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

Preston on Politics: Michael Moore lobbies for West Wing job

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. LIP

    Michael must be feeling neglected. It has been some time since his wave of fame broke on the beach and he is trying to drum up some new headlines. That is okay though...he remains a constant reminder of what we don't need in this country.

    March 8, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. bennie new york

    I'm sure those of us on the Left would much prefer Michael Moore to Rahm Emmanuel- I know I would!

    March 8, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Me

    If anybody needs to do some exercises every morning, it's Michael Moore.

    March 8, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    I luv him, bui he OMG! RANT

    March 8, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    God, I needed that laugh! Too bad his offer won't be seriously considered.

    BTW for those that think all my praise and support of Obama could not possibly be because he deserves it, but instead because he is Black, may I suggest you read my posts AND OTHER PEOPLE of COLOR's posts on MICHAEL STEELE!

    Point, set, match!

    March 8, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Cynthia

    Is this a joke? Why does everyone who is not the President think they can tell the President what he needs to be doing? Hell where were you when bush was running things did you try to whip him into shape?

    March 8, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Ray E.

    Well Gee,
    Al Frankin and now Michael Boor. That's two in a row. We should put them two together and see if we get a pair. Shape up America! Send that dough up to Washington so the er' ah' Saviors of the Universe can, Finally, fix what has been wrong all these years! Move over Franklin Deleno Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson and Cooter, er Jimmy Carter. Galahad is here!

    March 8, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Pat

    Don't put too much stock in "political" heros. They will let you down.

    March 8, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. JerryInBlueNH

    Michael Moore has hit it riight on the head. We elected them to fix the Republican mess and yet they're cowtowing to the right. I say MAKE the Republicans actually put on adult diapers and read the DC phone book until 4AM. Let the people see what obstructionists they really are. If the Democrats don't wake up and start fighting, we'll put the Republicans back in charge and I don't even want to think about how bad that would be for anyone but the extreme rich. I don't think the gun lobby gets it that as soon as the Republicans take complete dictatorial control, they'll round up your guns faster than they can say "Glenn Beck".

    March 8, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Old Farmboy

    What an idiot...

    March 8, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. The Other Michael in Houston

    I cannot believe that I am actually agreeing with Michael Moore, but I have to say he is right. Over 70 million Americans sent then Senator Obama to Washinton to do one main thing, change this crap that has been going on for decades. Now, I know Mr. President that you do not want the same reputation that your predessor had, not wanting to work with the other side but there has got to be a point when you have to say screw them and do what we the American people put your there for. Yes you have a few loud mouths that will make everyone think that healthcare reform is a bad idea, screw them Mr. President, they did not vote for you and would not vote for you if you gave them what they wanted. And all this talk about all these Democrats losing their seats in November, well, some of them should be removed, but as what happened in 2008, will happen again in 2012, we know that Republicans hate America, we know Republicans will do anything to bring this nation to a screetching halt just to make the President look bad, we know that Republicans will destroy themselves to ensure that a man of color never gains the top office in the land, so we will be there in November, as we showed up before, to ensure that the President has enough people in Congress to move his agenda and there is nothing you Republicans can do about that. I hope you enjoy your few seats you are going to pick up, but it still will not be enough.

    March 8, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. David Az

    Mr. Moore is Right, President Obama needs to learn that his current job takes more than making everybody like him!! The Grand Obstructionist Party; does not like him, will not like him, and has never liked him. Reasons can vary why? The color of his skin can be one, that he is smarter that all of them put together is another one, and that they plainlly don't care about US CITIZENS. The cry babies Republicans care about Oil, Government Contracts (Blackwater, Halliburton extc, extc), Slogans, Brain Washing, FEAR and thats all. No Policy, no solving probrems, just cry cry cry, what a jib.

    So in essence The President needs to grow some marbles and do Whats Right for the Country, for the Middle Class, for Our Troops and if Republicans and Tea Losers get in the way; just LAUGH AT THEM.. FOX NEWS is a COmedy Chanel... GOOO OBAMA and please make your learning curve Fast!!!!

    March 8, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |

    The president is doing quite fine, but needs to be tough on the democratic congress. This congress has been unable to deliver major legislation despite the huge democratic majorities. They need to do something fast otherwise they will be history, come November 2010.

    March 8, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. jeff jackson, alabama

    I can't see Moore in the White House
    basement. But I definitely CAN see him
    in a nut house. But if there was one room
    in the White House he would
    would be the basement... with the rest
    of the rats.

    March 8, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Doug,lib jersey

    Hugo Chavez is too far to the right for Mr. Moore. Once again Micheal is the next example of a lib who struggles with counting to 60.

    March 8, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. martin

    He looks like he never lost a fight with a knife & fork. At least we know who's not going to bed hungry tonight.

    March 8, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Glennis

    Disgusting permanently disheveled obese bag of wind. He belongs in a basement all right. He's suffering from an inflated sense of importance, I'm afraid. He's nothing but a hustler.

    March 8, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Liberalism is a mental disorder


    You liberals crack me up.


    March 8, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Because BOTH parties still rake in huge $ from corporate and industry lobbyists.

    Obama can not control what Congress does. Get rid of the deadbeat Dem's and sell-outs. Lincoln, Nelson, Landrieu, Stupak gotta go.

    March 8, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. Doug,lib jersey

    "BTW for those that think all my praise and support of Obama could not possibly be because he deserves it, but instead because he is Black, may I suggest you read my posts AND OTHER PEOPLE of COLOR's posts on MICHAEL STEELE!"

    Do you do a handstand to look at the ground?

    Reality is that people who disagree with you believe in a thing call ideological freedom for all Americans regardless of skin color, which you would call a racist. LOL!

    March 8, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. rachel

    What ever Michael, guess what the people Obama needs to get pass his bills work for the people of their district not Obama and this isn't a Monarchy the president can't just do whatever he wants.

    March 8, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. Ron

    Just a little over a year ago the Democrats were given total power over the presidency and the Congress. I was concerned because if the Dems acted "centrist" they could contain power for many many years. However, the Dems can't control themselves and went into extreme left wing thinking (which the majority of Americans are not). I personally would like to thank the extremists of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid for the ability to guarantee Republicans will take back the House in 2010 and significant gains in the Senate. Thanks again you lunatics!!

    March 8, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. SPTX

    President Obama has spent much too much time trying to please the Republicans and that's why he hasn't been able to accomplish much in the past year. It's time to stop pandering to these obstructionists, and do what we elected him to do: Make the U.S.A. the great country it was in the past, and can be in the future.

    Mr. President, with all due respect, S**t or get off the pot.

    Just think how PO'd the Republicans will be when you agenda works.

    March 8, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Scott in Atlanta

    I'm sending a check to pay his salary at the White House, for the next 3 years...

    I pledge 4 more years worth of salary, if he can make it happen again in 2012

    March 8, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. southerncousin

    That is the kind of attitude we already have, "don't listen to the American people, only listen to my doped up, non working taxpaying people who elected me cause I sure can talk pretty and make a lot of empty promises that I won't keep." " While I am at it let me demonize some hard working people that don't belong to my fellow crooks, the SEIU and put them out of business, while I steal the money from actual taxpayers to give to my wonderful supporters, the dopey and lazy/"

    March 8, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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