Was Breitbart’s Last Video A Flop?


There was a lot of build-up around the release by the Breitbart media network of video showing President Barack Obama in an embrace with radical professor Derek Bell, perhaps because of the tragic and untimely death of Andrew Breitbart himself, but now that the video is public it doesn’t seem to be having much of an impact.

I posted yesterday that “I haven’t written about the Derek Bell video mostly because it doesn’t really seem to unveil anything all that new about Obama. We learned that Obama liked to associate himself with these sort of radicals in the 2008 cycle, yet America elected him anyway. Are further revelations in that same vein really going to change anything?”

At Powerline, John Hinderaker agrees:

The video shows that when he was a law student, Obama was an admirer of Derrick Bell. To the extent that people know who Bell was, that adds one more radical association from Obama’s early years. But I doubt whether most people will find that very significant. Despite the media’s efforts to keep the lid on, I think pretty much all voters know that Obama has had a series of unsavory associations with radical figures. Pretty much everyone knows about Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. Adding Derrick Bell to the list isn’t likely to change anyone’s mind about Obama’s fitness to be president.

Don Surber argues that conservatives dwelling on Obama’s past associations with radicals is going to do more harm than good their cause:

In 2008, there was more and better ammo against Barack Obama. If his association with the Weather Underground and Jeremiah Wright could not sell him as a radical how can a video that shows him hugging a college professor prove that he is some sort of Manchurian Candidate for the Black Panthers now that he is in the fourth year of his presidency? …

This is birtherism again. This is a loser issue. Even if you prove your point that beyond a shadow of a doubt that Barack Obama is a communist Muslim who is ineligible to be president, so what? He has been president for 3+ years. The question this year is not “is Obama a communist Muslim who is ineligible to be president” but rather “is Obama doing a good job — even if Obama were a communist Muslim who is ineligible to be president?”

That’s it.

I think the most effective way to criticize Barack Obama is to describe his policies accurately, and point out how they’ve failed. I don’t like President Obama’s past association with radicals any more than the next guy, and I think there are moments when it’s appropriate to draw comparisons between the policies he’s proposed and implemented and the ideas of those radicals.

But anyone thinking that video of Obama hugging a guy like Derek Bell is going to be the silver bullet that undoes his re-election campaign is kidding themselves.

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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