Obama is president because there are a lot of really stupid voters out there. If I were in Obama’s position running for president, I certainly wouldn’t want anybody interviewing my supporters. I would fear a “Man on the Street” type interview that Sean Hannity does on his radio show, where he would ask people “on the street” about simple things regarding our government and then ask who they voted for and why. Invariably, the ones who voted for Obama or some other democrat were the most clueless.
This “clueless Obama supporter” phenomenon wasn’t made any more clear than on the Howard Stern Show during the last presidential election. The interviewer had cleverly interchanged the political positions of Obama and McCain and attributed McCain’s positions to Obama. So, he would ask Obama supporters what they liked more about Obama, the fact that he was “pro-life” or the fact that he wants to keep fighting the war in Iraq. These poor souls didn’t get it. They said they liked that he wanted to keep fighting the Iraq war (even though he campaigned on ending the war), and others said that they liked that he was “pro-life” (even though everyone else knew that he was pro-abortion).
The interviewer went so far as to ask whether they liked it that Obama chose Sarah Palin as his VP. They still didn’t get it. They said it was a good choice.
Obama and his campaign must know how clueless their supporters are. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be barring journalists from interviewing them at campaign events. One such event was in a Pennsylvania high school gym. Dave Davies is a journalist who was covering the event and wanted to interview some of the attendees. He was told by a campaign aide that he couldn’t leave the “media pen” inside the gym. So, he asked if he could go outside. He was told that he could go and come back in, but he couldn’t talk to anybody outside in line.
The stated reason was “security and crowd control concerns.” That’s a phrase for “we don’t want anyone knowing how brainless our supporters are” that I’ve never heard before. He went outside and found a line of people waiting to get in the event. He wanted to try to sneak in an interview there. Here’s an exchange recalled by Davies:
I was speaking to a very enthusiastic Obama supporter named Corinne Dieterle, when I was interrupted by a young man wearing a campaign staff tag telling me I couldn’t be doing this.
This is outside, in front of a public high school.
“You can’t be doing this in line,” he said.
“Why is that?” I asked.
No answer. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I can’t do what in line?”
“You can’t be interviewing people in line,” he said.
I asked him repeatedly who he was and why interviews were banned.
Those inquiries were met with silence. At one point he grabbed my microphone, and released it when I asked him to.
Davies found a couple approaching the line, but who were not yet in line. He tried to interview them, but a different campaign aide came and stopped the interview, refusing to identify himself. As one last ditch effort, he returned to the media pen inside the gym and tried to interview a previous interviewee across the rope of the pen. Another aide came and informed him that that was not allowed.
Even the Obama supporter that he was trying to interview thought these tactics were “un-American.” The Pennsylvania press secretary for the Obama campaign declined an interview from Davies but left him with this doublespeak: “We encourage reporters to talk to our supporters at events.”
Apparently, just not supporters who are actually in the rally itself. Or supporters in line waiting to get in the rally. Or supporters in the vicinity of the line waiting to get in the rally. But other than that, they do encourage interviewing supporters. It may not feel like encouragement, but it is.