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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: 7/8 (243 comments)

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  •  I think Truman would sell. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumiputera, jncca, SaoMagnifico

    Or rather, I think his style, updated for the modern era, would sell.

    (I'm about to mix a lot of different notions here, but hopefully my point comes across.)

    One thing I consistently forget when I call for him to go nuts on the Republicans is that it's not his style, for better and for worse at the same time. What made him seem so appealing during the campaign was that he was cool, calm, and collected, compared to McCain, who even if understandably, seemed to unravel as the days went on. There are disadvantages to bringing the Harvard Law Review, but there are some clear advantages that only he could possess. Plus, and perhaps more importantly, his appeal lies with the post-partisan, non-Keith Olbermann style. People like him, even if they don't always like what he's doing, and as we see in poll after poll, that's always an advantage, even if it's bigger in some cases than it is in others. I'd even go so far as to say that, at this point, I'd rather have people like him than anything else--aside from strong job creation, of course. But at the same time, why can't Obama fight vigorously while still trying to remain a good guy? There's no inherent conflict, I think, in trying to do things like call up Dick Cheney in the hospital to wish him well and in trying to demand that Republicans offer job creation plans. He can be both firm and tough while still retaining his intellectual edge and sense of decency; I think his convention speech is proof of that. The question is, why isn't he doing this? Why does he seem to be actively picking up the other side's talking points? Does he really believe it? Perhaps. But is Geithner really just like Phil Gramm? He still has, from what I can tell, a decent number of the same people working for him--Jason Furman and Diana Farrell at the NEC, for instance--and lots of Clinton people--Gene Sperling, also at the NEC, and Katherine Abraham at the CEA, for instance--who probably aren't Republican clones. I usually see the long play in his moves, but this time, I don't.

    I also don't understand why his political people aren't giving him more of a hard time, if in fact they aren't. DCCyclone and I have disagreed slightly over the power of what I recommended above--trying to put the Republicans on the line--but it's worth a try, no? I don't want him to put politics above all else--although, in this case, good politics and good policy happen to align quite frequently--but I'd very curious to see what his political operators think of what he's doing. Do they sense an immediate trade off of appealing to the base and scaring off Independents? Do they really, truly think he's going to suffer by asking the Republicans to put up or shut up, even in the sweetest, most polite terms possible? And if not them, then why not one of the many eager, ambitious, attractive young Democrats around the country? Why isn't Kirsten Gillibrand making this case? How about Chris Murphy or Martin Heinrich or Dianna DeGuette? If politics is like being in the mob and we don't want the boss to get his hands dirty by going after the other side, let one of the underlings do it. They don't have to go ballistic on television to make a point. They simply need to launch the sort of persistent, sustained campaign that the Republicans launch when they want to get a point across. Except, in our case, we'd be relying on fact rather than fantasy.

    I felt like I had more to say, but I guess I am done--for now, any way. Despite the fact that this stuff is probably giving me ulcers and taking years off of my life, I can't look away. I continue to hold out hope. Why, exactly? Well, I can't remember where, exactly, I read it, but I remember reading that, during the campaign, Christina Romer, his first head of the CEA, and possibly her husband sent economic plans to the campaign in what amounted to an application to work for him. (Something like this, anyway.) She's obviously a serious scholar with a sterling reputation, and while Obama appears smart and well informed, he's not an economist. Still, he sent back the papers they sent him with markings all over it, wanting to know more and asking for points to be clarified. He's an academic, too, obviously, and they generally have open, inquisitive minds. My point is that even if he's not going where we'd like now, there's probably a possibility, perhaps even a big one, of him going where we'd like in the future. Compare that to Bush, or to pretty much any of the Republicans running. The mere fact that he's not insane is reason enough to vote for him for a second term, but the fact that we may be able to move things in a positive direction is even more of a reason to get behind him.

    •  We need to stop comparing to the past (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nickers

      Obama is Obama, he's one of a kind in his own right.  He's someone future candidates and Presidents will be compared to, not someone to compare against others.  As such, he can't be "like" some past President we remember fondly in hindsight.  Give 'em hell Harry was given hell in the form of dismal job approvals for most of his Presidency.  Only years later was he appreciated.

      We're in uncharted ground here politically.  It really is the worst recession post-WWII, and that makes this time different from all before it.  It's clearly not remotely as bad as the Great Depression, so that's not a valid precedent.  And the political culture is so radically different that it's no use comparing to a previous era.  Nonwhite voters are the biggest force we've ever been numerically, enough so to save Obama even if he gets just 39% of the white vote.  So demographics alone change the story.  Unfortunately Stu Rothenberg doesn't seem to get it that the Voting Rights Act isn't being repealed, black people still get to vote, so demographics matter and it's not all about white voters and white independents like he pretends.  And as I said above, Obama is a unique political figure and well-liked because of it, he can't copy others.  Obama just needs to be Obama, and either that's good enough or it isn't.  Obama is the guy who gives soaring speeches that lift our hearts, and calms us in troubled times with his words.  His Giffords shooting speech in Arizona was an example of who he uniquely is.

      All this crap about how Obama should act, more emotion, more calm, less this, more that, it all reminds me of Iowa State basketball fans complaining about our head coach's "sideline demeanor" in a bad season (and we've had only bad seasons for quite a few years now).  The coach isn't emotional enough, he doesn't work the refs enough, or he's too loud and crazy and swears too much, or whatever else they make up to rationalize in the dumbest way we we're losing.

      This stuff about how Obama acts in public is much the same.  He is who he is, he's himself, and it doesn't matter how he acts as long as he's sincere.  Acting like Truman or any other way does not help one damn bit.

      43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 06:54:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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