Campaigns for president always have one of two themes: “it’s time for a change” or “stay the course.” The incumbent power will always be the “stay the course” purveyors, even if “adjustments” or “tweaks/changes” garnish the formula. The out of power challenger will always run a campaign based on the “it’s time for a change” theme.
The themes and slogans for 2012 are already set. If Obama persists in running for election in 2012 he will run on “stay the course.” The Republicans, or a potential third party challenger, will run on an offshoot of “it’s time for a change.” Obama enabler and Big Pink hater Peggy Noonan explains:
“Four words: He made it worse.
Obama inherited financial collapse, deficits and debt. He inherited a broken political culture. These things weren’t his fault. But through his decisions, he made them all worse.
Joe Scarborough recently wrote that Obama’s big enemy now is time running out. With unemployment again above 9 percent, the country’s AAA debt rating in danger, the failure of Obama’s stimulus scams and bailout sprees evident, there is very little time for an economic rebound before November 2012. Blaming George W. Bush is increasingly a lame strategy. It’s not that Republicans are blameless:
“Republicans who blame our current economic crisis on Obama either have short memories or no shame. The GOP owned Washington when it inherited a booming economy and a $155 billion budget surplus. Mr. Obama was not as fortunate. He inherited a broken financial system, a housing market in free fall and a debt that doubled during the Bush years.
But that doesn’t mean Obama should be given a free political pass for our nation’s dismal economic condition. For while the economic crisis was not of his making, Obama’s unfocused policies and spendthrift ways have had the effect of taking a bad situation and making it worse.“
Bill Clinton left George W. Bush that great economy and growing surplus. George W. Bush left the economy in a mess. Barack Obama made it worse.
We wrote repeatedly in early 2009 that Barack Obama’s scams and schemes would fail because they were an unfocused, wasteful, mess. We called him and them Eggheads. They are destructive, delusional eggheads led by a tax cheat. We have been proven correct. What we wrote in early 2009 was controversial but is now conventional wisdom, or soon will be. Scarborough now says it was all an unfocused, wasteful mess:
“Conservatives complained that it spent too much. Liberals argued that it spent too little. But very few paid attention to the most important question: Where did the money go?
House members and senators who voted with the president were in no position to answer that question, because none of them actually read the bill before it passed.
Against that backdrop, one wonders why the Obama administration promised voters that if this muddled collection of legislative goop was signed into law, unemployment would never rise above 8 percent.
The president has clearly failed on the jobs front.”
Yup, he made it worse. In 2012 Obama will try to continue to distract from the simple fact that the economy was bad in 2009 and He Made It Worse. Obama pal and once fellow Illinois senator Dick Durbin thinks that the American people will soon hold Obama to account:
“Dick Durbin: I can’t help but think Obama might be held responsible for this economy [snip]
Now then: Democrats aren’t seriously thinking of embracing a this “messaging,” are they?
As you might have seen, my colleagues Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg did a nice job of previewing President Obama’s re-election campaign in a front page article on Sunday. One line in particular jumped out at me: “With their hopes dashed of substantial improvement in unemployment anytime soon, aides indicated that the theme was likely to be less ‘morning in America’ and more ‘don’t change horses in midstream.’”
I’m certainly no political strategist, let alone one who’s gotten a president elected. But that said, am I the only one who wonders if this might be kind of a boneheaded construct?
That’s from Matt Bai, whose big problem with the “horse” analogy appears to be that Americans are perfectly comfortable switching horses in midstream these days in all sorts of ways. Er, okay, but I’m thinking the bigger problem with it might be that the water’s gotten so high that we’re all about to drown. Normally that’s the perfect time to switch horses in midstream, right? The water’s rising, inexorably, right up to your nose, and — oh look, there’s another horse. Let’s climb on.”
Yup, blame game aside, “This Is Obama’s Economy Now.”:
“The fact is we now have the president in a position of power with his economic policies. He’s going to be held accountable, we know that,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told MSNBC this morning.”
New York Times Obama fluffer Matt Bail is not happy with the horse analogy. His fellow Timesman, the Obama statistics apologist Nate Silver, appears to agree that a stunning version of “He made it worse” – from yesteryear – has the potential to really hurt Obama:
“The year 1980 was one in which economic forecasting models were in agreement that the economy had slumped too significantly to allow President Jimmy Carter to win re-election. Unemployment was at 7.5 percent and inflation was at 9.7 percent. Per-capita GDP and disposable income growth, adjusted for inflation, had been negative over the course of Mr. Carter’s term. The economy was officially in recession for much of the election year.
But Mr. Carter — despite approval ratings in the 30s or low 40s — was holding his own against Ronald Reagan. Some polls, even well after Labor Day, showed the horse race to be tied or even had Mr. Carter with a slim lead.
Mr. Reagan would win overwhelmingly, however, claiming 44 states (even Massachusetts and New York) while limiting Mr. Carter to just 41 percent of the vote. He surged in the final week of the campaign after he posed the following question to Americans in the presidential debate of October 28, the first and only such event in which he and Mr. Carter participated together:
“Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Mr. Reagan asked, dwelling on Mr. Carter’s economic and foreign policy failures. Voters decided that they weren’t, and Mr. Reagan became the 40th president.”
Silver was a known baseball statistician hack for Obama during 2008 and now he shills for Obama at the Times. Silver is every ready to make excuses for Obama and allay the fears of the shrinking viper population that still adores Obama. But all the excuses Silver produces will not deter Obama’s 2012 opponent[s] from saying “He made it worse”:
“The slow-forming 2012 Republican race for the White House is starting to gain focus, with candidates competing to see who can hammer President Barack Obama the hardest for his economic leadership.
Republicans have launched a volley of attacks on Obama’s economic policies in the last week, hoping to capitalize on what polls show is broad public dissatisfaction with how he is handling the economy and the budget deficit.
Next week’s nationally televised debate in New Hampshire gives Republicans their best forum so far to make their case on what promises to be their central argument in 2012 — that Obama should be fired for his economic stewardship. [snip]
“He has spent three years dividing our nation, fanning the flames of class envy and resentment to deflect attention from his own failures and the economic hardship they have visited on America,” Pawlenty said of the president in a speech at the University of Chicago, where Obama once taught.”
Barack Obama and his henchmen have said if not for Obama “It would have been worse.” The HOPE they have is that Republicans (like Newt Gingrich today) will implode. The HOPE is that opposition campaigns will destroy themselves. The HOPE is that all the opposition campaigns will Newter themselves. The HOPE is that the American people can be distracted.
The American people however are focused on the economy, do not agree with Obama’s “would have been”, and think Obama made it worse. Things are so bad many think another Great Depression in on the way:
“President Barack Obama’s overall approval rating has dropped below 50 percent as a growing number of Americans worry that the U.S. is likely to slip into another Great Depression within the next 12 months, according to a new national poll.”
“In 2008, only 38% expected another Great Depression, which rose to 41% in 2009 shortly after Obama took office. In the two years of the Obamanomics recovery, it’s jumped seven points — which shows just how effective people believe Obamanomics to be.”
Great Depression talk is also coming from the left in the form of Dean Baker:
“When the financial system was on the edge of melting down back in the fall of 2008, there was much talk in the punditocracy of a second Great Depression. The story was that we risked repeating the mistake at the onset of the first Great Depression: allowing a cascade of bank failures that both destroyed much of the country’s wealth and left the financial system badly crippled. Instead, however, we acted, and these days the accepted wisdom is that the TARP and other special lending facilities created by the Federal Reserve Board prevented a similar collapse that saved us from a second Great Depression. But this view badly misunderstands the nature of the first Great Depression—and may, in fact, result in the country suffering the second Great Depression that the pundits claim we have averted.”
Baker agrees with the Obama slogan that “It would have been worse” but that is small comfort as long as Baker shouts “Great Depression coming.” Baker is not alone on the left:
“Dem Pollsters to Obama: Americans Still Think We Are in the Ditch
The Democratic polling firm Democracy Corps is out with a new comprehensive polling report looking at the state of the economy and impact on politics. [snip]
The really bad news for the Obama administration though is that Americans don’t think the economy is improving. They in fact feel their own and their family’s economic problems have gotten much worse lately.
Since the spring of 2009, two-thirds of the country have rated the state of the economy’ negatively. That is an unchanging backdrop to life in America right now. What is going on?
Try reality. Our tracking on people‘s own and immediate family experience shows a stable 35 percent who have lost a job in the last year and shows a worsening situation on health care, foreclosure, and particularly reduced wages and benefits. That is particularly true for white non-college and working class voters.
The polling falling mirrors what we are also seeing in the official data with dropping home prices and bad job reports.
As far as regular voters are concerned there is no recovery and according to Democracy Corps, Democrats need to acknowledge this reality to win in 2012. President Obama needs to stop taking credit for “fixing the problem” simply because most people don’t think it has been fixed.
The White House metaphor of getting the car out of the ditch on to level ground and not giving the car back to the guys who drove it into the ditch was unconvincing, too light-hearted, backward looking, and out-of-touch. People thought they were still in the ditch.”
It’s a Great Depression leading to a Great Awakening about the flim flam man from Chicago. Even Obama loving Politico has had to go for talking points to the Obama nest of thieves in order to bring HOPE to the worried Obama apologists. However, Republicans know the “Obama Made It Worse” theme is a winner:
“In 2008, Obama won nine states that George W. Bush had won in 2004: Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
The RNC memo notes Republican gains in those states since Obama took office in 2009, including one U.S. Senate seat, four governorships, seven state legislative chambers and 19 U.S. House seats.
“In only two and a half years, his position in those states, and in many others, has deteriorated dramatically, and Republican strength is in plain view,” the memo states.”
In the battle of the slogans Obama’s “It would have been worse” does not have the sting of truth “He Made It Worse” does. It is really bad. At the end of June the Federal Reserve will stop buying American debt (the Fed has purchased 85% of debt offerings) and the Chinese are not going to save the debt market with purchases. Not only did Obama make it worse – The Economy Is Worse Than You Think:
“The Economy Is Worse Than You Think
The policies of the Obama administration have led to the weak condition of the American economy. Growth during the coming year will be subpar at best, leaving high or rising levels of unemployment and underemployment.
The drop in GDP growth to just 1.8% in the first quarter of 2011, from 3.1% in the final quarter of last year, understates the extent of the decline. Two-thirds of that 1.8% went into business inventories rather than sales to consumers or other final buyers. This means that final sales growth was at an annual rate of just 0.6% and the actual quarterly increase was just 0.15%—dangerously close to no rise at all. A sustained expansion cannot be built on inventory investment. It takes final sales to induce businesses to hire and to invest.
The picture is even gloomier if we look in more detail. Estimates of monthly GDP indicate that the only growth in the first quarter of 2011 was from February to March. After a temporary rise in March, the economy began sliding again in April, with declines in real wages, in durable-goods orders and manufacturing production, in existing home sales, and in real per-capita disposable incomes. It is not surprising that the index of leading indicators fell in April, only the second decline since it began to rise in the spring of 2009.
The data for May are beginning to arrive and are even worse than April’s. They are marked by a collapse in payroll-employment gains; a higher unemployment rate; manufacturers’ reports of slower orders and production; weak chain-store sales; and a sharp drop in consumer confidence.”
Obama Made It Worse:
“The administration’s most obvious failure was its misguided fiscal policies: the cash-for-clunkers subsidy for car buyers, the tax credit for first-time home buyers, and the $830 billion “stimulus” package. Cash-for-clunkers gave a temporary boost to motor-vehicle production but had no lasting impact on the economy. The home-buyer credit stimulated the demand for homes only temporarily.
As for the “stimulus” package, both its size and structure were inadequate to offset the enormous decline in aggregate demand.”
But not to worry. Barack Obama has his priorities:
“At some point during the first two years of his administration, President Obama stopped receiving the daily economic briefing that he requested when he took office.”
When he is not golfing and fund-raising, he’s with the guys:
“He’ll be back at the office in time to meet Auburn’s champion football team at 3 and with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan at 4:40.”
How many football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey teams are there? However many, Obama will rub backs and smile big for all of them. The economy? He’s too busy – he’s already done enough damage.