Dear David Plouffe: Please Make Obama More Like Mariah

On Monday, April 14, Mariah Carey—“incredibly well-funded, corporately polished,” according to the bitter pop music critic of the Chicago Sun-Times—was on Oprah, stumping for votes.

“Now Mariah didn’t get her new body just by eating artichokes,” said Oprah.

Cut to the video, Mariah at the pool in a black bodysuit.

“I’m a female and I like the arms to be slender and toned!” said Mariah.

Mariah got the whole first 42 minutes of the show, and also, her new CD came out the next day!

Midway through her appearance, a mass e-mail was sent from David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s campaign manager: “You’ve probably heard about the latest dust-up in the Democratic race,” it opened.

Ugh, another dust-up? (Mr. Obama had said at a fund-raiser in San Francisco that poverty tended to embitter some people into religion and conservatism. This idea is somehow problematic or offensive; more importantly, he clearly believes it, as he saved it for a more private audience.)

According to Mr. Plouffe, the Grand Enemies of Obama “have been spinning the media and peddling fake outrage around the clock.”

Soon in this particular mini media event, someone will go too far again and lose his or her job. It will not be Mr. Obama himself. Not yet!

These events are a pachinko machine. Each incident bounces from reporter to candidate to campaign and back to reporters, offering many opportunities for anyone at all to call Hillary Clinton a monster, or say that her career is inspired by her husband’s adultery. And life, you know, offers anyone a chance to lobby on behalf of a lobbying firm you might happen to own.

Oprah herself, America’s No. 1 influencer, couldn’t help Mr. Obama, said Mark Halperin in Time late last year. She duplicates his strengths—celebrity, crowds—but doesn’t add substance. Mr. Halperin thought that a much more important event for Mr. Obama would be his visits to New Hampshire long before that state’s primary, with the likes of Samantha Power (“a Time contributor,” he noted, as well as Obama’s adviser), to talk Serious Adult Political-type policy.

Well, Ms. Power didn’t make it long before they ran her off the road.

If this election goes on much longer, everyone in a political campaign will have been fired at least once, for the sort of things we all say every day. At this point, Idaho Senator Larry Craig is starting to look like an American hero.

Arrested in an airport last summer for not having sexual activity with a cop, he entered a guilty plea to disorderly conduct, vowed to resign—and then didn’t.

In the real world, it used to be easy to be destroyed. It took Vanessa Williams really two decades to claw her way back from her Miss America de-crowning over those naked pictures—coming back up through the R&B charts, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, straight through Sondheim and now onto Ugly Betty, America’s favorite TV show.

Dear David Plouffe: Please Make Obama More Like Mariah