Even Dana Milbank Offended By Obama's Permanent Campaign
I’m not troubled by President Obama’s slow jam with Jimmy Fallon, who dubbed the commander in chief “preezy” during Obama’s appearance on late-night TV. No, preezy is making me queasy because his nonstop campaigning is looking, well, sleazy — and his ad suggesting that Mitt Romney wouldn’t have killed Osama bin Laden is just the beginning of it.
In a political culture that long ago surrendered to the permanent campaign, Obama has managed to take things to a whole new level. According to statistics compiled for a book to be published this summer, the president has already set a record for total first-term fundraisers — 191 — and that’s only through March 6. Measured in terms of events that benefit his reelection bid, Obama’s total (inflated in part by relaxed fundraising rules) exceeds the combined total of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.
It’s not just the gatherings officially categorized as campaign events. To a greater extent than his predecessors, Obama has used the trappings of his office to promote his reelection prospects even while handling taxpayer-funded business.
According to the same book, “The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign,” by Naval Academy political scientist Brendan Doherty, Obama was the first commander in chief in at least 32 years to visit all of the presidential battleground states during his first year in office. He has kept that pace, devoting nearly half of his travel to 15 swing states that account for just over a third of the population.