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NYT: Obama Really Only Needs Better PR

From his unfailing hagiographers at the magazine of the New York Times:

Education of a President

October 13, 2010

… The president who muscled through Congress perhaps the most ambitious domestic agenda in a generation finds himself vilified by the right, castigated by the left and abandoned by the middle. He heads into the final stretch of the midterm campaign season facing likely repudiation, with voters preparing to give him a Congress that, even if Democrats maintain control, will almost certainly be less friendly to the president than the one he has spent the last two years mud wrestling.

While proud of his record, Obama has already begun thinking about what went wrong — and what he needs to do to change course for the next two years. He has spent what one aide called “a lot of time talking about Obama 2.0” with his new interim chief of staff, Pete Rouse, and his deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina. During our hour together, Obama told me he had no regrets about the broad direction of his presidency. But he did identify what he called “tactical lessons.” He let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.”

In other words, Mr. Obama has learned nothing. If he thinks this is about ‘optics,’ perception, he is never going to learn. But of course he doesn’t want to.

Lest we forget, this is exactly the same line he took after the Democrats suffered defeats, including losing ‘Ted Kennedy’s seat,’ in various primaries earlier this year. 

He realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” when it comes to public works.

So he was lying about them for a year and a half?

Perhaps he should not have proposed tax breaks as part of his stimulus and instead “let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts” so it could be seen as a bipartisan compromise.

What outrageous mendacity, even by his own Olympian standards. There were no significant tax breaks in the stimulus. The most anyone could game the system for was a measly $400 a year, which is about $7 a week.

Most of all, he has learned that, for all his anti-Washington rhetoric, he has to play by Washington rules if he wants to win in Washington. It is not enough to be supremely sure that he is right if no one else agrees with him.

Notice that Mr. Obama still thinks he has been "supremely right." Which begs the question, what has he ever been right about?

“Given how much stuff was coming at us,” Obama told me, “we probably spent much more time trying to get the policy right than trying to get the politics right.. There is probably a perverse pride in my administration — and I take responsibility for this; this was blowing from the top — that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who’s occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can’t be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.” …

Again, this is almost word-for-word what Mr. Obama said after the Scott Brown victory. It is utterly preposterous. He is claiming that he has engaged enough in dirty public relations. But that his policies are wonderful. We just don’t realize how wonderful.

You see, that 9.6% unemployment, those record foreclosures – they are just a matter of bad PR.

These days, Obama has been seeking guidance in presidential biographies. He is reading, among others, “The Clinton Tapes,” Taylor Branch’s account of his secret interviews with Bill Clinton during the eight years of his presidency…

If the feel-your-pain president had trouble when the economy was not nearly as bad as it is now, with 9.6 percent unemployment, then maybe the issue for Obama is not that he is too cool or detached, as some pundits say….

The New York Times and Mr. Obama seem to be unaware that Mr. Clinton had other problems besides the economy in the fall of 1994. For one thing, he had just tried to ram through Hillarycare, against the will of the American people. Does that sound familiar?

It would be bad form for the president to anticipate an election result before it happens, but clearly Obama hopes that just as Clinton recovered from his party’s midterm shellacking in 1994 to win re-election two years later, so can he…

Again, The Times and Mr. Obama seems to forget history and that Mr. Clinton was for a second time blessed with a third party candidate who siphoned off just enough votes to secure him a victory.

Obama’s team takes pride that he has fulfilled three of the five major promises he laid out as pillars of his “new foundation” in an April 2009 speech at Georgetown University — health care, education reform and financial reregulation…

One of the other pillars is ‘Cap And Trade.’ God knows what is the ‘fifth pillar.’

But it is possible to win the inside game and lose the outside game. In their darkest moments, White House aides wonder aloud whether it is even possible for a modern president to succeed, no matter how many bills he signs. Everything seems to conspire against the idea: an implacable opposition with little if any real interest in collaboration, a news media saturated with triviality and conflict, a culture that demands solutions yesterday, a societal cynicism that holds leadership in low regard. Some White House aides who were ready to carve a new spot on Mount Rushmore for their boss two years ago privately concede now that he cannot be another Abraham Lincoln after all. In this environment, they have increasingly concluded, it may be that every modern president is going to be, at best, average

As the poets say, ‘boo hoo.’

If only Mr. Obama had had a super majority in both houses of Congress. If only he had had an slavishly worshipful press. If only he had had the worlds of entertainment and academia on his side. If only he had had a bureaucracy that would carry out his every whim without question.

The biggest miscalculation in the minds of most Obama advisers was the assumption that he could bridge a polarized capital and forge genuinely bipartisan coalitions

In an article already jam-packed with outrageous lies, this jumps right off the page. From day one Mr. Obama told the Republicans to take a hike. After all, he had ‘won.’

Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the upper chamber and Obama’s ally from Illinois, said the Republicans were to blame for the absence of bipartisanship

Yes, if only Mr. Obama had gotten the kind of across the aisle support that his predecessor Mr. Bush got from the Democrats, everything would be wonderful. (Cf. the ‘Rockefeller Memo.’)

The health care legislation is “an incredible achievement” and the stimulus program was “absolutely, unqualifiedly, enormously successful,” in [Pennsylvania  Gov. Ed] Rendell’s judgment, yet Obama allowed them to be tarnished by critics. “They lost the communications battle on both major initiatives, and they lost it early,” said Rendell

That’s a refrain heard inside the White House as well: it’s a communication problem

This is simply laughable. Laughably insane.

The policy criticism of Obama can be confusing and deeply contradictory — he is a liberal zealot, in the view of the right; a weak accommodationist, in the view of the left. He is an anticapitalist socialist who is too cozy with Wall Street, a weak-on-defense apologist for America who adopted Bush’s unrelenting antiterror tactics at the expense of civil liberties…

Once again, The Times tries to portray Mr. Obama as a man of the middle because there are lunatics even further to his left who pretend to criticize him.

Obama trusted his judgment and seemed to have assumed that impressive people in his own party must have a certain basic sense of integrity — and that impressive people in the other party must want to work with him

Yes, Mr. Obama’s only fault is that he has too much integrity – and he assumed everyone else was just like him. That’s what comes from growing up in Chicago’s political machine and teaching voter fraud for ACORN.

Oh, never mind that Mr. Obama has never won a single political election prior to 2008 without resorting to the lowest of political shenanigans – such as opening divorce records. (And many would include 2008, as well.)

Still, that’s it for us. In typical New York Times fashion, this 40,053 word ‘interview’ rambles on for yet another 50 more paragraphs. But we just can’t take any more.

We will just recall that some of us suggested two years ago that the Presidency wasn’t a good place for ‘on the job training.’

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, October 14th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “NYT: Obama Really Only Needs Better PR”

  1. BigOil says:

    He realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” when it comes to public works.

    The not so secret dirty little secret is nothing in this country can be built without battling the mountain of bureaucracy and government red tape. Morons like Barry want the government to run everything, yet the government can not even get out of its own way.

    The best possible shovel ready job would be to bury DC under a pile of dirt.

  2. untrainable says:

    ” … assumed that impressive people in his own party must have a certain basic sense of integrity.”

    Who refers to “impressive people”? Are we talking penis size? (Nancy Pelosi wins) The ability to lie convincingly without getting caught? Number of federal crime committed? Amount of Taxes avoided in a single year? Amount of cash generated for Obie during the last election cycle? What? And assuming that Democrats have ANY sense of integrity is laughable. The only thing Democrats really stand for unflinchingly is doing whatever it takes to get re-elected.

    And does the fact that aides privately concede now that he cannot be another Abraham Lincoln after all” mean that the liberal blinders have fallen off the donkey? His own minions don’t even believe in him any longer? The fact that Barry cannot fathom ANYONE disagreeing with him will be his downfall. When he is hit with the reality of the midterms and still denies that he is responsible for the backlash will show how truly self-deluded our man-boy-king really is. And no amount of PR is going to fix that.

  3. proreason says:

    “we probably spent much more time trying to get the policy right than trying to get the politics right.”

    Jaw dropping.

    This criminal is beyond contempt.

  4. Airmail56 says:

    Perhaps barry should give ‘Baghdad Bob’ a call…

  5. Petronius says:

    Nerobama : “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.”

    Isn’t this an admission that The Great Stimulus of 2009 was a failure?

    Then what was it? An $800 billion experiment? A crap shoot? The nation’s wealth squandered on one roll of the dice? Or a colossal transfer of wealth by one gang of robbers to their chums, who are themselves also crooks and criminals?

    But not to worry. The cost of The Great Stimulus will be repaid in three or four generations. It will be repaid by confiscating the property of those evil people, “the rich.”

  6. Chase says:

    For a guy that talks alot, has the pandering, simpering, apologetic 7/24 assistance and collusion of major media, easy access to every demographic via TV and a plethora of appearances on all sorts of shows, and every photo opp, he sure has a problem communicating.

    The message, his character, and lack of substance or appeal to Americans would have nothing to do with it….

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