Patterico's Pontifications


Robert Gibbs: Hijacker or Hypocrite?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 3:58 pm

[Posted by Karl]

I leave the obvious punchline for you, so I can get to this report from the Daily Caller’s Chris Moody:

The White House plans to continue attacking groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other conservative organizations for not disclosing the names of donors behind political ads. But during the 2004 Democratic primary campaign, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was involved with a political advocacy group that refused to reveal its own donors until the law required it.


Under campaign finance law, the Chamber is not required to release the names of its donors. When pressed by reporters as to why groups not mandated by law should disclose their donors, Gibbs said they should do it in “the spirit of political disclosure.”

During the 2003-2004 presidential primary season, however, Gibbs worked as the spokesman for a liberal advocacy group that ran attack ads against then-Democratic candidate Howard Dean. The “secretive” group, called Americans for Jobs, Health Care & Progressive Values, spent months organizing scathing ads without disclosing who was paying for them.

Gibbsy’s pals are best remembered as the sweethearts who savaged Dean as someone who could not stand up to Osama bin Laden.

As Moody recounts, the ad was widely credited with crippling Dean’s campaign. If Barack Obama thinks these types of ads are “really hijacking our democracy,” what must he think of his current flack?

Obama almost certainly does not care about about the hypocrisy of putting Gibbs out there like a modern-day Capt. Renault. He cares much more about having something to discuss other than the dismal economy and his unpopular legislative record. And he cares about having yet more boogeymen to blame for his failures (even after the midterms). However, those boogeymen are about as mythical as the one used to scare kids, as The Hotline’s Josh Kraushaar explains:

Democrats have portrayed the influx of GOP outside money into the political process as sinister, raising the unsubstantiated specter of foreign influence into the political process. But money chases momentum — not the other way around. There’s a simple reason for all of the cash flooding against Democrats this year — voters are sending a clear message to Washington with their pocketbooks.

Money doesn’t get raised in a vacuum. If the political environment weren’t as poor as it is for Democrats, and if the House and Senate weren’t in play, there wouldn’t be as much interest in donating to outside groups like American Crossroads. In 2008, outside organizations with high-profile GOP connections such as Freedom’s Watch were unable to raise enough money to have an impact.

That’s all changed, thanks to the Obama administration’s aggressive first-term agenda, which has expanded the scope of government and alienated a large swath of the electorate, according to national polling. Wall Street, which closely split its donations between Republicans and Democrats in 2008, has now doled out most of its cash to Republican groups and candidates, out of concern about the administration’s regulatory policies. The Chamber of Commerce initially backed Obama on the stimulus. But now, outraged over White House policies on health care and climate change — and what it views as the administration’s anti-business rhetoric — the Chamber is focusing its efforts primarily on electing Republicans.

And while Republicans and their allies are winning support from the well-heeled, the untold story is the GOP’s small-donor base — not all that different from the one that allowed Obama to set fundraising records in his 2008 presidential campaign.

Obama compounded the Democrats’ woes in other ways. In 2008, the Obama campaign actively discouraged independent expenditures from liberal groups, because Obama wanted control over the campaign’s message. Pres. Obama and his claque, by demonizing Supreme Court decisions upholding free speech, further discouraged lefties from getting into the indie spending game this year. But it is the lousy economy and the Democrats’ unpopular agenda that best explain why shadowy leftist billionaire George Soros doesn’t want to be “standing in the way of an avalanche” this year.


34 Responses to “Robert Gibbs: Hijacker or Hypocrite?”

  1. Perhaps fittingly as Obama’s press flack, Robert Gibbs seems to have only a fleeting association with the truth and none at all scruples nor shame.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  2. I think the proper term for gibbs is simply: whore.

    Oh, except apparently that is a really, really bad word to say.

    i generally pay little attention to what the President’s spokesmodels say anyway. really, they say something good, bad, damning or not, don’t care.

    Aaron "Haiku" Worthing (f97997)

  3. Karl, you left out “Blithering Moron” from the choices. If you’ve heard the audio from the press briefing where he was challenged on this, he’s clearly running a serious IQ deficit.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  4. Well, Gibbs speaks for the President I assume. Not himself or his past employers.

    So to me, all guns should be on POTUS for his hypocrisy on fund raising.

    javert (0a0c11)

  5. Everytime I listen to Gibbs, my IQ drops a few points!
    Luckily, it recovers listening to the Excellence In Broadcasting network, and the man behind the Golden Microphone.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8b4d8f)

  6. Fibbsie (and that’s not a typo) makes Baghad Bob look good as a press spokesperson. Fibbsie needs to be introduced to the truth, since he rarely spends any time with it.

    Mike Myers (0e06a9)

  7. Gibbs would not know the truth if it crawled out his weinerhole and smacked him in the face.

    JD (9adaac)

  8. Maybe it should be Glibb since he doesn’t seem to have a love for the facts.

    Addiction Analyst (9a596e)

  9. Irony is defined as the Obama Adminsitration whining about the Chamber of Commerce took a relative pittance from foreign firms openly while the Obama 2008 campaign took a fortune of illegal campaign contributions from foreign nationals and terrorist groups like Hamas while refusing to discuss nor disclose the details. Make Gibbs in charge of the DNC; he’s a perfect embarrassment.

    Bugg (4e0dda)

  10. I expect that Congressman Issa will have some fun with the 2008 Obama campaign in the next year or two.

    The attacks on Rove and the Crossroads funds have been very effective. The fund has been deluged with money. Ditto Congresswoman Bachman, another lefty target.

    Obama has developed a reverse Minas effect. He attacks someone and their fund raising takes off.

    Mike K (568408)

  11. Throw $13 million in the Third Quarter to Sharon Angle. Supposedly 94% of that sum came in donations of $100 or less. Assuming that every one of those donations was exactly $100, that means that about 120,000 people hated Harry Reid enough to give $100 to a somewhat ditzy lady in Nevada who’s running against him. Cut that average contribution to just $50 or so, and we’re talking about a quarter of a million donors against Harry Reid.

    Mike Myers (0e06a9)

  12. “Obama has developed a reverse Midas effect.”

    How long before lefties start thinking Obama, Gibbs, and friends are some kind of Rove Manchurian plot?

    It’s like their recent decision to end the moratorium on oil-drilling, combined with a slow permitting process. Lefties are mad about it. Righties are mad about it. The economy is stunted by it. No upside whatsoever. Simplest explanation is poor leadership, but enough of these dumb calls and the simplest explanation is that he’s trying to ruin his own political party (which obviously is silly).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  13. I’m looking forward to lots of hearings, Mike K.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  14. “the untold story is the GOP’s small-donor base — not all that different from the one that allowed Obama to set fundraising records in his 2008 presidential campaign.”

    Karl – Am I mistaken, or was not the real story of Obama’s small fund raising base a myth?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  15. DRJ:

    With all due respect, and you know I respect you, I’m not really concerned with hearings.

    A new Congress has a tremendous job in dismantling a huge, multifaceted bureaucracy intent on assuring the destruction of liberty through policy, judicial fiat and regulation.

    If the Tea Party and the American people are successful, the first job is to restore the right of the people to determine their fate, rather than the East Coast elite, the unions and the blathering media.

    If that job is done, then hearings may, and should, ensue.

    Ag80 (743fd1)

  16. It will be fun to see Obama try to spin a Republican avalanche as a result of a flood of foreign money and anonymous donations hijacking the election rather than a referendum on his Administration and Democrat policies.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  17. Scapegoats-R-Us

    daleyrocks (940075)

  18. Ag80,

    There should be enough people to do more than one thing at a time, but it seems to me that:

    1. Only so much can be dismantled while Obama is still President. Everything he’s accomplished through the executive branch will still be operational, but hearings are needed to make sure there is oversight in those areas.

    2. Legislative oversight is also appropriate to make sure the veil is lifted on how Democrats handled things when they were in charge. I suspect we don’t know half of what went on the past 4-6 years, but I certainly want to know.

    3. Further, hearings may help curtail ongoing abuses. For instance, hearings on the Justice Department’s decisions in the New Black Panther case could send a strong message to the Voting Rights Section and the DOJ as a whole.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  19. DRJ:

    There are indeed plenty of people in Congress to do more than a few things, although evidence seems to indicate they are only able to do two: increase government and raise taxes.

    Nonetheless, your points are well-taken and I certainly they come to fruition.

    Ag80 (743fd1)

  20. … evidence seems to indicate they are only able to do two: increase government and raise taxes.

    So true!

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  21. Ag80 – One nice part is that they will no longer be able to get away with that slowing the growth BS. At least, I hope not.

    JD (eb1dfe)

  22. I mean I “certainly hope that they come to fruition. Sorry for the word drop.

    Ag80 (743fd1)

  23. The attacks on Rove and the Crossroads funds have been very effective. The fund has been deluged with money. Ditto Congresswoman Bachman, another lefty target.

    Obama has developed a reverse Minas effect. He attacks someone and their fund raising takes off.

    As well as when he attacks Bush and the “Bush years” and the more Americans long for them. John Fund reports on a new CNN poll,

    “Voters still believe Mr. Obama is a better president than Mr. Bush was, but by only 47% to 45%. That’s down from a whopping 23-point margin last year. “Democrats would be wise to think twice before bringing up the name of President Bush on the campaign trail this fall,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.”

    The president doesn’t appear to grasp unintended consequences.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  24. I think the Democrats need to run ads warning that the Republicans will return us to the days of Ronald Reagan. Only slightly more tone-deaf than their current stuff.

    Kevin M (298030)

  25. Any suggestion by scurillous Rethuglikkkans that the saintly Obama White House wants those names so it can intimidate and persecute pro-busines donors … well, that’s just crazy talk!

    Mike G in Corvallis (fd5fcd)

  26. Gibbs is a crappy spokesman that looks like he failed an audition to host Cheaters. But if he leaves and Bill Burton takes over, Gibbs will seem like Winston Churchill.

    Burton is a combination of Gibbs and Rahm. He doesn’t tell the truth and he’ll argue with you as long as it takes to convince you. We may look back on the days when Obama’s spokesman is just a weasly slimeball instead of a bombastic bully.

    MU789 (24cb61)

  27. He’s much more in the Sgt. Schultz mold, ‘I know nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing,” but he says it with confidence

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  28. Somebody mentioned Burton above. He is just like Gibbs, but more aggressive and more smarmy.

    JD (eb1dfe)

  29. Has Obama and Gibbs ever heard of George Soros. Talk about foreign money!

    Viator (c5da79)

  30. at risk of feeding the troll…
    #4 is out of line, Moby

    quasimodo (4af144)

  31. btw, the bigger hypocrisy is this.

    guess who once ran for office in campaigns directly funded by corporations. i don’t mean that the employees of those companies gave to him. i mean the corporation did, itself, right into his treasury.

    barrack obama. that is legal in illinois state races so that is what he did.

    need i say more?

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  32. Or who turned off the security filters for credit card donations during the last presidential campaign, after lying about promising to take public funding.

    JD (eb1dfe)

  33. Gibbs is a whinny little bitch, just like his boss.

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  34. Non-lawyer Brad Friedman calls decision of Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission in Ann Coulter voter registration complaint “fatally flawed.” They didn’t pay attention to the irrelevant evidence we provided, whined Friedman.

    daleyrocks (940075)

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