“So I’m going to make a long speech in there. But I had to come to the folks who didn’t get a seat. Because this is a group right here that is truly enthusiastic,” Obama said to much applause from the excited overflow crowd, which POOL reported “included more than a few shrieking women and girls.”
President Obama campaigned for gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown in Maryland Sunday afternoon to a sold out crowd of 8,000, according to the Upper Marlboro Fire Marshall. This meant there were folks waiting in the Wise High School overflow room/gym, so POTUS was kind enough to stop in there and address them before the rally.
“Crowd shrieked again as POTUS wrapped up and made his way to the rope line,” Pool reported as Obama got ready to speak to a sold out crowd of 8,000 at Wise High School. So, many excited fans. Much love. People shouted “I love you!” at POTUS.
Here’s where all of the love of a sold out rally got turned into a failure by the mainstream press. As President began his speech for Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, who is running on the Democratic ticket for Governor, folks seated in the front row near where the journalists were sitting (the event was open press) headed for the exit as soon as they got their photos of the President. The White House Pooler accurately noted, “… some in the crowd started leaving as soon as Obama started speaking and by the time he was about 10 minutes in, there was a traffic jam next to the pool’s tables as folks tried to exit the gym.”
Politico White House reporter Jennifer Epstein elaborated by tweeting a photo (looks like one man leaving is even wearing an Obama t-shirt, so probably not a hater):
They got their iPhone photos, now they’re streaming out: the 2014 Obama campaign rally story pic.twitter.com/gCbq6G7mjr
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) October 19, 2014
This set off a string excitement among main stream journalists (Jeff Mason, the Reuters White House Correspondent, Zeke Miller a political Reporter for TIME, and Gabriel Debenedetti, a national political correspondent for Reuters for starters), with Reuters’ Debenedetti declaring it as “a story of 2014.”
Reuters being what it is, I cautioned myself that it might not be safe to assume this was dry commentary on the ridiculous state of our media setting their own stories and narratives and then confirming them within their bubble. (Remember the “Glitch” that ended the Obama Presidency and Obamacare? Yeah? Not so much.)
Cut to: Jeff Mason’s article on The Story of 2014 is already up on Reuters and trending on Yahoo.
And it’s enough to make you weep for this poor, unloved President and his loser party:
President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.
With approval levels hovering around record lows, Obama has spent most of his campaign-related efforts this year raising money for struggling Democrats, who risk losing control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm election.
Most candidates from his party have been wary of appearing with him during their election races because of his sagging popularity.
By “most candidates”, he means red state candidates. He should let us know when Republicans are this close to winning in blue state territory and they are campaigning with Bush. Oh, wait, Bush wasn’t even allowed near the RNC in 2008.
Is the term “struggling Democrats” really apt in a midterm that historically favors the opposition party and in which Republicans are gerrymandered in the House and have access to seemingly unlimited dark money — and yet, is not looking anything like the GOP wave we’ve been promised, with Senate races that the GOP thought they had wrapped up tightening.
Also, Senate Democrats have outraised the Republicans. But so struggling.
Let us know when Republicans are “struggling”, or do we need to keep lowering the bar for them so that picking up a few seats in a historically advantaged midterm is going to be sold as “struggling Democrats”.
At any rate, anyone passing by might have gotten the idea that this is the beltway narrative, so you may soon be reading this as the Huge Obama Fail representative of his entire
Year of Fail Six Years of Fail Life of Fail. That certainly would fit in with the media’s continued belief in the Obama voters abandoning their President in 2012 (talk about failing).
Yes, it was odd (because see update, it was folks from the overflow room who weren’t allowed to stay who were leaving), but it wasn’t a narrative about Obama, unless you willfully disregard the shrieking and the sold out rally and the overflow necessity.
Jennifer Epstein surmised after the event:
Think it was probably trying to avoid bad traffic that the crowds streaming out of PG County Obama-Brown rally. Still, highly unusual.
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) October 19, 2014
And this alleged avoidance of a traffic jam caused by all of the people who wanted to see POTUS will now be used to confirm the belief that Obama is a failure with his own base. They fled, I tell you! FLED. It’s The Story Some Want to Tell, but it’s not the accurate story or the whole story. The White House pooler told the accurate story – this happened. It is odd. But it is not a story that tells the story of 2014. Also, the rally was sold out. Update 1 11:00 PM: It turns out the folks who left early were in the overflow room, so actually this was a big Obama success. Oh, Reuters. Your Obama hate is showing.
Ah: here’s why folks left Obama-Brown rally early, from Md Dems: MT: @LewisYv They were in the overflow roomwhere he spoke 1st. That is why
— Erin Cox (@ErinatTheSun) October 20, 2014
Update 2 11:09 PM: Josh Lederman , writing for the AP, brought some straight talk to his coverage because it’s true—Maryland is Obama country and as he points out, the county went for Obama 9 out of 10 voters, so that’s another big black mark in the attempt to turn a few people walking out into A Story Of The Year of Obama Fail:
Support for Obama still runs high in Democratic-leaning Maryland — and especially in Prince George’s County, a heavily African-American corner of the state and Brown’s home base. Roughly 9 in 10 voters in the county backed Obama in 2008. Just next to the high school where Obama held his rally sits Barack Obama Elementary School.
Oh, yeah. That’s some hate Reuters. Well done.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.