The Bear is loose! No, Andrew Sullivan isn’t meandering around after having had too much to drink. The Bear is loose is the message the White House has asked reporters to convey about President Obama’s recent photo-ops where he meets supposedly normal people on the streets and in the restaurants of the U.S. of A. Here’s a recent Politico story:
The bear was on the loose on Tuesday evening — this time in Colorado.
President Barack Obama greeted supporters on a walk following dinner in downtown Denver, a night that resulted in shaking hands with a man in a horse mask, and shooting pool and drinking beers during a chance encounter with Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Shortly after landing in the Rocky Mountain State, the president dined at the Wazee Supper Club in downtown Denver with five people who had written him letters. “I’m so glad you’re here,” the president told his dinner companions, according to a White House pool report.
After dinner, Obama — who has begun to venture out in Washington, D.C., and interact with more average Americans — decided to walk down Denver’s 15th Street and talk to members of the crowd. Obama spent about 10 minutes speaking with people, according to the pool report, including an interaction with one crowd member wearing a horse head.
The president handed out “high fives, fist bumps,” as he put it, to many of his supporters there.
There are multiple problems with this.
- For one thing, whether you unabashedly enjoy this president or shake your head in embarrassment at his domestic and foreign policy, “bear” is not the animal that comes to mind when thinking of him.
- Then there’s that weird way the media go along with whatever the White House asks. “You want us to say ‘The Bear is loose?’ Sure, guys, right on it! Anything you ask, sirs!”
- But more than anything, it’s that the President is not, in fact, meeting normal or average Americans. For the most part, he’s meeting people who wrote him letters, who then happen to match up with what some public relations and elections firm has determined is a much needed demographic. Apart from that, he’s meeting people who can stomach waiting on sidewalks to see him, or who are boozing or smoking it up in bars. Typical American, it is not.
I actually think it would be a good idea for the president to meet real Americans, but that is not what he’s doing. Not that, you know, Mr. Horsehead isn’t an accurate representative of Colorado. I’m a native of that glorious state. He is. But in general, it would be good for the president to meet someone who belongs to that sector of the population that doesn’t, well, hang on his every word. Look at these data points:
Survey: Fewer than 1 in 5 better off because of Obamacare; many more worse off. http://t.co/XvNQ0cujAX
— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 23, 2014
Obama job disapproval 55% in new CNN poll. Last time below 50% was May 2013. http://t.co/QVnsaiyL5J
— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 23, 2014
If Obama is really dining with “real people,” most of them should not approve of job he’s doing, right? He should be getting an earful, right?
I’m not talking about meeting up with the more unhinged commenters at right-wing sites — just an average American who disapproves of the job President Obama is doing. Just someone who might be able to break through the D.C. elite/media echo chamber that is wrongly reinforcing all of Obama’s worst communication and governing instincts. Just someone who can be, like, “Dude. What the hell?”
Or maybe we should have someone who expressed management concerns in this recent poll:
A 58-percent majority says the White House has not been competent at managing the federal government. Some 32 percent of Democrats join 67 percent of independents and 84 percent of Republicans in holding that view.
Last week, President Obama met with a bunch of super-fancy, big-time Democratic donors as well as a single mother fan of his who is struggling to get by. Let’s arrange meetings with the following additional people:
- A woman who lost her health insurance, after assurances that it would never happen and that such claims were falsehoods.
- A middle-age man who lost his job and has ended up dropping out of the labor force.
- An employee who had his health insurance premiums shoot up — way up.
- A soldier who bravely fought in Iraq and is sad about the legacy in that country.
- Someone who cares about religious liberty more than, say, the Planned Parenthood activists surrounding the Democratic political team.
We need less of the bear (the bear? Who came up with this?) prowling around with big money donors and perfect props and more of the bear listening to the concerns of that large contingent of Americans who are disappointed with how he’s doing his job.