Joined: 05 June 2006
Joined: 18 January 2006
Joined: 01 January 2006
At this crucial juncture in the push to pass an economic recovery package, President Obama finds himself in the most unlikely of places: He is losing the message war.
Despite Obama's sky high personal approval ratings, polls show support has declined for his stimulus bill since Republicans and their conservative talk-radio allies began railing against what they labeled as pork barrel spending within it.
The sheer size of it – hovering at about $900 billion — has prompted more protests that are now causing some moderate and conservative Democrats to flinch and, worse, hesitate.
The anxiety over lost momentum seemed almost palpable this week as the president in television interviews voiced frustration with his White House's progress and the way his recovery program was being demonized as a Democratic spending frenzy.
In Obama's own words in an NBC interview, it's his job to "get this thing back on track."
Already, he's trying – rolling out Michelle Obama to talk stimulus Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday (at a train station, no less) and sitting down with key senators one-on-one.
But this is unfamiliar turf for a team that achieved near epic status for its communication skills during the presidential campaign. They've rarely ever had to play catch-up.
With the president's gifted oratory and a technologically savvy team, the Obama camp was able to seize control of the national conversation as early as April and never fully relinquish it right through his Inaugural Address two weeks ago.
To be sure, some of Obama's headaches stem from the normal dysfunction that occurs when a White House is in transition. Phones don't work, chains of command are fuzzy, and there are formalities that need tending to.
But the Obama team also made its own mistakes. The president's troubled cabinet nominees added to the cacophony that at times drowned out the White House economic messages in the past two weeks.
And it seems more apparent each day that the nascent Obama Administration isn't fully prepared for the task at hand.
The president's decision to push through a massive stimulus bill, while perhaps unavoidable, is forcing the much-vaunted Chicago crowd to adapt at lightning speed to its more skillful adversaries on Capitol Hill, while at the same time taking a crash course on harnessing the full power of bully pulpit. If he doesn't figure it out soon, Obama is likely to find out that his stimulus package looks very different than he had in mind indeed.
The Jetsons versus the Flinstones
Obama's campaign was lauded for its visionary use of modern tools for old-fashioned politics. Through the Internet, it recruited supporters, collected dollars, rallied supporters and organized get-out-the vote operations.
But when these modern heroes arrived at the White House, it was like the lights all went out.
Their contact with their millions-fold supporters was cut off, literally, as e-mail systems broke down and 'The List' of political supporters was blocked at the iron gate.
To meet government ethics rules, the campaign operation and its grassroots army were forced to de-camp to the Democratic National Committee, robbing the president of one of his most potent political weapons just as the stimulus bill was under consideration in the House.
But while the White House team struggled to adapt, it was business as usual on Capitol Hill for Republicans.
They could practically sleep-walk through their attack plan once House Democrats began to fill in Obama's broad outlines for a stimulus with a few pet projects of their own.It required two simple steps: Scream pork, call Rush Limbaugh. They even could have even used a rotary phone. The result: Every House Republican saw a free pass and voted against the first version of the bill.
"To me, each one of those is a stand alone event," said Tad Devine, a Democratic political consultant. "There is a risk of overwhelming things."
Joined: 03 December 2006
see obama is a black and white guy... so all the right decisions are made by his white brain and all daschle kind of screwups by his black brain...ok seriously speaking like trump said he is working with lot of trials and errors and if something doesnt go right it can leave us with a lot of mess.....Bush has just reduced the bar fo mess ups..so anyway we are in pits right now.. only way is to rise...
Joined: 12 November 2006
Joined: 18 January 2006
Joined: 07 March 2008
For a man who started out with such a promise, he has fumbled big time in his initial days
He promised change and almost every nominee he has proposed has had some issues or the other, now if you say the previous administration was bad in personnel, you cant claim this is change. The boneheaded thing on his part was to keep justifying the mistakes
The Stimulus bill is another problem, he claims to have his fingerprints all over the thing, but then he has no clue what clauses it has in it and then he himself comes out criticizing them, now that contradicts everything that the candidate Obama portrayed. So people are actually getting a taste of what how it ifeels to be on the other side of the fence.
Joined: 01 January 2006