds for a bridge connecting Ohio to Kentucky in Cincinnati (homes to Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican Leader respectively).

He told the crowd that people had to drive an hour-and-a-half out of their way just to get to work.

According to the Washington Post's Fact Checker all of that is true except for:

-- The bridge over the Ohio River in Cincinnati has never been closed.
-- The bridge over the Ohio River in Cincinnati has bipartisan support to repair it.
-- The project to repair the bridge over the Ohio River in Cincinnati isn't slated to begin until 2015.
-- The bridge he was talking about connects Indiana to Kentucky.
-- The bridge connecting Indiana to Kentucky has been repaired and is open to traffic.

Ok. That's not Obama's fault. It's the fault of the speech writers, but there you are.

On Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden appeared on Meet the Press and got way off message on gay marriage when he said: "I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual - men and women marrying - are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don't see much of a distinction beyond that."

Thing is, according to Yahoo! News, "the president has stopped short of endorsing gay marriage, instead articulating that his views are 'evolving.'"

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, jumped in on the issue by announcing his support for gay marriage, but it is not clear why he thought he needed to do that.

Neither of these are Obama's fault. It's the fault of his Vice President who runs off at the mouth so often the White House staff has taken to calling them "Joe Bombs," but there you are.

Jeff Greenfield who has been observing and analyzing American Politics for about as long as I have wrote a blistering piece detailing four events of Obama's first week including the empty seats and Joe Biden.

But he added the fact that the "April unemployment rate for workers under 25 was 16.4 percent and as many as half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed."

As young voters are a huge piece of the coalition that carried Obama to victory in 2008, anything that dampens their enthusiasm - not being able to find a job would be an example - will likely suppress their vote totals in November.

That's not Obama's fault. That's the fault of George W. Bush and Herbert Hoover, but there you are.

Finally, MullPal and sometimes backdoor neighbor James Carville, on the CNN.com site, wrote: "Democratic fundraisers, activists, supporters, and even politicians alike have somehow collectively lapsed into the sentiment that the president is going to be reelected and that we have a good shot to take the House back while holding the Senate."

Then he wrote: "What are you smoking? What are you drinking? What are you snorting or just what in the hell are you thinking?"

James correctly points out that the RealClearPolitics average of national polls has Obama leading Romney "by three-tenths of one percent."

As of last night that had dropped by A THIRD to .2 percent.

That's not Obama's fault. As we saw over the weekend in Europe there is a significant "throw the rascals out" mentality in Europe much as there was in the U.S. less than two years ago in the mid-term elections of 2010.

But, there you are.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the WashPost Fact Checker on Obama's "whopper" on the Ohio River bridge situation, also to the Jeff Greenfield and James Carville essays as well as the RealClearPolitics polling summary page. The Mullfoto is from an award ceremony at Ft. Belvoir and the Catchy Caption of the Day is from the Kentucky Derby.