Meanwhile, opposite Larry with his brand new West Wing episodes, we get a dose of harsh reality from Keith, who opened his show last night with a timeline of the White House staff snafus on scheduling the boss's speech, saying the President "punted." Unless they've changed the rules of the game, a "punt" is never a "win" ... maybe a tie, at best, with advantage to the other side, that gets the ball back.
Amid all the anticipation of what the President will say in his "jobs" address to Congress on
Clarence Page, one of the last of the old-time honest "journalists", who is based in Chi-Town and therefore knows President Obama better than buffet nibblers going way back to Mr. Obama's Illinois legislative days, was skeptical. Watch him school Michael Smerconish (a reliable independent voters barometer) and D.C. Fantasia-based Sam Stein on what it all means for the President's prospects:
When President Obama loses Clarence Page he is entering a critical risk zone for his re-election prospects, a sad litany of self-inflicted caves, regardless of what Lawrence's presidential elections astrologer had to say.
President Obama runs the serious risk of no longer being taken seriously by the public, after successive capitulations to the GOP, that could be tuning out and tuning in to its favorite panis et circenses entertainment, NFL Football. The President runs the serious risk of being the second coming of Jimmy Carter, whose "malaise" speech in which he didn't actually say the word blamed Americans for our economic woes. "He says our consumerism, our materialism have really gotten in the way of this problem." Contrast that with George W. Bush telling Americans to go "shopping" after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Bush did not harm his re-election by tapping the American people's bottomless reservoir for comfort junk food advice.
Indeed, Carter lost the American people, and his re-election, following that speech, I believe, because he was perceived as blaming ordinary Americans for events beyond their control: an Arab oil embargo and the economic recession plaguing his presidency. That's the Obama template so far, not FDR or Truman, and credit a right wing radio host for drawing the parallels. Laura Ingraham is actually doing Obama and his publicists a favor by anticipating the political risk to the President. There are other parallels, too: Carter retreated to Camp David to mull over his speech. President Obama went on a "listening" bus tour to hear from ordinary Americans. Then he consulted with billionaire Warren Buffet and presidential historian Michael Bechloss on what approach to take in his anticipated "jobs" speech. In each case, the impression left is of presidential gravitas surrounding this policy speech akin to a State of the Union address.
I sure hope the President pulls an FDR or even a Truman. Considering his temperament and wrong-headed conciliatory approach to Republican bullies — no different than the schooloyard type; they will smell weakness and pounce — it's more likely he'll pull a Jimmy Carter, with a twist: bemoaning the fact that he's proposing all these Republican ideas and proposals and they're just saying NO. In which case he will have doomed his presidency. Tell me I'm wrong, Idiot Punditocracy. I really hope I am.
AS IF ... As if President Obama would (he could, with his oratorical skills) pull an FDR, both in substance and impact. Thanks to Michael Smerconish for unearthing this gem:
"THERE'S ALWAYS HOPE." ~ President Obama, in a recent presser.