Obama's Problem? His Record
"The choice in this election is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead and their kids a chance to get ahead, and an economy that continues down the road we are on, where a fewer and fewer number of people do very well and everybody else is running faster and faster just to keep pace."
That's Obama advisor
Odds are this was simply poor phrasing. But it might not have been, given how desperately the Obama campaign wants to turn back the clock to 2008, when the choice was between hope and change or continuing "down the road we are on."
Regardless of the spin, the simple fact is that Obama is the stay-the-course candidate stuck with a team, a record and an economy ill-suited for a stay-the-course strategy.
That's what gives poignancy to Obama's recently renewed love affair with
Even before he got the nomination in 2008, Obama said he wanted to be a "transformative" president like Reagan had been.
And last year,
There were two key elements to Obama's man-crush. The first was the simple hope that history -- or at least the business cycle -- would repeat itself.
At Obama's back is a dismayingly anemic recovery, constantly threatening to get worse. He wants credit for "creating" 3 million jobs but insists he be held blameless for millions more workers who've left the job market entirely.
The other reason the
And there's the problem for Obama. He's sticking to his rhetorical guns on the assumption that he's the great orator his fans have always claimed. It's admirably Gipperesque, I suppose, but the problem is that Obama has never once significantly moved public opinion on domestic issues with his arguments. If he had that power, not only would "Obamacare" be popular today, it would have been popular when he gave more than 50 addresses and speeches on it during his first year.
Obama's out on the stump, embracing Obamacare, doubling down on green energy, on the need for "investments" in government programs, and for the whole hodgepodge of rationalizations for hiking taxes and "spreading the wealth around."
Asking whether Obama is as good a communicator as Reagan is like comparing boxers from different generations; there's plenty of evidence to form opinions but no way to settle the matter.
But what must be very troubling for Obama is the mounting evidence that presidential persuasion is vastly overrated. Political scientist
My hunch is that such findings are overdone and leave out some aspects of presidential persuasion.
Still, what's undoubtedly true is that results matter far more than words. And despite Axelrod's assertions, the fact is that Obama has been leading us down the road we are on for more than three years, and that's what voters will have in mind come
Read the latest political news.
- Companies Save Big On Corporate Taxes With the Help of Lobbyists
- Happy Anniversary, or Partisan Boasting?
- On Losing Control of the Message
- My Papers? No Thank You
- Pothole Nation
- Why Being 'On The Right Track' Isn't Enough
- The Poor as Collateral Damage
- The Real Deal About College Costs
- Damage to the Republican Brand
- The Freedom to Fear
- Mitt Romney's Presumption
- Mitt Romney's Borking Strategy
- Romney Courts the Right, Threatens Equality, with Bork
- The GOP's Money Man
- The Curse of Mitt Romney's Millions
- Catholicism and the GOP: An Awkward Tango
- More Class Warfare to Come in Presidential Campaign
- Give 'em 'L' Mitt!
- In Battle for Young Voters, Romney Should Play It Uncool
- Marco Rubio's False Promise
- Marco Rubio and the DREAM Act: He Walks on Eggs, Not Water
- Taking Mitt Romney's Measure
- Redbait and Switch: An Arms Race of Outrage
- Drafted into the Mommy Wars
- The War on Mommies
- Latest Salvo Fired in 'Mommy Wars'
- Mommy Wars: Issues vs. Distractions
- The Republican War on the Young
- Obama's Problem? His Record
- When Administrations Implode
- Stimulus Spending for Party Animals
- 'Buffet Rule' Is a Hypocritical Political Ploy
- 'Buffett Rule' Moves Us in the Right Direction
- 'Veep' Entertains, But Doesn't Hold Mirror to Reality of Office
- Worker-First Philosophy All Too Rare
- 'Say on Pay' Votes Battle Back Against Income Inequalities
- Why Fairness is Essential for Economic Growth
- How Everyone Else Pays for Big Business's Tax Breaks
- No Easy Solutions for Big Money in Politics
- GOP: That Great Enemy of Reason
- GOP's Presidential Plans in Peril if Economy Keeps Improving
- Mitt Romney's Woman Woes
Obama's Problem? His Record | Politics
(c) 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.