WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Why President Obama's Teflon seems to be holding against G.O.P. attacks

Veteran political analyst Charlie Cook offers - I think - a cogent analysis as to why President Obama retains his job approval numbers in the face of the "scandal"-driven, G.O.P. attacks.

Basically, Cook argues it's not that the President and the Dems are necessarily so loved; it's that they come up smelling like roses compared to the Republican brand.

Doubtless, that prompted former Senate Majority Leader & former Republican Presidential nominee Bob Dole to say: "They ought to put a sign on the (Republican) National Committee doors that says 'Closed for repairs' until New Year's Day next year. And spend the time going over ideas and positive agendas." Said Dole, "I doubt" I could make it in today's G.O.P.

A key paragraph from Charlie Cook:

"Basically, Republicans are attacking Obama where he is least vulnerable and at a time when they have minimal credibility. It isn't working. By trying to turn everythhing into a scandal rather than saying Obama's policies are wrongheaded -- and rather than fixing their own image problems with minority, female, younger, and moderate voters -- Republicans are focusing on attacking a guy whose name will never again appear on a ballot."

Cook further argues the atmosphere today recalls the impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 -- the same irrational decisions that are "a natural by-product of representing districts that are custom-drawn, conservative cocoons, where everyone pretty much thinks the same. These districts aren't representative of the nation as a whole..."

Here's a link to Charlie Cook's analysis in NATIONAL JOURNAL (from the COOK REPORT):


Posted at 6:03am on May 28, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Tue, May 28, 2013 8:29am
The GOP (Grande Old Party) has become a joke...they just re-hired Karl Rove to work for them in upcoming 2014 elections.

The new generation Tea Party-types (Cruz, Paul and Rubio) are the ones who are not yet infected by Potomac Fever...

Tue, May 28, 2013 8:35am
Earl: C'mon, Dude. They show all the signs of infection. Look how they are positioning themselves for an election three-and-a-half years away.

Tue, May 28, 2013 8:52am
bill: for once I will have to agree with you...I typically associate Potomac Fever with a disease that (when first infected) numbs a person to DC corruption, next stage is forgetting why they are in DC in the first place and in the final stages of PF, they have lost their souls in order to hold on to all that power they have accumulated over their years in DC. The only way to prevent this disease is through term-limits, or voting out those who have been in office too long to remember why they are there...they are supposed to represent "we the people" who voted them into office.

Below is the actual definition (which does indeed support your interpretation)

Potomac Fever: the determination or fervor to share in the power and prestige of the U.S. government in Washington, D.C., especially by being appointed or elected to a government position.

Tue, May 28, 2013 10:12am
Clearly the tea party, religious right and the gaggle of right-wing bloggers and talk-show hosts live in their own little bubble. It's doubtful they see or hear anything from outside but even if they do, they don't believe it. Reality is suspended in their bubble. They hear only what they want to hear.

In cybernetics, any system operating only on positive feedback will oscillate out of control.

A few people, like the three Earl mentioned, are trying to re-connect with reality and we are already seeing the "true believers" turn on them.

Obama is hardly a "Teflon" (TM Dupont) president. Ronnie, Slick Willie, maybe Kennedy and FDR were. If someone is likeable enough, people want to forgive or disbelieve. Except for those addicted to the idea of a "historic" first African-American president, Obama isn't that likeable and despite being "articulate" (TM Biden), not that inspiring. He's just the lesser evil to a lot of people fed up with the whole bunch of them. No surprises in the current scandals; scandals in politics today are like fights in hockey.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, May 28, 2013 3:10pm
Billsmith and EarlGrey: good discussion, well said.

I especially like that last sentence of Billsmith's: "He's [Obama] just the lesser evil to a lot of people fed up with the whole bunch of them. No surprises in the current scandals; scandals in politics today are like fights in hockey."

Tue, May 28, 2013 7:42pm
Nope. It's actually liberals who live in their little bubble. The right-wing nut jobs like me are the adults who understand reality.

Tue, May 28, 2013 8:01pm
Ah, yes. Pizza is Exhibit A for what I posted.
Take your meds.

Tue, May 28, 2013 8:56pm
billsmith: You need to listen to Rush Limbaugh.

Tue, May 28, 2013 9:00pm
Allan: I find it quite disingenuous for Mr. Cook to refer to this as "GOP attacks". Crimes have clearly been committed here by Obama and members of his administration and the GOP is merely doing its Constitutionally mandated job of investigating these crimes.

Tue, May 28, 2013 10:06pm
It's starting to sound like Eric Holder may be about to be the latest person "thrown under the bus" by this administration...that will focus two scandals on Holder (IRS and AP) and take the heat off the president.
Now if they can just blame Hillary for Benghazi...once again Mr. Teflon will slide the responsibilty onto someone else.

The question that needs to be answered is what did Obama know and when did he know it.

Tue, May 28, 2013 10:27pm
It's starting to sound like Eric Holder may be the next person "thrown under the bus"...

Wed, May 29, 2013 1:48am
Actually Obama is the best president we will see in our lifetimes.. Teflon is a commodity, but it does not substitute well for brains and steel nerve.

Obama has shown leadership when the proper course was to build up in Afghanistan before drawing down and exiting. He has shown leadership in exacerbating the drone policy because it worked in flushing out Al Qaeda, despite political fallout here at home. He ran on increasing taxes. The first successful candidate to do so since Roosevelt. He won because everyday Americans know more than pundits. He established a National Health Care act, something Bill Clinton couldn't do. I hope all of you heard how exciting Californians are because Obamacare has actually made insurance cheaper for everyday Americans, by a lot.

But most of all, he rebuilt America from its second great depression. He did it so well, that we now call it the Great Recession. Roosevelt was the last who accomplished such.

I'm sure this is salt in Republicans wounds. But Americans who are working now, know. Republicans got us into the mess. Obama pulled us out.

I'm sure our resident Clinton mole will smear this as being a pro black endorsement. I tried to be careful not to include any "black" references to make my point...

But, now that the point is made and all detractors cannot do damage, I'll say this: if black presidents are all this good... like the NBA, I can see no reason to hire another white guy, unless for example, he has a three point killer shot... They simply can't compete with the best president ... in our lifetimes.

Wed, May 29, 2013 3:22am
kavips: If Obama is the best president in our lifetimes then that makes Hitler the greatest chancellor Germany every had in its history.

Wed, May 29, 2013 5:55am
kavips is taking affirmative action way too far. Kid glove treatment because he claims to be Black is one thing. "Greatest president in our lifetime" is nuts. Kavips has his own bubble.
Get some meds, Dude. Not the ones Pizza is supposed to take. They don't seem to be working.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, May 29, 2013 8:45am
Kavips: To be fair, Obama inherited a real mess, the Bush Jr years. Obama did manage to keep us from sliding into a Depression and it ended up being a major Recession instead. The recovery hasn't been as quick as any of us would have liked. Granted Obama's made many mistakes, but so do all of them.

So I give him credit for keeping the ship of state afloat and not going over the falls, this will be part of his legacy. Obviously Obamacare will be his other legacy. Like the plan or not it is a major achievement that DEMS have been trying to get since Truman.

I give Obama credit for trying to work with the GOP, and how he was smart enough to use a Republican plan for healthcare in order to get a healthcare plan, rather than trying to get the plan that DEMS would have preferred [single payer like Canada's plan]. He compromised and won.

So yes Obama has accomplished some things that DEMS should be happy with and proud of in spite of the GOP's major effort to marginalize Obama via Fox News and Right Wing Talk Radio, just as the GOP are not happy with those successes, it is what it is folks.

But Kavips, Obama is not an FDR, JFK, or Reagan. These men were real statesmen who had visions for this nation and who had true leadership abilities. I don't see that with Obama, sorry. So no his face should not go up on Mt. Rushmore. Had he been elected Prez a couple of elections later, say 2016 with him having served in Congress all that time, then maybe he'd have been more of that statesman with a vision and leadership skills that would have made him the 21'st century FDR and then could be argued that once FDR's face is on Mt. Rushmore than Obama's could be included.

Wed, May 29, 2013 9:00am
The Breitbart crew sum up well why this president is given such special treatment...like loyal cultists following their dear leader.


"Obama and his supporters refuse to be judged on normal criteria, such as the president's actual record in office. Though he is quick to claim credit on the rare occasion--such as the bin Laden raid--when things go right, President Obama typically adopts a prophetic distance from the office he holds that insulates him from criticism and allows him to attack the very Washington he leads, the very political games he plays.
The heresy of Fox News is not just that it criticizes the Obama administration or that it provides a platform for conservative opinion, but that it rejects the attempt to place Obama beyond politics and accountability. It refuses, in other words, to endorse the idea that Obama inhabits a unique category, beyond the obvious (and, for most governing purposes, meaningless) historic fact that he is the nation's first black president.
Democrats use race to defend Obama from criticism, but race is not what makes him special to the left. It is but one way in which he embodies an idea that existed long before him and will persist after he leaves office--namely, the Hegelian notion that the redistributionist state represents the fulfillment of history, that the noble intentions of the left make it morally superior, by default, regardless of their practical consequences."

Wed, May 29, 2013 9:08am
MikeFromDelaware: I'd compare him to Kennedy. Kennedy is idolized because he was assassinated, not for his accomplishment. Other than Obama not getting shot, there are parallels. Neither did much except run for office. Both were incapable of being effective with congress (Johnson got Kennedy's program passed after he died). Both talked well and told people what they wanted to hear. Both betrayed the people who supported them. Both talked liberal but were closet conservatives.
Reagan also spoke well and told people what they wanted to hear but he wasn't quite as inept a manager as Kennedy or Obama (or more accurately, he fronted for better managers). Reagan knew to hit his mark, know his lines and say his lines.

Wed, May 29, 2013 9:52am
I'll take you on. Every single answer to my statement by all of you is solely based on what? Your opinion. Each of you in your own way, say this can't be true because I don't think that way. Which points to the problem. It is you. What you haven't done, is any of you offer items on lists of how other president's have done more... and that is because you can't.

You can say "you are nuts" all you want, but that, when seen respective of what actually happened these past 5 years, to the unprejudiced observer, makes you nuts.

Everyone else sees that when you stack up accomplishments of each president we have so far lived with, Obama's tower is higher than anyones...

It has nothing to do with perceptions of progressives, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, Blacks or Whites.
It has everything to do with accomplishments....

If you are too lazy to do the comparison, then you are just too lazy to assess the reality.


Wed, May 29, 2013 11:12am
"Everyone else sees that when you stack up accomplishments of each president we have so far lived with, Obama's tower is higher than anyones..."-kavips

Tower...as in Babel?

Oh, I definitely agree this president has accomplished more than any other president during my lifetime...only problem is the reason why I am soooo against him. He has successfully transformed our country, just as he proclaimed he would...our values, our traditions, our "allies" and our government. No other previous president has accomplished such "change" and moved us so far "forward" towards his dreams from his father. So yes, this president has accomplished a towering number of feats.

Wed, May 29, 2013 11:14am
...only problem is that's the reason why I am soooo against him...

Wed, May 29, 2013 11:23am
kavips: You assessment of Obama's accomplishments are based on - what? - your opinion.
But you don't have opinions, do you? You speak THE TRUTH! You are the only unbiased observer, is that it?
You and the tea party people have so much in common: You both drink Kool-Aid.
And you both greatly over-estimate the difference between before Obama and after Obama.
Now, he's hit upon his winning formula: Got to funerals and show up at disaster sites and people will be impressed. He makes some speeches and he doesn't have to do anything else. He can plan his library and hire an agent. Write a book and go recycle his speeches for big bucks in speaking fees safe in the knowledge that Blacks and bleeding hearts will always see him through rose colored glasses.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, May 29, 2013 3:27pm
Kavips: I tried to offer you a reasonable view of Obama's time as Prez, you obviously don't agree, and that's your right. Its not a matter of taking you on or you taking all of us on to prove Barack aka Barry is the greatest thing since sliced bread. All of us are entitled to our views, so don't be offended that the rest of us don't see Obama as great of a Prez as either FDR or Reagan.

Its fine that you think Obama is the greatest Prez in YOUR lifetime. He isn't in mine. I'm probably older than you so I may have a larger selection to choose from than you.

Wed, May 29, 2013 6:43pm
billsmith: You're probably right about JFK being immortalized because he was murdered. That seems to happen with any iconic figure who dies young.

In my case, having watched numerous hours of documentaries about his presidency, I would grade him a C-plus or maybe a B-minus. Had he lived to be re-elected (assuming Goldwater still lost in '64), things could have ultimately gone either way. It would have depended a lot on how differently he handled Vietnam vs. LBJ.

In any case, I would consider JFK a much more honorable man than our current blunderer-in-chief, despite his tryst with Marylin Monroe and the sometime abusive way he treated his brother Bobby. At least he understood what being an American is really about.

Wed, May 29, 2013 7:00pm
When Kennedy got shot, congressional hearings were starting that could have gotten LBJ kicked off the ticket, maybe removed from office and possibly indicted. Oswald saved his ass.

I wonder what would have come out if Kennedy had faced the "second term curse." Of course, the media then was even more of a lap dog with Kennedy (because they liked the guy) than they are with Obama (because of his race). A lot of the dirt we now know was known then but the media didn't want to touch it.

And Kennedy was all about showing how tough he was. That would have driven him in Viet Nam, just like it did Johnson. It also might have forced Republicans to take an anti-war position.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, May 29, 2013 10:38pm
Mrpizza: you might enjoy Bill O'Reilly's book "Killing Kennedy". A great read. After reading this book, I understand why the DEMS didn't get upset about Clinton's sexual escapades, because Bubba was in the minor league's compared to JFK. Marilyn Monroe was a very small part of JFK's very active "love life". An interesting book.

Thu, May 30, 2013 2:04am
MFD: Thanks. I'll have to look into that.

Thu, May 30, 2013 3:38am
MikeFromDelaware: You will believe anything! Bill O'Reilly? Really? A vile, viscious right-wing talk show host and lackey of Murdoch and Ailes? Hardly objective. Definitely not a qualified historian. Probably didn't even write it himself. This guy does a radio show and a TV show every day plus public appearances and he has time to research and write books on the side? And when his books come out, the published fact-checkers have been scathing. But I suppose if you really started to examine and think about what you read, you see how full of holes scripture is.

You claim to be independent but all you read and listen to are right-wingers.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, May 30, 2013 8:49am
Billsmith: Not true. I listen to NPR, read NY Times articles, Wash Post articles, Huffington Post articles, read yours and Kavips stuff here [I wouldn't consider either of you to be conservatives], listen to Al Mascitti on WDEL. I don't listen to Jensen, Rush/Hannity/Beck; I don't watch Fox News, but yes, I've read both O'Reilly books about Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy [someone loaned them to me]. Both of those books had a lot of interesting info in them. Did you read them? Probably not, because O'Reilly's on Fox News. You are very biased in how you see the world, so check the log in your own eye before going after the splinter in mine.

Don't assume you know me, because you really don't.

Thu, May 30, 2013 4:29pm
MikeFromDelaware: I read/heard the reviews by the sources you mention, which found O'Reilly's books sloppily done and full of errors. If someone loaned me the books, I would look at them, but given the reviews and my general opinion of the quality O'Reilly's work, I would not go out of my way to get them.

I know you think I am a liberal. It seems you allow for only two options in thinking: Christian or atheist (I am neither). Conservative or liberal (neither of those either).

I do read and even admire some conservative writers (and dislike some liberal ones). I make my selections based on the quality of their work: How well they check facts and document their work. Whether they have the integrity not to tweak facts to justify their opinions. How well they write. So, I've read (and appreciated) William F. Buckley, George Will, Gary Wills (among others). But not an unprincipled demagogue like O'Reilly. On the progressive side, I like Thom Hartmann but not Stephanie Miller (except her comedy bits) or Ed Schultz. Same reasons.

Robert Caro has spent some 40 years working on his biographies of Lyndon Johnson. Curious how quickly O'Reilly can bat them out.

I think you see the reflection of your own log in me and others.

And you'll notice when I come down on some of your posts, it's not because I disagree (sometimes I do, sometimes I don't) but because your facts are dubious and your reasoning sloppy.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, May 30, 2013 11:33pm
Billsmith: What makes trying to have a conversation with you not as pleasant or as stimulating as it could be is your attitude that myself along with most others here, including Allan, are sloppy in their reasoning, research, use dubious facts, just don't get it, etc, etc.

Each of us has our own approach [based on time available to spend pursuing info for these conversations while living our actual real lives].

This blog of Allan's [at least for my puny brain] is the cyber version of the water cooler where folks come to discuss stuff, not be lectured that they aren't as smart as you or don't do their research to the level you think they should, etc, etc]. It's just a place where folks can have a simple discussion voicing their opinions and hearing others opinions as ideas and views get bounced around.

I can accept you don't agree with some conclusions I've come to [OK you don't agree with most of the conclusions I come to], but frankly I don't want to be told that my facts are shaky, my reasoning is unenlightened, or I'm sloppy in my thinking, etc. Just tell me what your views are and if you have clearer facts then share those. Realize that opinions are based on whatever facts a person was able to find on a given topic. So if you have better, more reliable, clearer facts, share them. If they convince me I have no problem of admitting I was wrong [have done that numerous times here].

I may not agree with your conclusions, but I don't have the need to say your view is full of crap as you seem to need to do to the rest of us here. Disagree is one thing, insulting or put down shots at folks is what I'm getting at here.

I'll debate the issue and when we both seem to be at a dead end where there really isn't anything else left to say I'll say the "we'll just have to agree to disagree" comment meaning, you [or whomever it is here] see it one way, I see it another and we just don't agree, but I respect you enough to leave it at that. I just wish you would give that same respect back.

Belittling someone, insulting their intelligence, or abilities, etc, etc, is not a way to get someone to seriously give your thoughts any serious consideration, which is a shame, because when not putting any of the rest of us down, you offer good stuff to consider which is why I continue to try to have discussions with you. You quite often give me something to consider, which I do, but you seem to resent it when you're arguments or what you probably consider as "teachable moments to us dolts" don't yield agreement from the rest of us, its almost like you take that personally, please don't. It's not personal.

So it gets down to a matter of respect for others. I don't agree with you or any of the others here all the time or disagree with anyone here all the time, but I respect each of you as an intelligent person and each of your rights to have your opinion and to express that view. All I'm asking is for the same respect for all of us here. This isn't supposed to be a blood sport, it's just supposed to be a friendly exchange of views and ideas.

One last thought, you may indeed be far better educated than anyone else here, you may be better read than anyone else here, you may have a higher IQ than anyone else here, I have no idea, but just for argument's sake, say all that is true [I probably have the least amount of formal education of anyone here so I'm not putting myself above anyone as being smarter, brighter, better read, better reasoning skills, etc, than anyone]. But if you are indeed all those things we just mentioned, then you're being unreasonable to expect folks who have far less education, are lesser read, have lower IQ's, poorer reasoning skills, etc, to always be able to see it as you do. In fact if your reasoning skills are so above the rest of us, then you should rejoice on those times when we all "get it", because you may be talking way over all of our collective heads, or maybe just mine.

Fri, May 31, 2013 6:58am
MikeFromDelaware: I am not here to persuade you or anyone else. I am here because silence implies a consent (a principle in common law) and I will not keep silent any more in the face of people from the tea party, the religious right, other hate groups or people who appoint themselves as experts when they clearly don't know what the !@#$ they are talking about.

You present yourself as an expert, and as a professional talk-show host, when you have not done your homework, and you have not thought things through to form an opinion. So, yes, you are sloppy in your reasoning, research, use dubious facts, just don't get it... Most distressing of all, you don't think of any that matters.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 31, 2013 8:07am
Billsmith: I did a one-hour talk show back a number of years ago on WILM, on Saturday nights. I put in 10 hours of prep time in researching both sides or more if there were more than two sides of an issue, so that I could present a balanced approach to a topic and base my opinions on what I had learned. Unlike others I knew who simply grabbed a newspaper just before air time and picked a story and rambled on about whatever it said, because I wanted to do the best quality job I was capable of doing. Hopefully my listeners appreciated it [based on comments made on air to me and off air after the show folks would call in, I'd have to say they did like my show]. So when it's called for, I can and will put the hours into preparing to discuss something. I do the same when I prepare a sermon [I do a United Methodist-style worship service for the residents of a nursing home once a month - been doing that for the past 4+ years].

I'm sorry I don't have the time to do that sort of exhaustive study for our discussions here as I did for my old radio-talk show or for the sermons I now do at a nursing home. So knowing this, maybe it's better you simply ignore my posts here which will never meet your exacting standards. That should help lower your stress and frustration, because you can rant all you want about it, I'm not willing to put any further effort into our discussions here [it's just not that important to me - again cyber water cooler], so it is what its going to be. Be at Peace.

Fri, May 31, 2013 10:50am
BS: Give up. You are wasting your time on MFD and the rest of this bunch. They are hopeless.

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