An Open Letter To David Plouffe and David Axelrod

Up until this morning I thought it was just me, but then I read this Michael Tomasky piece, and the more painful it was to read – the more I knew it was true.

I’m not the one to tell you guys how to run a presidential campaign, but I’m someone who couldn’t get enough of this campaign in 2008, and now I just dread it. Here’s how it looks from my little corner: it looks confused, incoherent, all over the place. Tomasky is right: You don’t tell a story. Everything is reactive and defensive. What was the purpose of the press conference on Friday? If there’s nothing new to tell, no news, no creative surprise, no big FDR-like jobs bill to hit Congress with, then why? When you have nothing new to say, you end up giving the other side a gift.

Another thing: The president’s speech on the stump is, frankly, terrible. It’s boring, it’s full with second-guessing, PBO keeps looking for some middle ground that is just not there anymore, there’s almost complete lack of pride in his amazing achievements, and the defensive tone just kills me. Did the media succeed in its effort to scare you away from taking credit for all those great things? Why not brag much more about the national security success? Why not go out with confidence and tell people the clear, coherent truth about where we were 3.5 years ago, where we’re now and where we’ll be if that lying scumbag wins?

I understand that you probably wait for the convention to lay out PBO’s vision for his second term, but the way the media operate today, this might be too late. When the president goes all in – like he did with marriage equality – he always wins. We have a far better story to tell and we just don’t tell it. Even that private sector “gaffe” could have been part of this story – Killing the “jobs creators” BS narrative with the truth that Wall Street sits on record profits and not hiring – but we’re just not there. We’re timid, tentative and scared.

Yes, they’ll raise more money. Yes, they have the media in their pockets. What they don’t have is Barack Obama and his campaign stuff. And we’ll either wake up now and start use these advantages or we’ll wake up in November with President Rush limbaugh, and this country will be done.