Friday, November 27, 2009

BACK ON THE CHAIN GANG. Peggy Noonan, newly filled with a sense of purpose, tells us that people don't like Obama anymore. That is, the polls indicate a lot of them do, but the people who matter don't. Among these: columnists, and people Peggy Noonan meets in unspecified "bipartisan crowds":
As I read Ms. Drew's piece, I was reminded of something I began noticing a few months ago in bipartisan crowds. I would ask Democrats how they thought the president was doing. In the past they would extol, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, his virtues. Increasingly, they would preface their answer with, "Well, I was for Hillary."
It's amazing Clinton didn't win the Democratic nomination, with so much vital bipartisan support.
This in turn reminded me of a surprising thing I observe among loyal Democrats in informal settings and conversations: No one loves Barack Obama. Half the American people say they support him, and Democrats are still with him. But there were Bill Clinton supporters who really loved him. George W. Bush had people who loved him. A lot of people loved Jack Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. But no one seems to love Mr. Obama now; they're not dazzled and head over heels. That's gone away. He himself seems a fairly chilly customer; perhaps in turn he inspires chilly support. But presidents need that rock --bottom 20% who, no matter what's happening -- war, unemployment -- adore their guy, have complete faith in him, and insist that you love him, too.
Her model for such people might be Peggy Noonan, who once said things like "Mr. McCain is the Old America, of course; Mr. Obama the New." Remember those days? In any case it would explain her certainty in this analysis.

But Obama does have such people, despite the fact that Noonan is no longer among them. Even the Rasmussen polls favored by wingers show far more than 20 percent, in his alleged hour of darkness, strongly approve of Obama's performance. Maybe she figured someone might look this up, because she makes this move:
Obama probably has a hard 20 too, but whatever is keeping them close, it doesn't seem to be love.
What might it be, then? Personal threats if they don't answer polls the right way? It may not be "love" as Noonan experiences it for politicians, but given how loopy she can be her ardor, that only speaks well of the Obama diehards' psychological health.

When numbers fail her, Noonan retreats to memes. "The Obama bowing pictures," she asserts, "are becoming iconic, and they would not be if they weren't playing off a growing perception." She compares Obama's bows with Gerald Ford's lack of physical grace, which was also parodied on Saturday Night Live. We'll see if SNL is still working them in 2012, but Noonan is convinced they are deathless, probably because they were seized upon by conservatives who obsess on them to this day.

Noonan, not having been offered a bipartisan sinecure by the Administration despite her service, is back to reading the rightwing tea leaves and portraying them as the wisdom of the people. So, though her long years in the journalistic trenches must have shown her that some political schtick is evanescent, now that she is stuck playing the conservative on Sunday morning shows she is milking every anti-Obama talking point as if the udders were full of benedictine. You will recall she also counseled that the only thing that could save Obama from the Nobel Peace Prize was to reject it as rudely as possible; this he was disinclined to do, and now nobody gives a shit.

So Noonan grabs the Next Blog Thing. Off the pages of history and back to ordinary political cycles, she is condemned to worry each outrage du jour as if it were Watergate to infinity.

She's still offering advice to her late espoused saint, though: Lose the health care bill. "He can't afford to win with such a poor piece of legislation." That must go over big with the boys in the green room, especially among those who take morbid pleasure in the thought that she may have once imagined herself, like Bob Gates and Dana Perino, standing behind a lectern that bore the Presidential Seal.

No comments:

Post a Comment