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Josh Marshall watched the president’s stump speech this morning and says:

Obama rolls out fully Boehnerized new stump speech. Did I mention Boehner?

I caught a few minutes of the speech and had sort of a split reaction on several occasions. Initial reaction: Ooh, he’s about to really gut punch Republicans. Fun! 20 seconds later: Ooh, he kinda pulled back a bit at the last second. Too bad.

But still, it was clearly a more partisan speech than he usually gives, and, as Josh says, it was also notable for his frequent mentions of John Boehner. Which suggests something interesting: was this just because Boehner is a local boy who happened to have given a speech in Cleveland a few weeks before? Or is this part of a broader strategy to nationalize the election around Boehner’s neck? I don’t think this would change the course of the election or anything, but if it’s the latter I’ll bet it’s a good idea. Boehner is well tanned and has a great TV voice, but he comes across (to me, anyway) as robotic and evasive, sort of a junior grade Mitt Romney. If Democrats put Boehner front and center (“Do you trust this man to be Speaker of the House?”) it might damage the Republican brand a bit. He’s not their best spokesman.

Just a thought. I doubt this is in the cards, but given the de facto parliamentarization1 of our political system, making sure the public knows who the opposition leader is might be better politics than in the past. Especially if it’s a guy like Boehner.

1That’s not a word, is it? But it should be! It means that the United States is slowly becoming more like a parliamentary system in practice but without any of the machinery that makes a parliamentary system work.

UPDATE: Speaking of Boehner, John Sides points out that Public Policy Polling decided to poll Boehner’s tan the other day. Funny!

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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