After months of President Obama’s running of a slanderous, vitriolic campaign in which he and his surrogates, displaying the most outward signs of desperation, have accused Mitt Romney of being an abuser of animals, a felonious tax-evader on par with Obama’s own Treasury Secretary, and a carcinogen who gives cancer to and kills the wives of working men, and in which Romney’s wife has been mocked for having her horse in the Olympics, it is refreshing to be able to report that Obama has finally decided to take things seriously.
“Do you want me to save Big Bird?” he asked a crowd in Cleveland two days after being handily defeated in the first debate between him and Romney.
It was in that debate that Romney, in what is surely to be one of the most fondly remembered debate moments in one of the most fondly remembered debates in American political history, said directly to the moderator, Jim Lehrer, who works for PBS, that he wants to cut off federal funding to that station. Romney’s point was that, despite his personal affection for Big Bird and Jim Lehrer, a country that is serious about reducing the deficit cannot afford such frivolities as PBS. That PBS only received $570 million, or about 12 percent, of its funding from taxpayers in 2010 is not the point: the point is that when you only have $100 to your name, you cannot spend even one penny on something that is not an absolute necessity.
In every single campaign speech since last Wednesday’s debate, President Obama has talked about Big Bird. He has not talked about his administration’s cover-up over the Benghazi attacks in Libya (or even talked about Libya at all); he has not talked about the looming tax hike in January; he has simply been responding to Mitt Romney’s debate points, something which most would agree should have been done during the debate and not days afterwards when Mitt Romney cannot contradict him or defend himself. This is not a serious man. He speaks about Romney’s desire to cut funding from PBS as if that is Romney’s only method of reducing the deficit. Romney has detailed his other plans, but those other, more serious methods do not provide good fodder for the non-thinking people in Obama’s crowds.
Another point the President has been making is that Romney wants to let big bankers and Wall Street profiteers go unpunished (or something). “Mitt Romney wants to let Wall Street run wild again,” Obama keeps saying, “but he wants to bring the hammer down on Sesame Street.” It is a line that gets a great reaction from the crowd, who apparently all love to watch children’s television.
So satisfied with himself over finally finding a consistently working theme for his campaign, Obama, yesterday morning, released an ad that more or less turned his recent campaign speeches about Big Bird into a 30-second TV spot. (If you donate to Obama, just know that this is what he will be spending your money on.)
The obsession with fuzzy puppets that has come to define the Obama campaign was such an embarrassment for Sesame Street, that the production company who owns the program demanded the ad be taken down and never shown again, dear God, never again.
Mitt Romney summed it all up very nicely: “These are tough times, with real serious issues. So you have to scratch your head when the President spends the last week talking about Big Bird.”