Anyone who stays up on current events knows the term “news cycle,” but it’s a misnomer. It’s more like a tidal wave, rolling towards the beach, the crest getting higher and higher, and journalists jumping on board like so many surfers. Many of President Obama’s detractors have often decried the press for its favorable treatment of him, but since the end of the government shutdown the seas have gotten mighty choppy.
First there were the software glitches in the healthcare site. Then came the revelation that Obama administration misled the American people about the nature of (at least) individual insurance plans under the healthcare law. Now, with the pending release of Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heileman, the President apparently broke yet another campaign promise. The Huffington Post reports after reading an advance copy of the book that President Obama attended a fundraising event for his allied Super PAC "less than a month before the 2012 election, despite a campaign pledge to stay away from such functions….”
President Obama was a vocal critic of the Supreme Court decision that equated money (specifically money donated to a political action committee) with free speech, thus opening the floodgates for corporate money to even further entrench itself in the American political process. Still, the Obama campaign promised that neither the President, the Vice President, nor their families would directly associate with their super PAC, Priorities USA. Yet, the new book on the 2012 campaign says that both President Obama and former President Clinton attended an event at Jeffrey Katzenberg’s home where he solicited donations for Priorities USA.
The White House has also doubled down on the earlier story that the event was a “thank you” for “maxed-out” donors to the campaign, but did not deny that there was a fundraising element to the event. Had the President’s reelection campaign not established one of these super PACs, he would have been crushed under the weight of the money from the dozens of Republican super PACs were going to be throwing at him.
In actuality, this is one of this revelations we should have all seen coming. The rules stipulate that campaigns are to have no direct contact with their super PACs—something so laughable, Supreme Court justices themselves probably have a hard time saying it and keeping a straight face. This story, while not particularly damning, just adds height to the already rising elevation of this current negative coverage wave for President Obama. Yet, like all waves it will eventually crash into the shore and recede back into the ocean as if it was never there. Surfers don’t discriminate, they will ride any wave that comes their way. All eyes are on the horizon, hungrily awaiting the next freak wave no matter who is caught in the undertow.