Spinsanity: As Obama 2012 campaign gears up, JFK comparisons begin (again)

The New York Observer observed the architect of the Obama 2008 election victory and “man behind the man” David Axelrod give a speech today on Obama’s first two years in office at ‘Reverend’ Al Sharpton’s NAN gathering, and in the interview we got a sneak peek at what’s to come in the next few years as Team Obama prepares to go all out in order to try to get their man re-elected to the WH (bolded emphasis added by me):

As David Axelrod puts it, he got his start in politics when a family friend took him to see John F. Kennedy speak near his home at Stuy Town in Manhattan.

“I can’t remember what he said that day. I was five years old,” Axelrod said. “But through the wonders of Google, someone sent me the speech that he made that day.”

Axelrod, who recently left the White House to work on Obama’s re-election campaign, was the first of nearly half a dozen Obama aides to address the National Action Network audience, this morning alone. (HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Lisa Jackson of the EPA were all slated to speak, in addition to Obama himself.)

“And what [President Kennedy] said was, ‘I’m not running on the platform that says if you elect me, things will be easy,'” said Axelrod, with NAN founder Al Sharpton sitting as his side. Kennedy told the group: “I don’t come here to please you, I come here to serve you. Not to please you, but to serve you.”

“Believe me, I’ve been thinking a lot about that a lot over the last couple of years,” Axelrod told the audience. “We did a lot more serving than pleasing because of the challenges that we face.”

Rescuing the economy from a “free fall” was chief among them, he said.

“If you were planning your presidency, the first three things you would do, would not be a nearly trillion-dollar recovery act, bailing out the auto industry, bailing out the financial sector. That was not in our campaign plan. That was not in our campaign plan.”

“Each of these decisions were as necessary as they were unpopular,” said Axelrod. But making it more challenging was the fact that “we had to do it virtually all alone.”

Oh, for crying out loud! Number one, the economy has in no way been “rescued.” And number two, “do it virtually all alone”? That’s an interesting assertion, considering Axe was Obama’s chief advisor during the two years that Democrats controlled both the House and Senate. And thirdly, doesn’t the arrogance of Axelrod trying to insinuate that Obama is like a modern day version of JFK? At least we can be thankful that he didn’t mention Lincoln … or let’s hope he didn’t, anyway (I’ve not read the full speech).

The self-centered equation of Democrat “leaders” – including Presidents – to JFK is not a new one. As we all know, Bill Clinton was frequently likened to JFK during his 8 years in the WH, and he lapped it up. Senator John Kerry, along with his supporters, took to using his initials – which also happen to be “JFK” – during the course of his campaign for POTUS in 2004 in order to drum up in people’s minds the memory of JFK, who is a hero in elite Democrat circles. Why do they do this? you might ask. It’s a way for them to not so subtly imply that they’re just as “great” as JFK supposedly was … without actually saying the words. That would appear way too egotistical, so instead of outright saying it, their handlers and other devotees make the comparisons, and before you know it, a myth is formed. We saw this in 2007 and 2008 with the Obama/Lincoln comparisons, from the start of Obama’s campaign run, all the way through his inauguration – and beyond.

It’s one thing to, as many prominent Republican politicos do, embrace the essence of what made conservative icons like President Reagan so great – but not essentially proclaiming yourself to be the next Reagan. You can love Reagan, but still be your own man or woman. It’s another thing to do what liberal politicos so frequently do, and that’s assume the mantle of iconic figures from their side of the aisle who have long since passed on, all in the purely political need to be not just associated via similar philosophical beliefs with greatness, but to be assumed to be “as great as.” Having to pretend to be the modern-day likeness of a well-known and respected political figure from days gone by in order to win over the hearts and minds of voters is a strong indicator of someone who is severely lacking in a strong identity of their own. An empty suit of sorts.

Case in point.

Cartoon courtesy of Michael Ramirez.
Cartoon courtesy of Michael Ramirez.

Cartoon source.

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