Boehnerizing the Election

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Josh Marshall watched the president’s stump speech this morning and says:

Obama rolls out fully Boehnerized new stump speech. Did I mention Boehner?

I caught a few minutes of the speech and had sort of a split reaction on several occasions. Initial reaction: Ooh, he’s about to really gut punch Republicans. Fun! 20 seconds later: Ooh, he kinda pulled back a bit at the last second. Too bad.

But still, it was clearly a more partisan speech than he usually gives, and, as Josh says, it was also notable for his frequent mentions of John Boehner. Which suggests something interesting: was this just because Boehner is a local boy who happened to have given a speech in Cleveland a few weeks before? Or is this part of a broader strategy to nationalize the election around Boehner’s neck? I don’t think this would change the course of the election or anything, but if it’s the latter I’ll bet it’s a good idea. Boehner is well tanned and has a great TV voice, but he comes across (to me, anyway) as robotic and evasive, sort of a junior grade Mitt Romney. If Democrats put Boehner front and center (“Do you trust this man to be Speaker of the House?”) it might damage the Republican brand a bit. He’s not their best spokesman.

Just a thought. I doubt this is in the cards, but given the de facto parliamentarization1 of our political system, making sure the public knows who the opposition leader is might be better politics than in the past. Especially if it’s a guy like Boehner.

1That’s not a word, is it? But it should be! It means that the United States is slowly becoming more like a parliamentary system in practice but without any of the machinery that makes a parliamentary system work.

UPDATE: Speaking of Boehner, John Sides points out that Public Policy Polling decided to poll Boehner’s tan the other day. Funny!

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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