Guest Post: Is Obama 2012 Desperate?: A Breakdown of Messina's Insulting Email

Posted on June 25, 2012 by


I get a lot of emails from Barack Obama’s campaign. The reason for this is because I sent an email during Obama’s 2008 election bid, asking him some question about policy. I naively expected an actual response. Well, the response I got was the privilege of receiving emails from the President and his staffers. And I will continue receiving them, it seems, forever.

I received one such email yesterday from Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager. The email was hilariously rude and out of touch with American sensibilities, but it also conveyed a desperation from Obama and his campaign. Either that, or the campaigners are so arrogant, they think pandering to their supporters will convince them that their opinions are valued.

Let’s begin by taking the email in small bites. Lord knows it’s unappetizing enough, but here we go.

Ben —

I’ve written you quite a few emails. Today, I want to hear from you.

Okay okay stop stop stop.

Right off the bat, Messina adopts a confrontational, rude tone. Yes, it’s true he’s sent me a lot of emails and yes, it’s true I haven’t responded (and can you honestly blame me?) but the truth is, he really has no idea who I am. If he did, he’d realize that I’m an outspoken Conservative, and that I flat out don’t like him. So the simple act of him sending me this email is both an illustration of the campaign’s ignorance, and also a gift to me, since I get to have a laugh at their expense every week or so.

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that Jim Messina has no idea who most of his “grassroots campaigners” even are. It’s astroturfing at it’s finest. Just insert a %FirstName at the beginning of the email, and suddenly it’s all personalized and buddy-buddy. “He’s talking to me!” the gaggle of loyal Obama supporters swoon. Nope, he’s auto-inserted your name. Congratulations, you’re in a database. A heartfelt, sympathetic database within the grassroots machinery.

But anyways, Jim Messina is chastising me about my lack of involvement with the campaign. Let’s continue.

Because at 19 weeks out, every decision we make today is more important for this election than the decisions we made yesterday. From staffing plans to on-the-ground organizing strategies, these decisions will only get more important from here.

You’re someone who’s let us know at some point that you stand behind this president, and you have a stake in how we grow the most effective grassroots army possible between now and November. So we want to hear it straight from you: What’s working? How can we inspire more people to join us? And how’s this election shaping up from your perspective?

Please take a minute to answer a couple questions here.

First off, I fondly remember the day I let them know I stand behind this president. It was a cold day in hell, March 2008, and Barack and I were watching the pigs flying over the bay…

Ahem, moving on.

The term “grassroots army” is a little self-indulgent, don’t you think? Jim Messina appears to have a romanticized picture of the “grassroots movement” he’s orchestrating, completely oblivious to the incompatibility of a grassroots movement and a top-down organized political campaign. It’s almost like his staffers have scotch-taped a picture of a huge throng of volunteers onto the end of Messina’s telescope, so every time he surveys his grand Grassroots Army he sees something reminiscent of the Third Crusade, instead of a handful of Harvard Marxists, thirteen screeching Code Pink badgers, and one smelly anarchist peeing on a parked car.

More like the Children’s Crusade of 1212.

What’s working? How can we inspire more people to join us? And how’s this election shaping up from your perspective?

Now this could be one of two things: It’s either Messina trying to convince their supporters that they actually have a voice in the campaign, or it’s Messina desperately trying to figure out why their campaign isn’t working. I believe that it’s the latter. Just look at the tone; it’s almost pleading, especially the part where he needs “more people to join” them. If anyone wants to see how well their campaign is going, just look to Twitter and watch real-time as Conservatives hijack Obama’s feeble hashtags… again and again and again. Third time is apparently not a charm when it comes to Obama 2012.

I honestly believe Obama’s campaign thought that he would be a shoe in. This stalwart resistance from informed, tech-savvy Conservatives just doesn’t fit their narrative. We have caught them completely off guard, and this email is them reaching out and trying to connect again with American sensibilities. Unfortunately for them, nobody with American sensibilities supports Barack Obama anymore. The “campaign” is basically a wandering herd of blinking, confused people.

What you tell us is going to help shape our strategy to inspire other supporters to help grow this campaign. You’ll help determine the very best way we can communicate the President’s accomplishments to the rest of the country.

I’m asking you because supporters like you have driven this campaign from the very beginning. The President has counted on you to get us here, and how we move forward from now until November 6th is up to you.

Okay, here we get to the big head-scratch moment. Messina is asking the people on their obviously hand-picked and intimately close email list to help shape their strategy. But… doesn’t the Obama Campaign PAY people to do this for them? Are they really in such dire straits that their own supposedly brilliant brain trust can’t figure out why they aren’t winning the hearts and minds of the American people? Messina, despite what you’d expect from the Campaign Manager of such a truth-fudger like Barack Obama, is a really bad fibber. The guy even makes the mistake of justifying himself. Messina knows that this smells like fish and his pathetic justification doesn’t allay fears, it calls attention to the problem. His motivations burst through the text at every line.

The President has counted on you to get us here, and how we move forward from now until November 6th is up to you.

So yeah, it looks like the paid staffers are too busy running around with their heads cut off in panic to actually run the campaign anymore. I visualize the Obama 2012 Campaign Headquarters looks like the Titanic ballroom on that fateful night. Water is rushing in through the rafters, but Jim Messina and his orchestra of clowns and community organizers just keep on playing. And now, they want their supporters to climb on board.

Well, Messina, I hope you at least plan on paying them.

So here’s your opportunity to weigh in and let us know what you think:

Looking forward to hearing from you,



Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Despite how desperate the Obama Campaign looks, my Conservative friends, don’t assume this election to be an easy win. There are very powerful people standing behind these buffoons, and for all we know this ham-handed, bureaucratic excuse for a grassroots movement could be orchestrated to catch us with our guard down. Never underestimate the power of the Dark Side.

This election needs to be a shellacking. There can be no room for error. Let’s give it our all, stand together, and sink Messina’s grassroots battleship into the sea of political history. They won’t rewrite this one.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

[5440 note: This article was submitted by Ben Nanke, son of regular contributor Denise Nanke]

Posted in: National, Opinion, Satire