Obama To Continue His Backyard Campaign Stops

At least he isn’t wearing the mom jeans

President Obama is trying to reconnect with the American people, and he is using that most American of settings, the backyard, to do it.

Actually, because of his policies, the most American of settings nowadays seems to be the unemployment line. Anyhow

Mr. Obama emerged from the back door of Paul and Frances Brayshaw’s tidy white brick house here on Wednesday and trotted down some steps onto their patio under a bright noonday sun with a hearty “Hey, everybody! Hello, hello, hello! Good to see you.” About two dozen guests awaited him in lawn chairs for what was supposed to be a casual conversation on health care and, more broadly, the American economy.

These backyard campaign stops simply highlight how divorced from voter concerns Obama actually is. He’s been using these to push his boondogle of an outsourced health care plan, and only mentioning the parts that are popular with the American People. If he really had any cajones, he’d visit the backyard of a Republican voter, and take their questions.

It was Mr. Obama’s third such “backyard conversation” in recent weeks, and there are more in store. Another three backyard drop-ins are planned for next week, when Mr. Obama travels to New Mexico, Wisconsin and Iowa, and there will be more throughout the campaign season – part of what his aides describe as a concerted push to get him out of the White House to mingle with everyday Americans and hear their concerns.

You can bet after the “tired of defending you” comment by Velma Hart, the White House will vet every single question well ahead of time. That said, have you seen Obama at these campaign stops? As usual, he comes off as arrogant, overbearing, and long winded. He just doesn’t connect.

But as Wednesday’s event made clear, little of what Mr. Obama does is truly unscripted.

Thursday marks six months since the signing of his landmark health bill, and is the day many of its most popular provisions go into effect. Half the guests were neighbors of the Brayshaws; the other half – who, along with the president, did all the talking – were handpicked by the administration and came from around the country to share exactly the kind of stories the White House wants to tell, personal tales of how the bill had improved their lives.

Shocker.

From a presidential image-making perspective, the backyard visits are kind of like Ray’s Hell Burger trips without the food. The idea is to put the president in settings where he can have “an intimate conversation,” said Dan Pfeiffer, his communications director, “with middle-class Americans about how the economy is affecting their everyday lives.”

Yet, Obama looks uncomfortable in these setting. He doesn’t converse: he lectures. He doesn’t know about the pain of the average American, as he himself lives high on the hog. You can’t just drop a guy always ready for the opera into a honky tonk. Bush 43 could pull this off, as could Clinton. Dubya really was an average guy, comfortable in these settings, despite being rich. Clinton was more than comfortable getting down and dirty, talking to people, hanging with them, hitting on the….well, he could feel their pain, and make it seem real. Obama? Not so much. Unless the backyard is in the Hamptons, North Beverly Hills, or Bel Air.

BTW, who is paying for these little campaign jaunts?

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