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View Diary: It wasn't Obama's negotiating style that won him reelection. It almost cost him (442 comments)

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  •  Biden, however, promised that Social Security (20+ / 0-)

    was off the table.  

    Do we need to tie the two of them together so that one won't be giving away what the other literally promised?

    I think it is a legit question.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:01:08 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Biden's promise was not (18+ / 0-)

      however, echoed by the president.

      Biden was speaking off-the-cuff, where he has a tendency to sometimes go further than the WH-approved message.

      The most prominent example that comes to mind is when Biden expressed his own views about marriage equality. WH tried – in vain – to walk it back. So one week later, Obama follows Biden's lead and also voices support for marriage equality.

      In contrast, after Biden went further than Obama's position on Social Security, we only heard crickets chirping from the Oval Office.

      It's no accident that whenever he's spoken on record, Obama has resorted to carefully crafted weasel words – e.g. "I will not slash Social Security."

      Obama deliberately left himself wiggle room so he could use Social Security as a bargaining chip. Like he's doing right now.

      •  As you and many others have pointed out, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        No10oX

        he was very clear and explicit that SS "tweaks" to "strengthen the program" would very likely be part of the "grand bargain" -- and he was clear and explicit that he would, he intended to, and he wanted to pursue such a bargain with the republicans again in his second term. And he was "hopeful" that without the agenda of defeating him, they might be more willing to play along this time.

        So no one really ought to be shocked or surprised that this is unfolding this way. And I agree it's silly at this point to keep harping on "weakness" and "caving" and "being a bad negotiator" -- time to realize that Barack Obama has different goals than most here, and those are the goals he is pursuing, and he does not see the world as hard core progressives do. And he never has. He has made it clear that he sincerely believes in this grand bargain idea and that it is in the best interests of the country over the long term.

        Whether his pursuit of a grand bargain will be in vain or not, we shall see. I know many are hoping that he is a shitty negotiator and a naive bumbling fool, and it will all fail to achieve anything. And then, off the cliff we shall go, which would be a fantastic outcome I hear.  

        But... wasn't it Obama who negotiated this very "cliff" in the first place, as the default outcome if the republicans refuse to deal with him now? Damn... so was he actually being smart when he negotiated this deal back then? I don't know anymore, but I do know he is not as dumb or hapless as many here like to believe.

        And I know that during his campaign for re-election he stated openly that he wanted to and would try to bargain with the republicans again, and that all of the Democratic party's sacred cows were potentially on the table for discussion and changes in the process. I find it amazing that so many people apparently totally missed that. Agree or not, it was always part of the deal in re-electing him. He essentially promised that his deal will piss off progressives, because he knows the republicans will have to piss off the tea party, and he believes in this "I'll do something that pisses off my supporters if you will do something that pisses off your supporters" approach to negotiating. He talked about this in his book The Audacity of Hope -- before he ran for president even the first time. This has always been his style. It does not mean he is weak or a bad negotiator. And it obviously does not cause him to lose elections. It does mean that we can count on being pissed off quite often after he wins one though.

        •  *this* (0+ / 0-)

          x100!  I grew up in the same milieu as BHO and tried to tell my younger progressive friends (who lived in Hawai'i but were not from Hawai'i) in 2008 that he was going to be fiscally conservative, mildly progressive on some domestic social issues and fiercely patriotic when is comes to the military.

          He is not an enigma and he's not a liar. He's exactly who he says he is and a pure product of his cultural background.  And that includes not having any understanding of Hawaiian sovereignty issues because the Hawaiian Renaissance took place after he left for good.

          In other words, he's not aware of the gaps in his education because he places an extremely high value on the one he earned.  

          I think he's reasonably smart but not as smart as he himself thinks he is. I also think he is not a great judge of character.  And even if he was, it would not necessarily affect his tactics because people from Hawai'i value being nice above all else.

          It's why I can't live there.

    •  maybe Biden (5+ / 0-)

      was trying to do with what he did by endorsing marriage equality. get ahead of Obama on something he can see he's about to screw himself with.

      Shout golden shouts!

      by itsbenj on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 12:50:57 AM PST

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