There will be so many great memories from the campaign that ended with Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts tonight. His reminder to David Gergen that is was "the people's seat." Patrick Kennedy repeatedly calling Martha Coakley "Marcia." Coakley's staffer pushing a reporter down on the sidewalk. Her assertion that Catholics shouldn't work in emergency rooms. Her calling Red Sox hero Curt Shilling "A Yankees fan."
But one of the things that will stick with me the longest is further evidence that the President just isn't all that bright. We've touched on this earlier, when he invented the "Austrian" language, and when he said the U.S. was "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world." (See the April 18 and June 4 posts from the 2009 archives.)
Anyway, he went into Massachusetts Sunday to make an appearance for Coakley's doomed campaign, and he chose a very peculiar target to attack. Brown helped create his "average guy" image by featuring his pickup truck, which had almost 200,000 miles on it, as he drove around Massachusetts campaigning. Obama decided that the idea of a guy driving around in his own pickup truck was an image worth ridiculing. Not once, not twice, but SEVEN TIMES. Here are excerpts from the White House transcript:
-- Now, I’ve heard about some of the ads that Martha’s opponent is running. He’s driving his truck around the commonwealth -- (laughter)
-- So I hear her opponent is calling himself an independent. Well, you've got to look under the hood -- (laughter) --
-- So, look, forget the ads. Everybody can run slick ads. Forget the truck. (Laughter.) Everybody can buy a truck. (Laughter.)
-- Now, you better check under the hood...
-- ...he decided to park his truck on Wall Street. (Laughter.)
-- It gives you a sense of who the respective candidates are going to be fighting for, despite the rhetoric, despite the television ads, despite the truck. (Laughter.)
-- So I’d think long and hard about getting in that truck with Martha’s opponent. (Laughter.)
Now I realize that there probably aren't a lot of "community organizers" in Chicago driving pickup trucks, and probably even fewer members of the White House staff, but there are a few million people out here in flyover land that own trucks. Lots of people in places like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, who don't really think that driving a pickup should open them up to ridicule.
Early prediction: Voters in those swing states are going to see a lot of ads in 2012 showing the president making fun of pickups. And for those UAW workers at the Ford plant in St. Paul, making pickups, it must be nice to know what the President thinks of your handiwork.