March 8th, 2010
04:42 PM ET
4 years ago

Preston on Politics: Michael Moore lobbies for West Wing job

Director Michael Moore has written an open letter to President Obama.
Director Michael Moore has written an open letter to President Obama.

Washington (CNN) - President Obama, get in line and give me 100 jumping jacks. And as for you Congress, drop to the floor and pound out 50 pushups.

Michael Moore is pledging to whip Obama and Democrats in Congress into shape – liberal shape – if he is named the next White House chief of staff. And Moore vows to sleep in the White House basement and work for $1 per year if the president hires him.

"Now, don't get too giddy with excitement over my offer, because you and I are going to be up at 5 in the morning, 7 days a week and I am going to get you pumped up for battle every single day," Moore writes in a letter posted on his Web site that he said was sent to Obama. "Each morning you and I will do 100 jumping jacks and you will repeat after me: "THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ELECTED ME, NOT THE REPUBLICANS, TO RUN THE COUNTRY! I AM IN CHARGE! I WILL ORDER ALL OBSTRUCTIONISTS OUTTA MY WAY! IF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DON'T LIKE WHAT I'M DOING THEY CAN THROW MY ASS OUT IN 2012. IN THE MEANTIME, I CALL THE SHOTS ON THEIR BEHALF! NOW, CONGRESS, DROP AND GIVE ME 50!!"

Will it happen? No. There is no indication that current chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is headed for the exit, and even if he was, Obama would never name the liberal filmmaker/commentator/provocateur to this top administration post.

Yet, Moore's rant in many ways echoes a frustrated liberal base that has watched Obama's agenda stall and Republicans regain their footing all within a year's time.

"The idea that even when you elect a Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress with the biggest majorities we have seen in decades, we still end up getting a White House pushing a bunch of corporate-friendly legislation," Jane Hamsher, publisher of the liberal blog Firedoglake, said in an interview with CNN.

Hamsher added that former President George W. Bush didn't enjoy as strong majorities in the House and Senate, yet he was able to marshal his policies though Congress.

"George Bush didn't seem to have any trouble getting his legislation through," she said.

With the midterm elections only months away, Moore is sounding an alarm, warning Obama that he is on the verge of losing control of Congress.

"Let me be clear about one thing: The Democrats on Election Day 2010 are going to get an ass-whoopin' of biblical proportions if things don't change right now," Moore predicts in his letter. "And after the new Republican majority takes over, they, along with a few conservative Democrats in Congress, will get to bipartisanly impeach you for being a socialist and a citizen of Kenya. How nice to see both sides of the aisle working together again! And the brief window we had to fix this country will be gone."

Will Democrats lose control of Congress? Republicans, themselves, acknowledge it is still very much a longshot. But the GOP has come a long way in the past 12 months when they were preoccupied by internal fights and, without a doubt, was a party without a compass.

In his letter, Moore criticizes Obama and Democrats for failing to use their majorities in Congress to help turn the economy around, institute banking reforms and pass health care reform, among other things. And he takes particular aim at Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, for demanding favorable treatment for his state in order to get his support for health care reform.

"Just to give you an idea of the new style I'll be bringing with me, when a cornhole like Sen. Ben Nelson tries to hold you up next time, this is what I will tell him in order to get his vote: 'You've got exactly 30 seconds to rescind your demand or I will personally make sure that Nebraska doesn't get one more federal dollar for the rest of Obama's term,' " Moore says in his letter. "And then I will let everyone in your state know that you wear Sooner panties, backwards. NOW DROP AND GIVE ME 50!'"

Such declarations don't necessarily sit well with many Democrats, especially those who represent so-called Republican "Red States."

While Moore praises Emanuel for devising the campaign strategy that returned House Democrats to power in 2006, the filmmaker charges that the former Illinois congressman is now using his talents to attack liberals. And Moore calls into question the effectiveness of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Senior Adviser David Axelrod.

"I don't know what your team has been up to, but they haven't served you well," Moore says in the letter. "And Rahm, poor Rahm, has turned into a fighter – not of Republicans, but of the left. He called those of us who want universal health care 'f***ing retarded.' Look, I don't know if Rahm is the problem or if it's Gibbs or Axelrod or any of the other great people we owe a debt of thanks to for getting you elected. All I know is that whatever is fueling your White House it's now running on fumes. Time to shake things up! Time to bring me in to get you pumped up every morning! Go Barack! Yay Obama! Fight, Team, Fight!"

Unfortunately, for Moore, he won't be the one in the corner toweling down Obama between rounds with Republicans in the coming months. The best Moore can hope for, the best liberals can hope for, is that the White House starts embracing their policies and political strategies. But even if the White House does move to the left politically, will that help Democrats on Election Day?

No, says a good friend and ace political handicapper Stuart Rothenberg.

"With or without Michael Moore, Democrats are in for a rude awakening in November," says Rothenberg, editor of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report. "They are going to lose a significant number of seats in the House and Senate and during the second two years of the Obama administration the White House will have little alternative but to deal with Congressional Republicans if it wants to pass any legislation."


Filed under: Extra • Michael Moore • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. j

    Sounds like a plan!

    March 8, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. John

    Atta boy Mike. Lets move this country FORWARD

    March 8, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. rob

    The mistake the President made was allowing the crazy liberals in Congress to controll all his major legislation, thereby letting them take the inevitable blame for over reaching. The Dems agenda is always too far out there for the main stream and make no mistake Obama and his advisors miscalculated how much the American people would take.

    After they fail to pass health care and the Dems lose Congress in Nov. he will have to tack to the center like Clinton did or he will face certain defeat in 2012. That means Michael Moore and his Ilk will go back to the fringe where they belong.

    March 8, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. usualone

    Michael Moore is correct in that President Obama has to be more forceful in his efforts. The President is too nice (and too smart) for too many Americans. He is being gobbled up by those who think he is or pretend to think Mr. Obama is too weak. Unfortunately perception of those not educated and/or are bigoted will run wth this. So contrary to his normal ways, the President needs to be forceful so that many Americans will be convinced of the President's convictions. If he were a woman or a Jewish President, he would probably take the same approach as he does, but that makes the bullies of this country (and the world) perceive that he is weak. Educated people know that isn't the case, but he needs the other types to be on his side. It is a shame he has to be this way, but it probably will work.

    March 8, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Edwin

    This is moronic.

    March 8, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  6. I WANT MINES

    there is no doubt this slob is out for total socialism and probably dictatorship of the country he slobbered all over castros politics like a kid in a candy store or like he would over a piece of chocolate cake

    he cant get himself into shape let alone anything or anyone else
    GO EAT SOMETHING MICHAEL YOU ARE DISGUSTING AS A HUMAN BEING

    March 8, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. HRPufnstuf

    I'd pay a dollar to watch Michael Moore try to do 100 jumping jacks. I'd pay another dollar to watch him have a heart attack trying.

    March 8, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Michael Moore's couch

    Please no push-ups, MM.
    Hazardous to your health.

    March 8, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. The Unsub

    Michael Moore as Press Secretary...Priceless...

    March 8, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. petena

    I m going to write a book title "
    "Mommy, why do Republicans hate my President"?

    March 8, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. jody from Kentucky

    Hang tough, Mr. President. You have great ideas to bring our country back. Repugs will fight with everything they have–mostly with fear tactics and untruths. Actually, when you look at their party leaders, Mitch McConnell in particular–who could take this clown seriously!!! I mean, really, just look at him. (Sadly, he is one of Kentucky's two Repug senators) . The other, Jim Bunning, really showed his hiney last week.
    So, look at what you are up against. Your intelligence is far superior to these two and all the others against you.

    This is from an eastern Kentucky proud Liberal who will vote Democratic the rest of my days on this earth.

    March 8, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. cspurgeon

    The thought is right but Mr Moore needs to go on with his other work.

    March 8, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. JUST FOR FUN

    I would like to see the REPUBLICANS post a list of POSITIVE things they have accomplished. I'll be generous and allow them to go back to Ronald Reagan's first term.

    It will be a VERY short list.

    March 8, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. Max Wendroff

    Hire him. He's smart, and when he talks, he makes sense.

    March 8, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  15. a

    thats what i want to hear from OBAMA

    March 8, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. LacrosseMom

    Michael Moore is someone I admire, for the courage he has to tell the blunt truth.

    So I voted for President Obama because he is Black?? 53%...... 53%..... of Americans, White, Black, Latino (he got 61%), Asian, etc..... oh and 54% of the Roman Catholic vote.

    In my 56 yrs. of life I have not seen such HATERD towards a U.S. President as I have for President Obama. The racist crowd of the GOP, have found someone to unite them, Barack Obama! Nothing he says or does is right. Republicans hope the U.S. President ....... fails! How is that for anti-American?

    Thing is, that President Obama still has the support of those who voted for him. In fact a recent poll showed the 66% of 18-39 yr.olds., support him. That's a huge number, considering he rallied the youth of our Nation to vote.

    You can argue all you want, GOPers, but the bottom line is...... RACISM.

    March 8, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. Real American

    MM as Chief of Staff – that would be awesome! America needs a big overweight pit bull to keep the legions of spineless Dem wussies on their toes to do what is right. Team Hate America has their ruthless fat guy (Karl "Turd-Blossom" Rove) and we have ours.

    March 8, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Fiscal Responsibility

    A lesson Mr Moore has not learned, that in socialism you eventually run out of other peoples money. Obama has not learned this either. That is why his bills are not passing, bacause we can not pay for them.

    March 8, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  19. BeverlyNC

    I already read Michael's letter and I think it sounds like a good plan to me!

    It'd about time we shut down the obstructionist do-nothing Republicans with "we no longer care what you think – we won, you lost and stop whining about it".

    It's also time to punish traitor Democrats who want to blackmail the Senate for a vote. I think we should turn it right around on them and say YOU WILL vote for our agenda items or we are jerking all your earmark projects and federal funding from your state. You can then go tell them why you are a traitor to their needs.

    Go get em Michael. We need someone willing to tell the truth on healthcare and the criminals in the banking industry who still have not been re-regulated (primarily because of Republican blockage of it).

    March 8, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Sara

    About time....MR. Prez ! I hope you follow Mike's direction and tell the Republicans WHO is in charge. WE, the public voted you in, we liked what you had to say, if they don't too bad. Most of all please do not let them discourage you and your direction. We believe in you. !

    March 8, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. Matt

    I love how people say that the health care bill that is in place is best for the country. This only helps the minority. We supposedly have 15 million peoplw without health care of over 300 million. So we are going to tax everyone else to help a minority. When has a democracy been about the minority. Never the majority of people have health care and they like it. This bill is just the first step to single payer health care.

    This bill symbolizes everything wrong about America. We have forgetten about the majority and we worry about the small amount of people instead of worring about the whole picture.

    March 8, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  22. Red by Choice

    I thought we were trying to cut the fat out of government. Besides, I believe that Michael Moore actually pays his taxes. For that reason alone he does not qualify to be a part of Obama's posse.

    March 8, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  23. stop the nonsense

    Funny and the sentiment is right but come on, Michael.
    Mostof what you say has a ring of truth but you seem to exxagerate the truth, so you can't be in the White house.Sorry

    March 8, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  24. annie against biased news

    What's one more idiot in the white house?

    March 8, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  25. LoveThyNeighbor

    "My Humble Mister Moore,

    "Please bring your own sleeping bag. I will not have the Lincoln bed moved down for you. The check for $12.00 US currency is in the mail. Please arrive at the designated time and do not deviate from your itinerary. You will be watched at all times."

    ***NO CAMERAS ALLOWED!***

    Sincerely,
    THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
    OBAMA

    March 8, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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