NYT Reports From Two Weeks Ago on Stephanie Cutter, the Brilliant Mind Behind Obama's 'Big Bird' Attacks

The New York Times Sunday Styles profile by Amy Chozick of Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter, "A Messenger Who Does the Shooting," reads as a bit behind on current events (many Sunday profile-type pieces are written several days in advance).

It comes off like a snapshot from before Cutter shamelessly politicized the Libya attack last Thursday by suggesting the only reason anyone cared about Benghazi was the Romney-Ryan campaign. And Chozick must have written during that extremely brief time when the Cutter-inspired emphasis on Big Bird seemed hip and clever, not desperate and out of touch.

Two days after President Obama’s first debate against Mitt Romney, Stephanie Cutter, a deputy campaign manager for the Obama re-election effort, decided to tweak Mr. Romney for his attack on federal funding for PBS.

On Twitter, Ms. Cutter, known for her dry sense of humor and sharp edge, circulated a photo of Big Bird outside an Obama rally with the hashtag #ProtectSesameStreetNotWallStreet to her 42,700-plus followers.

The Big Bird attacks started to take on a life of their own. The following week, the Obama campaign introduced a tongue-in-cheek ad that compares Big Bird to Bernard L. Madoff and other corporate criminals. “Big, yellow, a menace to our economy,” the ominous voice-over intoned.

It was a typical quick-response effort by Ms. Cutter, doing damage control after an admittedly lackluster performance by the president. “She spotted right away that this was something that was trending out there and that was making an impact,” David Axelrod, the president’s chief strategist, said of Ms. Cutter, who was not involved in the making of the ad itself.

Chozick worked in a bit of Cutter as a victim of female stereotypes...from Michelle Malkin, who has suffered all sorts of hateful sexist and racist comments from liberals:

As Ms. Cutter’s role in the campaign has become more prominent, she has become a lightning rod of controversy to detractors and a skirt-suited folk hero to supporters.

Both the adoration (“Stephanie Cutter is SOOO hot,” said one online commenter) and the attacks (“Lying liar Stephanie Cutter has hissy fit,” the conservative blogger Michelle Malkin recently tweeted) directed at Ms. Cutter are often manifest in ways that a male aide, like Mr. Axelrod or Robert Gibbs, would probably never experience.

Twitchy, a Twitter-focused website founded by Malkin, responded: "The Fishwrap of Record also took precious puff-piece real estate to sneer at Twitchy founder/CEO Michelle Malkin’s criticism of Stephanocchio....Malkin’s criticism has to do with Cutter’s womanhood? Sure thing."

Chozick previously nodded along as 'Media Critic in Chief' Obama excoriated her press colleagues for "false balance."