President Obama, wooing voters in an Amherst, Ohio bar — including one-time supporters whose view of Obama has cooled — bonded with one bar patron over, apparently, a mutual distaste for Fox News.
When a man named Jeff Hawks told Obama that he was “in a building that has Fox News on,” the president “suggested that Hawks ask for it to be changed,” according to the pool report. Obama was optimistic that the bar would change the channel, if Hawks asked, because “The customer is always right.”
The pooler noted that Obama made the suggestion during a “humorous exchange,” but the president has had a rather tense relationship with the news organization throughout his tenure. “We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” Anita Dunn, then-White House communications director, told The New York Times in October 2009. “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”
The president had to work a little to hold onto the support of a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I’m a supporter of Barack Obama,” Art Davis said, “but right now I’m concerned.” The pool reporter learned that “Davis represents a group that is trying to break the logjam on disability claims for veterans. The group has sought a meeting with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, without success.” Obama aide Marvin Nicholson promised to put Davis “in touch with the right people.”
Davis still wasn’t quite ready to commit to voting for Obama, though he was warming to the idea. “He’s getting there,” Davis told the pooler when asked if Obama had convinced him to vote Democratic this fall.
Not every topic was so serious. “I’ll play basketball for your vote,” the president answered lightheartedly when Hawks suggested they have an arm-wrestling match to determine whether Obama would receive his support.