John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


White House Panic

Posted on March 16, 2012

            Does anyone else find it odd that the President’s campaign team is releasing it’s Hollywood biopic “The Road We’ve Traveled,” a full six months before the actual election and in the middle of a bloody and nasty Republican primary?


This is not some in-house production.  Davis Guggenheim, who put together “Waiting for Superman”, and “Inconvenient Truth”, produced this for the President and perhaps the most popular actor in Hollywood, Tom Hanks, is the narrator.


This is the kind of film you show at the Convention.  This is the kind of film you buy network time in the middle of High School football season.  You don’t release this the day before St. Patrick’s Day, unless of course you are starting to panic about your crashing poll ratings.


Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, the former White House Chief of Staff, Bill Daley, an Irishman if there ever was one, decided his first move after leaving the Obama Team was to join the Third Way, the “think tank” dedicated to making the Democratic Party less radically socialist.  Good luck with that.


Daley, if you may recall, left the White House only moments before the President’s team announced that they were going to make the Catholic Church buy contraceptives for their employees.  Daley was against that decision, by the way.


The President backed off that bad decision slightly.  Instead, only the insurance companies hired by the Catholic Church will be forced to buy contraceptives for the Church’s employees.  That might be a distinction without a difference, but hey, it has worked politically for this President in the short term.


The President’s ratings have been falling despite this short-term pr victory.   Most analysts think it is because of gas prices.  And that might be a catalyst for the fall.  But I think the President’s problems are far deeper.


His natural approval rating is about 45%.  He has never been much above 50% in the last year or so.


If the Republicans nominate somebody who is half-way decent and credible with independent voters, they should be in a strong position to take back the White House.  That’s a big if though, and I believe that the reason the President’s approval ratings did rise to higher than 50 is because the Republicans looked so inept in their own primary process.


At the end of the day, though, it is a binary choice.  As much as they may hope for a third party candidate, I don’t think the White House is going to get one.


Maybe that is why they are starting to panic.