SQUID SCAM: Bill Daley’s Herculean Efforts to Make Obama a Centrist For 2012.
Additions and updating written earlier forThe Wanderer, the oldest national Catholic weekly.
The scenario thus far:: With Bill Daley’s ascension to presidential chief-of-staff the Barack Obama 2012 reelection campaign is underway with headquarters—to no one’s surprise—here in Chicago, home of The Squid. To anyone who ever took Squid 101, the drill is to manufacture an entirely new Obama: Moderate-sounding, not radical, amenable to negotiations with Republicans, churchy, not secular, pro-nationalist patriotic not 3rdWorld. Chicagoans now play an even greater part in the transformation of Obama than before.
If you wonder where I got this stuff, purportedly because as a right-winger I’m not hooked up with sources who have access to the Left, remember—gently please—that I have a Rolodex full of Democrats who don’t agree with me, beginning as a lobbyist for Quaker here starting with the first Daley and for 40 years of bantering at the brass rail of Washington’s Occidental Hotel, still located in rather high staff positions and serving as lobbyists with close access to themajor domoof all lobbyists now that Charlie Walker is dead—Bronco Billy.
The idea which the vitriolic Left buy…exclusive of aberrational Daily Kos which bites its tongue… is to get Obama reelected and then cut the strings allowing Obama to again become the old flaky “America is no more exceptional than the others” Obama…returning to the 3rdWorld faculty lounge visionary of old. Bill Daley is seen as a necessary expedient--which is why the Left is so passive to a big-time corporate lobbyist taking over management of the White House for a short time.
The first cosmetics change was undertaken with the Tucson speech following the killing of six and critical wounding of Cong. Gabrielle Giffords by a deranged youth. But there were some serious flaws.
The (Bill) Daley Show.
With no public ceremony at all, The Squid’s Bill Daley moved into Rahm Emanuel’s old office in the White House on Saturday, Jan. 8-- just as the nation was gasping in shock at the Tucson slayings by a 22-year-old madman-- and began calling signals. Before his arrival there had been a kerfuffle about whether or not to keep a white southern Alabama-born country boy retiring Press Secretary Robert Gibbs in the White House as counselor to the president. Gibbs , a hard-line Obama liberal with the closest personal ties to the president whom Obama described as “keeping me in touch with southern thinking [sic].” Daley’s private reaction:Oh really? What southern thinking is it—the Southern Poverty Law Center?
So Daley got Chicagoan David Plouffe, Obama’s senior adviser, the highly-regarded 2008 campaign manager who succeeded David Axelrod as Obama image curator (Axelrod moving back to Chicago to prepare for the reelection campaign) to influence Obama to nix the Gibbs request.
Bill[Daley]shouldn’t have to fight Gibbs for access to you,
the 32-year-old Plouffe told the president.We’re in the crucial second half of the game now and if we’re going to get the best out of Bill Daley he should have direct contact with you and not have his advice second-guessed. Obama reluctantly agreed and Gibbs won’t get the White House slot he coveted. To Daley’s mind, Gibbs had already weighed in with the wrong advice on how to handle the Tucson speech.
The Tucson shooting demanded a major speech by the president. If Obama had his druthers he would lip-synch what Gibbs felt about the shooting—that the 22-year-old assailant reflected wanton anger from both Left and Right--and both Right and Left should shut up but especially the Right with its AM radio talk shows spewing anger.
Daley vetoed that approach. Gibbs (and Obama) wanted the Tucson speech to be scoped by the chief speechwriter 29-year-old Jon Favreau, an easterner, Holy Cross grad, who had worked for John Kerry in 2004, the elitist Massachusetts wind-surfer Senator (as had Gibbs).
Daley objected. Favreau always had Obama sounding like either a no-drama drone and queasy nihilistic, relativistic, agnostic Harvard philosopher. So on advice of Pete Rouse, the interim staffer who filled in for Emanuel before Daley got there (incidentally the only Asian—of Japanese extraction--to hold the top staff position incidentally), Daley looked at a new kid in the speech-writing stable—30-year-old Cody Keenan who’s…you guessed it…an Irish Chicagoan and member of The Squid.
Born in the Lakeview neighborhood, reared in Evanston and Wilmette and graduated from Northwestern, following up with a Harvard master’s in public policy at the JFK school of government, understanding from Daley that this should not be another nihilistic relativist U of C Divinity School speech, Kennan got the job of crafting Tucson.
Gibbs had always spun to the supine media the fiction that Obama writes his own speeches out in longhand and the so-called “speechwriters” are merely glorified stenographers. That’s a time-honored sales pitch made for all presidents which is seldom accepted by the press--but this media, in love with Obama the author, buy it. Chicago’s most gullible TV political journalist Mike Flannery deserves the “Chris Matthews thrill running-down-my-leg” award, writing in of all things a flimsy an advertising piece distributed as afauxmagazine withThe New York Times.
Like all other legends about Obama, thehe-writes-his-own-stuffhoax has survived serious debunking. A year or so ago unrepentant terrorist Billy Ayres got off the reservation and was swaggering around saying he—Ayres—wroteDreams From My Fatherand did a lot of ghosting onThe Audacity of Hope.Sure enough, Ayres is a formidable writer, has written several books and his best,Fugitive Days: A Memoirhas similar cadence, rhetoric and diction to Obama’s writing style.
As with everything else which can’t be disproved, Gibbs had one simple rejoinder to this stuff:it’s absurd. Period.
Thereafter to protect Obama and believing Ayres had gone round the bend and turned anti-Obama, the compliant liberal media obligingly dropped a cone of silence on the erratic 66-year-old unrepentant terrorist who hasn’t been heard from again.
Obama told the kid Cody Keenan what he wanted in the speech— full of elitist imponderables and relativistic questionings. But Keenan in consultation with Daley, junked them and wrote Tucson far differently—explaining how this version better fit the occasion. Daley told Obama he saw the Squid Kid’s Tucson address as ideally to be equivalent to Lincoln at Gettysburg (1863), Reagan after the Challenger disaster (1986) and George W. Bush’s National Cathedral speech after 9/11. It wasn’t but still not bad.
The Tucson text containing very little of Obama included turned out very well. It was to be no typical Obama relativist Harvard Divinity School speech —but a measured, steady beat flavored with a quotation fromPsalm 46:4 that seemed suitable for citation by an Episcopal priest:There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God/the holy place where the Most High dwells.
There were marvelous lines starkly unlike the cool, aloof Obama-- such as: “I have just come from the University Medical Center, just a mile from here, where our friend Gabby courageously fights to recover even as we speak. And I can tell you this—she knows we’re here and she knows we love her…”
That was the most emotion from Obama since he bowed to the waist in front of the Japanese Emperor.
Another pretty good line:
And: “We recognize our own mortality and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth or status or power or fame—but rather how well we have loved and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.”
Probably the most Christian ethos ever expressed from the lips of Our Third World influenced savant.
Finally the best of them all: Nine-year-old slain Christina Taylor Green “was given to us Sept. 11, 2001…On either side of her photo in [her class yearbook] were simple wishes for a child’s life--`I hope you help those in need,’ read one. `I hope you know all the words to the National Anthem and sing it with your hand over your heart. I hope you jump in rain puddles.’ If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christine is jumping in them today.”
Worthy of the Gipper at his best. Daley read it and saidperfect. He had Obama practice it and both—Obama too—repeated: “perfect!”
Satisfied a new speech-writer had been found and a new image hammered out, Daley turned to other things unconnected with Tucson as per “what tone will the new State of the Union take?” That was where he made his first White House mistake.
The slayings occurred Saturday, Jan. 8; Daley wanted Obama’s speech to be deliveredthere, in Tucson, the site of the tragedy—and ASAP. Scheduling came back and said the giant University of Arizona basketball arena was reserved for Wednesday night the 12th…just four days hence…for the speech to be delivered at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Arena capacity: 13,000 with another 13,000 overflow to be accommodated in the football stadium.
Daley ordered the presidential advance staff and Secret Service out there immediately.
The advance team had to be sure the arena and stadium was filled—and not by just anybody. So this is where the error occurred. Emails flashed out to the entire Obama rolodex in Arizona, managed by the Obama political apparatus: “Organizing for America.”
While Daley worked getting acquainted with other details of his new job and took his eyes off the ball, “Organizing for America” which had been set up to build political rallies on a few days’ notice, did exactly what it was created to do—filling the arena and football stadium, with frenetic Obama screaming zealots wearing campaign-style T shirts.
Result: while the speech which reached 32 million…not all that impressive a number compared to other Obama speeches…and it was brilliantlyfauxReaganesque in content and delivery—its atmosphere was marred by the roaring partisanship of the crowd which gave eerie reminder of the televised slashingly bitter partisan “memorial” to the late Minnesota DFL Sen. Paul Wellstone in 2002 at Williams Arena of the University of Minnesota…which so poisoned the political atmosphere that a Republican went on to defeat former vice president Walter Mondale for Wellstone’s post.
Daley angrily raised the roof to “Advance” …demanding to know why “Advance” didn’t halt the pep rally atmosphere in its tracks—on a dime. “Advance’s” answer:did you ever try to stop on a dime a diesel locomotive going 100 mph?
Nevertheless, finding the right speech-writer who could give a Reagan-like presidential tone to a speech was a great start, Daley consoled himself —even the gaffes by “Advance.”
New York Big Bucks Alienated.
One big job Bill Daley was hired for is to schmooze Wall Street and New York money people generally in behalf of Obama. The last money “take” for 2008 amounted to more than $700 million. Daley calculates 2012 will go over $1 billion.
But Obama’s best New York money-changers from 2008 are furious at passage of the financial “reform” package coupled with Obama’s vitriolic slams at big bankers which so pleased the Left. Here Daley reminds Wall Street thathe—Daley—lobbied to de-fang the package as well. Well okay, they say, but few are convinced to-date. “Let the Left fund their buddy, then,” one told Daley sourly.
The most bitter anti-Obama big money man is New York’s hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb who’s so fed up he wrote his flock that it’s easy to understand why people feel politics is dirty due to Obama’s savage attacks on bankers and their ilk when he so solicitously milked them for dough in 2008.
Wall Streeters sticking with Obama, he wrote, resemble battered and abused wives remain with their violent husbands instead of getting out and away from them. “I am sure, if we are really nice and stay quiet,” he wrote sacrastically, “everything will be all right and the President will become more centrist and that all his tough talk is just words. I mean when I am alone with him—at $30,000-a-plate fundraisers—he’s really nice and—hey!—once I even got invited to the White House!”
Thus Loeb put his finger on the real reason Bill Daley is in the White House—to assuage…and once the election cycle is over and he departs, Obama will be the same-old, same-old neo-socialist making a mockery of all that had gone on before.
Meanwhile, news from Pennsylvania gives Daley a migraine. Big time money packagers there say that it is more important for them to match the Republicans’ money machine for Congress…and kick in to the “soft money” projects…than to worry about Obama right now.
“The Bill Daley thing, pretending Obama is moving to the center, is a mockery,” one guy said. “How many times have we heard Obama’s going centrist? Big deal!”
So Bill Daley’s got his hands full. So far, Obama’s job performance numbers have picked up by 8 points. But odds are Obama’s earlier sins will make him a one-termer no matter what the youngest Daley does, but it’s fun to watch him try.