Saturday, May 22, 2021

Obama a 'parasite' who sucked the Democratic Party dry to get re-elected and believed that he would have beaten Trump, new book claims

 Barack Obama was a 'parasite' on the Democrat party who sucked it dry for his reelection and left it saddled with debt, a new book claims.

The former President used the party structure as a 'host' for his 2012 campaign for a second term then treated it like a 'husk' to be discarded with $2.4million in debt.

Obama's aloof demeanor and professorial detachment masked the reality that he was full of 'self-assured self-regard.'

He oversaw the 'pilfering of talent, money, resources, and purpose' away from the Democratic National Committee to his own reelection team.

After eight years under Obama, the Democrats suffered a net loss of 947 state legislative seats, 63 House seats, 11 senators, and 13 governors - but Obama refused to take the blame.

In Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats' Campaigns to Defeat Trump, Edward-Isaac Dovere argues that Obama was guilty of 'negligence' with his own party.

In a scathing portrait, Dovere, a journalist with The Atlantic, claims that Obama was so arrogant he believed that if he could have run in 2016 for a third term he could have beaten Trump.



Obama's ego was on full display on the golf course and he bragged that his Tweet sent after the Charlottesville far right rally in 2017 was liked more than anything Tweeted by Donald Trump.

'Battle for the Soul', which is out on Tuesday, explains in forensic detail the 2020 Democrat Presidential race which led to Joe Biden being chosen as the party's candidate before beating Trump.

But the passages on Obama and the shadow he cast over the Democrats are among the sharpest and amount to a blunt rebuke from Dovere, a former chief Washington correspondent for Politico.

He writes that Obama's hubris peaked in 2015 when the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, his signature healthcare law, and ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states to grant same-sex marriages.

Dovere writes: 'In hindsight it's hard not to see delusion in the self-assurance and the celebration and the sense of moving forward of those two weeks in America.

'That period, Obama's 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, said then, was an 'exclamation point on already historic and satisfying paragraphs'.

In actual fact, despite his 'beatification among Democrats', Obama 'inadvertently helped usher in what followed him', meaning Trump.

Dovere says that reason is that Obama's aides have tried to explain his lack of engagement with his own party as 'benign neglect'.

The truth is more like 'negligence' and the numbers of House, Senate and gubernatorial seats that Obama lost on his watch are 'hard to ignore'.

Dovere writes: 'Obama never built a Democratic bench and never cared to, aside from a few scattered candidates who interested him.

'Defenders like to argue that Obama's approach to governing was a reflection of his unwillingness to taint his presidency by mucking about in fundraising.

'Or because he didn't want to spoil the image that many 2008 voters had had of him as an independent-minded politician who could appeal to independents. Or that if faced with the choice between campaigning and governing, he was always going to opt for governing.

'They admit now those were excuses'.

After Obama's reelection campaign in 2012 the DNC was left with $2.4m in debt, a huge sum for the organization.

It would take three years for Obama to negotiate a deal whereby he would help to pay it down, far longer than other Presidents have taken to resolve such matters.

In 2009 Obama hired his friend Tim Kaine as chair of the DNC, even though he was the governor of Virginia for the first year of the job.

Dovere says that Kaine was 'commuting two days a week to oversee the pilfering of talent, money, resources, and purpose for the Obama reelection effort that was already under way'.

In his most stinging passage, Dovere writes: 'Obama used the party structure as a host for his campaign. In his second term, he cared about what happened to the husk as much as any parasite does'.

Obama 'takes no blame for the deterioration of the DNC infrastructure' because he raised more money than anyone in its history, Dovere says.

As Obama rationalized it to himself, he left America more prepared for a pandemic than any other country with a strong economy.

Dovere writes: 'Ultimately Obama's math comes down to a simple calculation: he has suggested in conversations with people close to him that he thinks he would have won had he been able to be a candidate in 2016.

'The economy, the Democratic debris, Russia - if he could have run for a third term, even confronted with all these issues, he believes, he would have figured out how to pull a victory off anyway.

'If you asked him: 'Would he have beaten Trump?' I don't think he thinks it would be close. So for him to take fault', a friend of his said, 'that doesn't hold water with him'.

Another instance of Obama's ego was when it came to social media.

In the summer of 2017 Obama was 'bragging on the golf course' about his Tweet in the wake of the Charlottesville far right rally which showed him meeting with children of all races, accompanied by a Nelson Mandela quote.

Obama claimed publicly that he 'didn't really get Twitter' but it was his idea to send the Tweet, he chose the quote and chose the photo.

Dovere writes: 'He loved that he had outperformed any of Trump's tweets, outperformed every other tweet, while worrying that this was the world he had now chosen to inhabit too'.

By the time of Trump's inauguration, Obama found himself dealing with a 'deeper anger' than he had expected.

He had spent eight years thinking that 'no one was more attuned to race and racism in America' than him.

He had believed that America was 'better than this'.

As Ben Rhodes, one of Obama's top aides, recalled: 'He had to pretend like he didn't notice in the same way that Jackie Robinson had to pretend that he wasn't being heckled.

'Trump made him reconsider all of that'.

Trump's Presidency forced Obama back into the political arena whereas in reality he wanted to relax, work on his memoir and wind down.

He wasn't about to 'feel guilty' about hanging out on the private island in the Caribbean owned by Virgin founder Richard Branson, where he was pictured kitesurfing and looking relaxed.

Nor would Obama be embarrassed about blowing $12million on a 15-bedroom compound in Martha's Vineyard.

Dovere writes: 'He felt that he'd put in his time, and now he was entitled to ring up pricey speaking fees like all former presidents did, plus the cost of his private jet travel.

'Aides were on guard for anything that might make his brand less commercially marketable or might spoil, for example, the Netflix production deal the Obamas signed in 2018. He gave clear instructions that he wanted the Clinton Global Initiative to be a lesson in what not to do in aligning the money making with the foundation work and thus running up massive and mind bending foreign entanglements along the way'.

Bill Clinton's former aide Doug Band reached out offering to help advise Obama but he was 'politely declined, then laughed about.' 

Obama did have some regrets and during a meeting with major Democrat donors in Beverly Hills he said that the Republicans had the right idea with 'brutal pragmatism' that focused on down ballot seats at state and local level.

He said: 'People were so focused on me and what was happening at the White House and the battles we were having - particularly after we lost the House, that folks stopped paying attention up and down the ballot.

'Christina Aguilera was wonderful, but you don't need to have an amazing singer at every event. Sometimes you're just in a church basement making phone calls and eating cold pizza'.

According to Dovere, Obama was dubious about the prospect of Biden, who was his Vice President for eight years, running for the Presidency in the 2016 election.

The untimely death of Biden's son Beau knocked the wind out of him, but not before he anguished over the decision.

Dovere writes: 'Obama, for his part, went from assuring his aides not to worry, that his vice president was just working out his grief at his son's death by entertaining the fantasy of running for president, to becoming worried that Biden was actually getting lost in his fantasy'.

In the summer of 2015 Obama told his aides to give Biden 'space' to grieve.

But by September he was 'ordering them to go and meet with Biden to jolt some sense into him, to stop him from getting himself hurt and embarrassing Obama as he did so'.

David Plouffe, one of Obama's inner circle, told Biden: 'Mr Vice President, you've had a great career, you've been such an asset to this administration - and we love you.

'Do you really want it to end in a hotel room in Des Moines, coming in third to Bernie Sanders?'

After Biden decided to run in the 2020 election, Obama couldn't stop himself from being 'nervous'.

Dovere writes that Obama knew Biden's closest advisers and he 'didn't think much of them'.

'Battle for the Soul' says: 'He worried that they might have pushed him to run because they wanted one last shot at the big time before retirement, that they had no sense of the current state of politics or the party anymore, and they couldn't protect him when he didn't either.

'I'm rusty,' Obama would say. 'God knows how rusty Joe is'.

Even when Biden was chosen as the Democrat's Presidential candidate Obama was still anxious and 'wasn't sure' about the decision the party had made.

Obama saw Biden as the 'compromise candidate' but he 'wasn't exactly inspiring'.

Dovere summarizes Obama's thinking as: 'The chariot could turn back into a pumpkin at any point'.

He writes: 'His (Biden's) campaign was in the same terrible shape as when he hadn't had any delegates. He had barely raised any money, and Trump was flush. Biden's online presence was terrible. The pandemic was starting, no one knew what to do, and Sanders was pushing ahead.

'He's like a rowboat with seven holes in it,' a top Democratic operative said as he clinched the nomination, 'but we've all just got to hold on tight and hope he gets across the ocean'.

In extracts already made public, Dovere reveals that Obama called Trump a 'madman,' a 'racist, sexist pig,' 'that f***ing lunatic' and a 'corrupt motherf***er.'

In one passage Dovere writes that Obama would say of Trump's one term: I didn't think it would be this bad'.

Other times he called him 'that f***ing lunatic' with a shake of his head.

Obama's most intense reaction - his calling of Trump 'that corrupt motherf***er' - came after he had learned that Trump was holding phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin without aides on the line.

Dovere also claimed that Biden's wife Jill told supporters that Kamala Harris could 'go f**k' herself after the June 2019 Democratic primary debate where the then-candidate attacked Biden for supporting racist policies during his Senate career.



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