Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Video killed the politico star...

If only we still campaigned with cave drawings

Video killed the politico star...

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I’m beginning to think you don’t really know a candidate until you’ve seen him on Candid Camera.
First we have Barack Obama telling us “You didn’t build this,” and waxing eloquent about bridges, highways and all of the other sexy pieces of infrastructure that make our businesses into a success.  Yes, he implied, our blood sweat and tears had something to do with the profit margin.  But the greatest debt of gratitude was owed to US 1, the Golden Gate and the Holland Tunnel .  I know what he meant.  Every citizen has a stake in the economy.  But until a bridge learns how to make payroll, the President should change his material.
Then we have Mitt Romney ‘inelegantly’ talking about how 47% of Americans don’t pay taxes.  While the liberal spin-meisters tried their darnedest to make me think he hated poor people, I knew that he was basically making the point that people who don’t pay federal income taxes are generally insensitive to talk about lowering them.  Of course, his math was wrong. More to the point, his phrasing was awkward and left him open to the opportunistic attacks of the MSNBC and Media Matters crowds who make an art of distortion.  But why bother about accuracy, kids.  This is an election!
Then we have that relatively ancient audio of Barack Obama making sweet love to Karl Marx and telling a receptive audience that he believed in redistribution of wealth.  That little piece of agitprop was so old that it really shouldn’t have gained much traction, but it did offer an interesting window into the soul of our current leader.  He seems to believe in a market economy all right, except the items in his market are free for the taking while the 1% do the making.  A short-term social safety net is a good thing; a permanent trough is quite another.
After this little trip down Kremlin lane, we have Joe Biden and his own strange version of history, where minorities are still in shackles and the middle class has been buried on his own watch.  Yes, Delaware Joe told a stunned crowd that he and his boss were responsible for the premature death of at least half of the 99% over the past four years, forgetting that he and Obama were in charged during that golden age.  It goes without saying that Biden is a laughable figure, someone who drops “F” bombs at random and is afflicted with a case of what I like to call “lipslexia.”  But you have to wonder why the president doesn’t have him permanently ‘shackled’ in the basement of the Oval Office, at least until November 5.
Paul Ryan hasn’t been too bad on the campaign trail.  In fact, he’s been downright eloquent compared to the other three, and has made many conservatives wish that it were 2016 already and he were at the top of the ticket.  Of course there’s that pseudo-controversy that he ‘lied’ about a Wisconsin plant closing under Obama.  As it turns out, he was right, because the plant officially closed after Obama took office.  Perhaps it would have been better if he’d pointed to the fact that the closure began while Bush was still president.  But the way the liberal press spun this, Ryan was to honest as Lindsay Lohan was to sober.
The latest kerfuffle has to do with Obama on the campaign trail in 2007, when he was filmed complaining about the federal response to the various natural and unnatural disasters that had hit this country over the last decade.  He spoke in a rather lilting cadence about how the folks in Florida hadn’t had to wait for any assistance after Hurricane Andrew, and he wondered what the problem was with New Orleans getting the help it needed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  He didn’t actually come out and say the word “race” but the implication was quite clear:  white people get the help they need, but blacks need to beg.
The thing that really shocks about the video is the comment about New York and 9/11, where the president seems to be saying that there was an inordinate amount of attention paid to a city that had just suffered the worst domestic attack in the history of this nation.  To be fair, I think he was playing to his audience and doesn’t really feel that terrorized New Yorkers were given preferential treatment.  But the juxtaposition of his comments with the lamentations over what happened during Katrina give pause.
Then again, this video is five years old, and perhaps the president’s thinking has changed.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.  I’ll also cut Romney some slack, since it’s unlikely that a man who gives millions to charity wants 47% of his fellow citizens to starve.
As for Biden…he should hang with the middle class and stay buried.

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See Christine Flowers on Channel 6's "Inside Story" Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

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