To memorialize the impact on my psyche of each individual campaign season, I usually buy a tee shirt. In 2008, mine was notoriously prophetic. Ever the optimist, I wore a ‘Dare to Hope, Prepare to be Disappointed” top to every campaign event I could think of and a few wildly uncomfortable family dinners.
This year, I bought a shirt from the Hunger Games that says “Down With the Capitol” in big, handwritten letters.
Because, and I assume you know this, we’re all f***ed.
David Axelrod tells us the Obama campaign will make a major umbrella issue of what he calls “Romney’s penchant for secrecy”: “George Bush felt it was appropriate to release the names of his bundlers. John McCain did. But not Mitt Romney. Why did George Bush and John McCain release multiple years of tax returns, but not Mitt Romney? Why did Mitt Romney leave Massachusetts government with the hard drives from his computers, and why did his senior aides leave with the hard drives from their computers? Why won’t he be more forthcoming about some of these offshore investments?
“Harkening back to my youth, which extends far beyond yours, there was a show called, ‘I’ve Got A Secret.’ Increasingly, I think that would be the appropriate title for the Romney campaign. There are central issues, but this is a disturbing one and it goes to that question of, like, ‘Who is this guy? What does he stand for? What does he believe? What do we know about him?’”
–Axelrod, on yesterday’s NYT A1er, “White House Welcomes Donors, And Lobbyists Slip in Door, Too”: “The reason that people know who comes to the White House is because for the first time in history, the President ordered that it be so . . . Why do they know who raises money for us? Because we disclose it. The only bundlers Romney discloses are lobbyists who raise money for him, and that reason is because Barack Obama wrote a law when he was in the Senate that required that.”mmo
That might not be the clearest piece of material I’ve ever posted, but here’s the gist of it. Last week, Patrick Kennedy, the former representative most widely known as the man who attempted, one evening, to single-handedly rearrange traffic flow in the greater DC area after a few too many cocktails, disclosed that he gave the maximum $38,500 to the Obama re-election fund because he had a non-profit venture that needed a little help from the Obama White House. To quote Patrick, whose family knows more about organized crime than any family rightfully should, “this is just how this business works.”
When asked about whether the White House was embarrassed at being caught in a pay-to-play scheme after running their 2008 campaign predicated on the notion that Barack Obama required a fainting couch and smelling salts for the topic even to be broached, and, as such was never, ever, ever going to let the Very Bad People have any influence on his virgin administration, David Axelrod defended the practice by saying its cool because we tell you about it.
Maybe I’m crazy, but the point wasn’t to know more about which lobbyists were paying for lap dances in the East Room, but rather that it wasn’t going to happen at all. A brave new world where our politicians are open about their graft is a step in the wrong direction, because, obviously, what some guy terms as government coming to light about being less careful with its exchanges than a Columbian hooker, I term rubbing it in my face.
But its cool. I like knowing that if I could scrape together enough cash, I, too, could have a temporarily successful business. I always wondered what the secret was.