President Obama tried to reassure donors last night not to worry, and his former adviser David Axelrod went out with a memo today parsing what is good in the polls, but the media narrative following the jobs speech is quickly devolving into one in which Democrats are in a state of panic, akin to where they were before the 2010 midterms. Only this time, the stakes are even higher.
James Carville writes at CNN.com that a serious shakeup is needed. "For God's sake, why are we still looking at the same political and economic advisers that got us into this mess? It's not working," he wrote. And Politico puts the focus on Obama's chief of staff, Bill Daley. "To some extent, Daley has been a victim of the increasingly difficult political circumstances Obama has had to confront this year. But he’s also been hampered, paradoxically, by his own inexperience, and particularly by the fact that he lacks the deep Capitol Hill connections of his predecessor, Rahm Emanuel."
Not that any more warning signs are needed, but Tina Daunt writes at the Hollywood Reporter that entertainment industry donors are getting anxious and frustrated, with Lawrence Bender expressing disappointment on Obama's recent decision to not enact new ozone rules and Norman Lear vowing not to give to the reelection campaign but instead invest in his own means of messaging. Neither one is planning to not vote for Obama.
The Sept. 26 fund-raisers Obama has planned in Hollywood will be telling. All of his events traditionally sell out, and there's expectation that these fetes will too. But as Daunt points and as I gather from talking to fundraisers, it is taking more cajoling to get the industry's donor class to pony up. That could be due to the fact that a big chunk of the industry already maxed out when Obama visited in April, meaning that there's less low hanging fruit, but there's also the matter of fatigue and unhappiness at a host of decisions made by the White House. One donor refused to give based on the ozone decision, but it's too soon to say if that is a trend.
So far, when it comes to inspiring enthusiasm among his base, Obama himself may have pointed out his biggest advantage in talking to donors last night.
"If you need some inspiration, watch the Republican presidential debates," he joked.
I Write the Songs: Ron Paul has few Hollywood supporters, but one he does have has a following as loyal as his own. Barry Manilow. (Daily Caller)
50 Cent Factor: Maybe it is time for panic if the rapper is still on the fence. (Politico).
Bachmann Invite: Harvey Weinstein, who is raising money for Obama, has invited Michele Bachmann to the Iowa premiere of "Butter." The film is a satire that features a Bachmann-like character whose husband is the butter scupting champion. We could take some math classes in the morning to help balance the budget, brush up on the Constitution in the afternoon, play some ping-pong, and then maybe some verbal ping-pong on gay rights and women’s rights (especially the right to choose),” said a statement from Weinstein. (Fox News).
Tonight: Michele Bachmann addresses the California Republican Party convention. Mitt Romney, who is in Northern California on a fund-raising swing, is skipping the event, perhaps a testament to how much campaigns believe that the state will not be competitive in 2012.