Monday, July 23, 2012

Was Obama's Anti-Business Gaffe a "Defining Moment" of the Campaign?

It's as if President Obama climbed into a tank, put on his helmet, talked about how his foray into Cambodia was seared in his memory, looked at his watch, misspelled "potato" and pardoned Richard Nixon all in the same day. It's fun to imagine the hand-wringing that must be going on within the White House as staffers try to figure out how to undo the damage their boss has done with his anti-entrepenurial riff. 

Defining moments in politics are strange beasts. Sometimes they're only recognized in hindsight, while sometimes they throw the train off the tracks before a sentence has been completed. Sometimes their effect can be contained and minimized, while sometimes their effect on the political narrative mestastasizes. This one is very bad for the White House.

These defining moments take hold most devastatingly when they confirm what a large portion of the electorate already believes. Taken alone, it seems unfair that a single moment, an unguarded remark or a slip of the tongue can carry such weight. They're often dismissed as "gotcha" moments, but when voters are able to nod and say, "I knew it," these moments stick and do terrible damage. We have witnessed such a moment.

That's Pat Sajak weighing in on the President's remarkably dumb statement from last week.

Certainly President Obama's remark reflected his genuine disdain for business and entrepreneurship, but he was still awfully dumb to actually say it.

That's what happens when he tries to talk without his teleprompter.

But was it really a "defining moment" as Pat Sajak believes? After all, the mainstream media, like it almost always does in such cases, ignored the President's statements. CNN, for instance, didn't even mention them until 3 days later and only then because they had to report on the zealous GOP response.

This means that President Obama's remarks (which he is already running away from) are only going to damage his hopes to win another term in the White House if regular folks like you and me spread the word. You can do so by reminding friends, family and church members about President's smear of free enterprise, hard work and creativity.

You can use humor to make the point by showing them things like this, and this, and this. You can recommend articles like this, this and this.

And you can draw their attention to political responses like the two I post below.

A "defining moment" for the President's re-election campaign? It can be...if we provide the exclamation point to his remarks.