My producer, Hairy-Scary Uncle Larry, and I packed up our radio broadcast equipment and trucked off to the Clemente Center on the Florida Tech campus in Melbourne, FL to cover an Obama campaign rally live for AM 1300 WMEL – and what a day it was.
AM 1300 WMEL (1300wmel.com) was the only local radio station with live coverage.
My Second Observation: The first problem covering an Obama campaign rally is that, as my readers and radio show listeners know, I am a red-meat conservative and my job Sunday was to be an objective reporter versus an editorialist. That was tough but all after action reports seem to indicate I pulled it off. I really don’t know what in the hell is wrong with the national – mainstream – media guys that they cannot do it.
It was tough interviewing Obama supporters and trying to ask legitimate questions to elicit news worthy information to report on the radio without calling them idiots, morons or sycophants. There were a couple of times I had to hold back laughter while interviewing Obama supporters.
One young lady told me that she was more concerned with “fairness” than absolutely anything else.
(Pictured left: Steve Bussey at the Obama Rally in Melbourne, FL)
My Third Observation: My press pass for the Obama rally says “White House Press Pool” and “Property of U.S. Government.” Why? Why doesn’t it say property of Obama/Biden 2012? I don’t know if this has been the case when other presidents have run for reelection or not, but it might be something I need to check into.
I understand that Obama is the sitting president and will use Air Force 1 to fly to campaign events and the Secret Service will provide protection. I have no problem with that. But since this was a campaign event and not a White House event, shouldn’t my press pass have been issued by the campaign and not the White House?
Don’t get me wrong; for a local AM radio reporter it’s cool as hell to have a “White House Press Pass” as a souvenir.
My Forth Observation: My producer and I covered a Mitt Romney campaign rally during the GOP primary and now we’ve covered an Obama rally and there is cause for concern.
Most people who attend a campaign rally are committed voters, the loyal base, Party activists, etc. as opposed to undecided voters seeking information to help them make up their minds. So the goal of the candidate at a campaign rally is to inspire the activists – rally the troops in order to get people to knock on doors, man the phone banks, donate money and convince friends, family and coworkers to support the candidate.
Obama wildly succeeds in that effort while Romney falls flat.
Mitt Romney does not connect with his audience on a personal level at campaign rallies and inspire them to action – at least he didn’t earlier this year at his event in Brevard County during the GOP primary. The knock against Romney has always been that he is too stilted, plastic, handled and doesn’t connect with or stir the passions of his audience.
President Obama, on the other hand, knows exactly how to work an audience. As my producer said after the event Sunday, “that man is the consummate community organizer,” and that’s probably the best description.
(Steve Bussey Radio Experience Producer, Hairy-Scary Uncle Larry, on the media/camera risers filming President Obama in Melbourne, FL last Sunday)
Obama was jovial, relaxed, comfortable and quick witted. He connected with his audience in ways rarely seen at a political campaign event.
Every single word Obama said may have been a lie, a little bending of the truth, hyperbole or he could have even been speaking Greek and none of that would have mattered. His shirt collar was open, sleeves rolled up; he was light on his feet and used perfect voice inflection.
Don’t get me wrong; I understand what a sad commentary that is on Obama supporters and the American voter but a politician’s job, if you will, is to get elected and reelected. Romney cannot fix a single thing ailing America unless he wins in November.
My Fifth Observation: President Obama spoke in lofty generalizations with few specifics and ignored the results of his own actions and policies. He gave plenty of sound bites for the media to fact check but few, if any, will do that.
For example, the president said America is importing less foreign oil now than at any time in the past two decades. What he didn’t mention was that oil consumption in America is at about a fifteen year low and gas prices at historic highs – and rising.
His implication was that his energy policies have led to more energy independence when the truth is that drilling permits are down on federal lands and up on private lands.
The president spoke about “green energy” but didn’t speak about rising utility prices, coal mines shutting down and miners being laid off or tax dollars wasted on failed experiments such as Solyndra.
The president hit his usual collectivist campaign themes of “the rich paying their fair share,” fairness, shared prosperity but did not define fairness or even state the legal basis for the federal government being the final arbiter of fairness.
The president spoke about an “ambitious new direction for NASA” without mentioning his broken 2008 campaign promise. His administration cancelled NASA’s Constellation Program costing the Space Coast thousands of jobs contrary to his campaign promise.
The president touted raising miles per gallon standards for cars without mentioning what that will do to the cost and safety of cars.
Getting back to the evil “rich” paying their fair share, Obama talked about raising taxes on the rich for deficit reduction but earlier in his speech he talked about raising those taxes to pay for programs for the poor and the middle class. The president cannot have it both ways but nobody in his audience seemed to pick up on the contradiction.
My Sixth Observation: President Obama is a dangerous man. He can tell an audience the sky is red, there really is a man on the Moon, the oceans are purple, up is down, down is up, right is wrong, wrong is right and the people at his campaign event will cheer and scream.
He knows exactly what buttons to push, how to push them and does not hesitate to use “his powers,” truth, law and reason be damned.