Watch for this. The president is looking like a fool with the media right now, but I'm telling you, it just might be his trick play. As Ed Morrissey at Hot Air points out today, the president has seemingly alienated his entire right flank - the press corps - with the insulting notion that People Magazine is every bit as important as they are.
So what will the White House press corps think of Stephanie Cutter’s observation that the RPatz and Aniston beats are “equally important” to their work of covering the leader of the free world? Think that will assuage their concern over getting ignored for the last few months? Er …
But really, is it all that foolish? What does the president gain by alienating them (assuming it isn't a faux alienation to begin with)? The president ran quite successfully as an outsider in 2008. With no such "us against the machine" argument to make to the angry masses this time, he's got to find another argument. Or, he's got to make himself an outsider once again. I've mentioned this in the past somewhere, but I don't recall the specific post.
He's been in power - he is the machine. How do you change that? Blame Republican obstructionism. But the president has been trying that for two years and it hasn't done much other than keeping him treading water, roughly speaking. So Plan B may have become Plan C. The establishment against Obama meme can only be carried forward if he throws the liberal media establishment under the bus and has them turn on him. You want to see an underdog? Imagine Obama facing off against both the GOP and the Inside the Beltway media. There's an underdog narrative that is easy to manufacture, and if you are trying to win back disillusioned youth voters, and Occupy Wall Street protesters with a high level of enthusiasm, then you have to be a true outsider. "Forget about Guantanamo still being open - clearly I'm a good guy because all of Washington hates me. You really need to help me make all that change I promised in 2008 happen before 2016."
And if the meme doesn't stick, what has he lost, other than a couple of weeks? Do you really think the media will stay angry at him? They are also well positioned to disagree with the president up to the point of that crucial endorsement day when they will 'begrudgingly' endorse him because despite all of his flaws, he's still great. Faux alienation.
It's not a great plan, but have they ever had a great plan?