I think that during the 2007/8 campaign season, Barack Obama and his supporters were rather idealistic and frankly, rather myopic to the muck and mire of Washington politics.
Obama talked a good game about cleaning up Washington and having an open and transparent government. However, the reality of being the President of the United States hit him like a ton of bricks. The reality of our national security issues prevented him from closing Gitmo as promised. The reality of the wars in the Middle East caused Obama to increase troop level in Afghanistan, something he was opposed to during the campaign.
The stark reality of partisan politics kept the “public option” out of the watered down Health Reform Bill passed in the beginning of the year. Climate change and renewable energy plans (which would have created “green jobs”) were shelved for more important reasons, like a 10% unemployment for the last 18 months or so.)
I don’t think the POTUS fully understood that there was no such thing as “post racial” America after his election and that one-third of the country resented him to the point that they found multiple reasons to question his legitimacy to hold the office of the President of the United States of America.
Those opponents had been vocal even before Obama was elected and have grown in numbers and anger about the economy, jobs, too much government, as well as homophobic, xenophobic and cultural issues.
I believe the folks who said that Obama was too inexperienced in Washington politics, to become president, may have had a point after all…
After months of grappling with governance and a year’s worth of crises, President Barack Obama has leapt back into the political fray — to the relief of some Democrats and the indifference of others who want as little to do with him as possible.
But, try as some individual Democrats might to run away from Obama, the party’s collective fate is bound to his. As one Hill Democrat put it: “2010 and 2012 have now become the same year.”
In other words, his mojo is ultimately their mojo.
“He’s starting to get going, but I’d have him out there more, more, more — four days a week,” said former Democratic National Committee chief Howard Dean, who has been heartened by recent red-meat Obama speeches in Milwaukee and Cleveland.
But is the real Barack really back?
Democrats aren’t so sure — and, as usual, they are never short of advice. So, here are five suggestions for Obama’s Recovery Fall, courtesy of 20 or so Democratic operatives, politicians and academics canvassed by POLITICO.
But they have to let it go, Democrats say. Quit defending the economic policies, however sound, that have left the country with a 9.6 percent unemployment rate. Ditch the just-give-our-remedies-more-time-to-work stuff — emphasize the fight, not a statistical recovery many working-class voters aren’t experiencing.
“They believe that they have to say what they’re doing is working, but let me tell you, that’s annoying the hell out of people,” said James Carville, the former Bill Clinton adviser. “No one thinks it’s true. It irritates people who are out there struggling and just feeds this perception that they are out of touch.”
What they should do, Carville advises, is to say “Every day, we’re out there fighting for you — the middle class — and every day these Republicans are blocking us from helping you.”
Dean, who made the fight central to his 2004 Democratic campaign — sometimes to a fault — said that Obama’s been taking it to Republicans more often. One top Democratic operative even said the past two weeks have been “like someone flicked a switch on and Obama finally came back to life.”
Democrats who were heartened by Obama’s fiery speeches last week are hoping for more of the same in an upcoming series of Obama campaign rallies in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada. Continue reading…