Thursday, August 18, 2011

Are we willing to be Obama's leverage?

I think President Obama did a marvelous job on messaging during his bus tour. First of all, he identified with voter's frustration about the ridiculous antics in DC. And then, he talked about jobs, jobs, jobs.

We all know by now that in a couple of weeks he's going to unveil a plan about job creation along with deficit reduction. We've also seen the poutragers wail about the later. But President Obama knows that the country won't simply buy more spending for jobs unless we can demonstrate that we'll get the deficit under control. Spending cuts will, once again, be slated for the out years with increased focused on the immediate need for jobs.

The other response of the poutragers is to say that this is just campaign talk. My response...of course it is! We have an election coming up and that provides the President with some leverage he didn't have in the debt ceiling negotiations.

In the coming months, aides said, Obama still plans to push for bipartisan support. But, they said, if Republicans don't go along, he will take his case to voters, rather than again become bogged down in protracted negotiations.

"He'll take the case to the public about what they are stopping — and why," said one senior administration official.

The end of the hostage negotiations over the debt ceiling marked not only the opportunity to pivot from that issue to jobs. It also marked the moment in time when President Obama could go from reacting to the 2010 election to proactively using the 2012 election as a bargaining tool.

As we saw last weekend in Iowa, the Republican nomination process is now getting into full steam. And, as predicted, its become a clown show for the Republicans. As EJ Dionne pointed out:

You call tell how unhappy Republicans are by reading the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the one-stop shop for conservative orthodoxy. It fretted on Monday that Republicans and independents are “desperate” for a unifying candidate, and that if “the current field isn’t up to that, perhaps someone still off the field will step in and run.”

To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, having the Journal’s editorial page criticize the Republican presidential crop is like having L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, fret over the quality of the cardinals who want to be the next pope.

There was also the conservative Weekly Standard, another GOP bellwether, floating one more time the idea that Rep. Paul Ryan really and truly is thinking of running for president, the wish clearly being the father to this thought.

Now is the time for President Obama to step out and claim the narrative of the one who hears the people's concerns and frustrations...and is actually enough of an adult to propose some reasonable solutions. It is all now developing into a sharp contrast between the ridiculous GOP mess and what Democrats are saying they would do.

The Republicans could continue to live in their bubble world of worrying about the Congressional tea baggers as long as we, the voters, weren't going to have a say for awhile. But now the prospect of having to appeal to a national audience with their message is beginning to enter the realm of reality. In other words, its getting close to the time that "we the people" will get our say.

Are we ready for that? The choices are clear.


  1. Off Topic - I thought you might like this:

  2. I thought President Obama was right on target on his bus tour. The press is having a fit because he went around the. Love that man. He is one smart cookie. Like Al Giordano says,"Don't underestimate this man."


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