During has talk about “November 6th: What to Expect” given at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Wednesday Morning Club on October 25th, Pat Caddell demonstrated his gift for political punditry as well as his disgust at what he believes is superficial and biased reporting on the part of the mainstream media. Caddell was a life-long Democrat who worked for 5 Democratic presidential candidates. His electioneering expertise was believed to have been essential in securing Jimmy Carter’s victory in 1976. A grateful Carter awarded Caddell with a good deal of influence in his White House, but not enough of it to protect him from a humiliating defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980. Unfortunately for Barack Obama, Caddell is of the opinion that, like Jimmy Carter, our 44th president will be denied a second term.
Since retiring from political advocacy, Caddell has served as a consultant to various films and television shows, written for various publications, including The Wall Street Journal, and he appears regularly on television as a Fox News contributor.
Noting that it is impossible for Obama to run on his record, Caddell observed that the position of the Democrats seems to be that people should vote for Obama because of what Clinton did when he was president. He also said that there are three teams in this race: the Obama team, the Romney team and the media team. The media, said Caddell, will try to block Romney every chance they get and he said that inexplicably the Republicans won’t challenge the media. In late September, he contended, the Romney campaign was slipping badly but the first debate changed the course and had a dramatic effect by showing people that Romney was not the ogre he had been portrayed as by Team Obama. Still, Caddell said, the Republicans have failed to frame the national debate. States being run by Republican governors are doing well and that is the message the Republicans should be telling. The huge electoral gains in November of 2010 were due to the fierce opposition to Obamacare and, so far, the Republicans have failed to build on that. He lamented that Romney didn’t start to tell his own story early enough.
Caddell said that it’s a mistake for either party to think that there is only an election in seven states. Moving numbers in swing states is a hard slog. Hardly a penny has been spent in Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania but Obama has spent $60 million in Ohio on negative advertisements. He knows Ohio hates Obamacare. President Bush lost Ohio by a narrow margin in 2004 and Romney has almost closed the gap there this time. Obama, he said, is running scared in Pennsylvania.
Obama’s strategic failure, asserted Caddell, is thinking that all he needs to do is to discredit Romney. Obama has offered no rationale to vote for him, while the Republicans are wasting their time calling Obama a socialist. Instead they should be attacking Obama’s record and scandals under his watch, said Caddell.
Caddell’s greatest scorn was reserved for the media. Discussing Benghazi, he said the press has been in the tank on this in a way he had never seen. He was appalled, he said frustratedly. The White House and the secretary of state are willing, apparently, to cover up and lie for the cheap prospect of getting reelected. The worst thing about the scandal, Caddell contended, is that the very people who are supposed to protect the American people with the truth – the mainstream media – have become a fundamental threat to American democracy and the enemies of the American people. These people have no honor, he went on to say, and “cover up is too nice of a word” for them.
Somewhere on Pat Caddell’s journey he has moved from the left of American politics towards the center, a position from which he surveys the American political landscape with a critical but objective eye. Along the way, it is evident that Caddell has engaged in rigorous introspection, and he is no longer prepared to pay the price of self-delusion. In a nostalgic chamber of his mind one can glimpse a sentimental attachment to the likes of earlier Democrats who were patriots and not prisoners of the poisoned political correctness which has done much to polarize the political landscape over the last several decades.
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