High on the list of ideas coming from high-profile Republican strategists working with conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts on a super PAC-funded attack on President Obama is this, the New York Times reports: Hire as a spokesman an "extremely literate conservative African American" who can argue that Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a "metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln."
Yep, that was what they came up with. So many things about that snippet of the plan are funny — from the racially loaded "extremely literate" qualifier to the picture it conjures of a black Abe (read Jezebel's hilarious take on that bit here), to the questions it raises about how unstylish you have to be to deem someone who wears the same conservative suit pretty much every day and "mom jeans" on his off days "metrosexual."
But all jokes aside, the proposal is reportedly part of a serious and well-funded plan to take down the president. Of course it also includes plans to bring the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons were controversial during the 2008 campaign, back into the picture — as well as ways to respond to the backlash against what will be seen by many as race-baiting. The Times calls it a "rare, detailed look at the birth of the sort of political sneak attack that has traditionally been hatched in the shadows and has become a staple of presidential politics":
“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.
The $10 million plan, one of several being studied by Mr. Ricketts, includes preparations for how to respond to the charges of race-baiting it envisions if it highlights Mr. Obama’s former ties to Mr. Wright, who espouses what is known as “black liberation theology.” …
A copy of a detailed advertising plan was obtained by The New York Times through a person not connected to the proposal who was alarmed by its tone. It is titled “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good.” …
Brian Baker, president and general counsel of a super PAC called the Ending Spending Action Fund, said Mr. Ricketts had studied several advertising proposals in recent months and had not signed off on a specific approach to taking on Mr. Obama …
Read more at the New York Times.