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Politico, yesterday:

Obama, Dems face hard sell on stimulus


Faced with record deficits and a skeptical public, Democrats are doubling up efforts to sell their economic recovery plan....

...public opinion still appears divided on the issue...

Politico, today:

Obama economic plan gets high marks


By a large majority, voters favor President-elect Barack Obama’s wide-ranging policy prescriptions to aid the faltering economy, according to a new Politico/Allstate poll.

The survey of 1,007 registered voters conducted Dec. 27-29 showed that 79 percent of respondents favored Obama’s plan. The president-elect is advocating a $775 billion stimulus that includes a major investment in infrastructure projects and alternative energy as well as middle-class tax cuts, job training and health care reform.

Psssst ... Andy? Could you stroll over to the water cooler and let David know that Politico's very own poll disproves the entire premise of yesterday's story?

To be fair, the poll results were announced today, one day after Rogers wrote the story about the "skeptical public." But bells should have been going off anyway in any reasonable reader's head. The story reeked of anecdote and gut feeling, typified by this:

"There’s a sense out there that we keep throwing more and more money at the problem," pollster Neil Newhouse told Politico. "There’s a ton of skepticism out there whether this will make a difference."

When a reporter quotes a pollster who talks about "a sense out there" and "a ton of skepticism" without citing a poll, readers should be .. well, skeptical. No numbers were referenced, no surveys were pointed to in this entire story, nothing but opinions were bandied about by insiders and consultants.

Bottom line: When a story purports to be about public opinion but doesn't bother to include any polling number about public opinion, it should be met with "a ton of skepticism" because "there's a sense out there" that the reporter is not basing his story on anything but gut feeling, without identifying it as such.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:20 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  thank goodness for the reality-based community (12+ / 0-)

    Evidently, Politico's not a member.

  •  Snufflupagus (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, JoeW, Stiffa

    at ABC sez he's already got the votes

    Looking to run up the score and go for 80 in the senate

    I am still fired up and ready to go!

    by MLDB on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:22:35 PM PST

  •  Actually Gallup poll out today shows (6+ / 0-)

    the majority of Americans support Obama's economic stimulus plan.

    "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

    by Drdemocrat on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:22:44 PM PST

  •  Heh. I noticed that SF Chronicle hack (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoeW, moondancing, Stiffa

    Phil Bronstein - the publisher who generally slams dems every chance he gets - quotes politico extensively on his blog. I bet he's confused today.

    Visit Northern Word, a writing, photo and travel blog.

    by decembersue on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:23:13 PM PST

  •  Public opinion IS divided (13+ / 0-)

    80/20 on Obama's stimulus plan.  

  •  Politico (9+ / 0-)

    "We've got all the bases covered."

  •  Unless he wanted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a little controversy. Because he just got it.

  •  When Politico has an identity crisis (5+ / 0-)

    it's nice to know that they have the good Drudgean sense to go ahead and print the crap before bothering to verify it.

    I have a feeling that there's a sense out there that Politico's rep is going down fast.

  •  This is the thing I HATE about the stimulus plan; (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, winsock, thethinveil

    the "tax cut for companies which make and retain jobs".   I feel like that part is a total gimmick and vulnerable to massive abuse.

    "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves! Be ye therefore as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves." Matthew 10:16

    by Setrak on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:26:26 PM PST

  •  Politico... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    island in alabama

    ...thy name is Bullshit

    One of the few positives that could have come from the 9/11 attacks was that the Legacy Media would grow up and begin to pay attention to real things in the world.

    Didn't take them long to get right back into Paris/Britney let alone the supposed horse race and gladiator style political theatre they love to peddle

    This absudity from Politico is just more cheesy melodrama for the barely aware.

    "Return the Egg to Mothra Island!": The Singing Mothra Twins

    by jds1978 on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:27:05 PM PST

  •  There was something similar with (0+ / 0-)

    David Paterson and the NY Senate appointment. One day, he was in favor of the caretaker. Literally the next day, Paterson came out and said, "No I dont want a caretaker." I dont think that was Politico, though.

  •  There's a reason it's called a "story" (0+ / 0-)

    When there isn't a real one, another can always be made up to meet deadlines.

    Financial reporters do it the most. They never really know why the market is moving in a particular direction.

  •  Politico v Politico? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Stiffa, pensivelady

    That would unleash more smug than the world could absorb.

  •  And that poll, which shows the public (5+ / 0-)

    solidly in favor, was taken before today's gravitas filled speech.

    But listen, the Rethugs are going to try to obstruct.  They want Obama to fail.  If he succeeds they are absolutely dead.
    They're on life support now.
    If two years from now Obama has turned the economy around the Rethugs will be consigned to permanent minority status.  Not just in Washington, but in the governor's mansions and state legislatures across the USA.
    They'll try to get a bill passed that has just enough of an expenditure to guarantee it falls short of being enough, while still being a lot of money.
    Then they'll be able to point to it and say "Look at all the money Obama spent, and all for nothing."

    Thanks for the crisis Dubya. Time to apply a little "shock doctrine" of our own.

    by jazzmaniac on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:31:07 PM PST

    •  How Pro-America of them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jazzmaniac, Stiffa

      If America heals we will die.  America must die so that we may live.-Repugs 2009                      I am moved to song.

      "and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night...."

    •  They will be hard-pressed to accomplish (0+ / 0-)

      that without being so obvious that it apparent to most members of the public. First of all, the handful of moderate Republicans in Congress who actually care about the country won't play along. Secondly, Obama has proven how much smarter he is than the current GOP strategists only about 100 times so far. Can anybody really imagine Obama accepting a bill that is not enough?

      All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

      by MikePhoenix on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 10:47:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  pollster Neil Newhouse told politico (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    'there's a ton of skepticism in this 3 foot radius'.

    pollster Neil Newhouse told politico....
    'there's a ton of skepticism here in my pants'

  •  Yesterday: Politico full of shit (8+ / 0-)

    Today: Politico full of shit

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:33:34 PM PST

  •  How many people even know what (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama's plan is?

    Here's what one expert says of the plan:

    Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz said Obama’s plan is “not enough”

    “Clearly more is going to be needed,” Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University in New York who advised Obama during the campaign, told reporters at a conference in Paris today. “With a lot of the money going to tax cuts, they won’t have the effect some would hope.”


    This was someone who advised Obama during the campaign so he would know the difference between what Obama is saying now, and what was stated during the primary.

    The central problem is that his tax cut plans have nothing to do with the stimulus package that was promised after the meltdown. Theya re two separate issues.

    We are talking about a gain of 20 dollars per American family per week.

    •  Lowering the interest rate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      on credit card and student loan debt would provide more of a stimulus than a tax cut. But I'm just one of the little people, so what do I know.

      The weak in courage is strong in cunning-William Blake

      by beltane on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:38:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good idea (0+ / 0-)

        Student loans and credit card fits in with helping people renegotiate their mortgage rates since it will have a more lasting impact on disposal income for spending.

      •  by its not just that we are little people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        it is that people are all to willng to fall over themselves for Obama rather than objectively listening to what economists have been saying. I am taking my cue from them. Most of them have been saying, whether tehy are conservative or liberal, that tax cuts won't work. The only people arguing tax cuts until last week were the Republicans. Now, that Obama has said it, others are falling into line due to Obama being a Democrat rather than becausehe is right. I wish I were wrong on this, but there is really no other reasonable conclusion. In other words, its that there are not enough people trying to hold Obama accountable as to whether his ideas reflect what economists have said need to be done.

        •  Speaking out on this issue (0+ / 0-)

          is important, and is not an attack on Obama. . One of the big mistakes of the Clinton years was that the left became oddly passive and silent.

          The weak in courage is strong in cunning-William Blake

          by beltane on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 07:04:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is not left versus right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            This is accountable based on objective standards versus "I trust him because he's Obama, and he's my leader."

            The later is not about Obama other than Obama will certainly accept this type of support. It's really about the supporter mentality involved.

            Look, here's my problem regarding accountability here in a nutshell:

            This was my thesis as to my problem with Obama:

            If you are looking in ordinary business for the price point (the point where a deal can be made) to be $5, but the opposing party wants it closer to zero, you don't start with $5. You start with $10.00. If you start with $10, you are more likely to get five. His negotiating style starts at $5.

            My friend (a more ardent Obama supporter than myself) got mad. started yelling at me, and did the normal liberal democrat thing of saying "that's stupid. No one is going to give you $10, and if you start at such a stupid negotiation point, you aren't going to get anything at all." That's the Obama mentality in a nutshell. They assume they aren't going to get anything and thus low ball the negotiation. They don't fight for it at all.

            Of course, what will happen now is that the GOP will still fight Obama on this. Say that they have a problem with the plan, and require more concessions. This crappy plan will get worse, not better, unless Congressional Dems are willing to fight the new party leader on this. The GOP will obstruct, and hope to keep the economy bad through the mid terms of next year so that they can run on the economy against Obama and the Democrats.

            They , like me, probably have seen that economists have said that this recession /depression could last anywhere from 1 to 5 years depending on the steps taken under Kensian type spending to stop it. That's the context.

            So, we start at 5 rather than 10, and thus, we will not get even 5.

  •  Basing stories on "whimsy" even more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    than "gut feeling" sometimes.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:34:52 PM PST

  •  It must be one of these (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

    by shpilk on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:35:00 PM PST

  •  Does Politico have an op-ed page? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Or was David supposed to be writing a straight news story when he vented his "gut feelings" and "sense of scepticism"?  This sounds worse than the dichotomy of news stories/op-ed essays at the Wall Street Journal.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:37:36 PM PST

  •  It's Part of "Flag Pin Solidarity" (0+ / 0-)

    The only people that wear flag pins are politicians and talking heads. The rest of us, by and large, do not.

    Why do they do this? Because it's a signal that they are the ruling elite, the powerful. Those pins signify membership in a club that says that the rulers and their minions are somewhat above us, as it would never occur to any true patriot to don such a piece of meaningless jewelry--it's their way of saying they belong to the same club.

    Therefore, anything that appears to be what the non-elite want MUST be shot down, even if it's a positive. The idea that we have actual representative government repulses them--they're happiest when we take what they give and lump it.

  •  The Cart Before the Horse (0+ / 0-)

    I think DAVID ROGERS was hoping the upcoming house pol will vindicate him.

  •  hahhahahahahahhaa (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger1968, pensivelady

    excuse me. i'm trying not be rude.


    sorry, just had to let that out...

    "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

    It's time: the albany project.

    by lipris on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:39:40 PM PST

  •  Everybody knows... (0+ / 0-)

    there, also.

    The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it. --Mark Twain

    by Desert Rose on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:39:58 PM PST

  •  Yeah, that Rogers guy is right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lipris, jj32, fromer

    I'm skeptical that a nice fat check would do me any good in regards to keeping my house and paying my bills.  That's insight, man.  
    In fact, I'm skeptical that Rogers is a tool.  A big tool.  With connections to the Heritage Foundation or the Cato Institute or Rush Limbaugh.
    We're all doing great David!  No, don't give us any money.  Eff that shit!  : )

    "I shall never surrender or retreat." --Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis

    by badger1968 on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:40:31 PM PST

  •  I get a gut feeling and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    sense that someone at Politico has a little ol' agenda to push.

    "Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke." --Will Rogers...sig line change in honor of Al Franken

    by Klick2con10ue on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:43:49 PM PST

  •  journalmalism! (0+ / 0-)

    oh, it's only get worse. there's a market for fuckcrap reporting.

    Dear Mr. President, There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three.
    P.S. I am not a crackpot.
    -Abe Simpson

    by fromer on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:48:54 PM PST

  •  Politico is a right wing blog (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, island in alabama

    although they don't call themselves that.

  •  This is the corporate-controlled media (0+ / 0-)

    at its "finest." Until we re-regulate the media, you'll see this kind of slant on the news all around the edges - and when it's important to their bottom line: right up the middle.

    And no one in the new administration has said a single word about media ownership.

    Change the media ownership laws - break up the corporate media monopoly!

    by moosely2006 on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:57:39 PM PST

  •  Politico is a Political Joke (0+ / 0-)
  •  Giving a single person (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    $500.00 still does not seem like a viable plan to get the economy back on track.

    I think the following should be implemented.

    A CEO should not be allowed to make more than 300% of their lowest paid employee's salary. (Right now they make more than 800% of their lowest paid employees.)That includes benefit packages. A CEO's health and dental should be no greater than the plan offered to their lowest paid employee--this would spawn real dedication to giving all employees a real health, dental and vacation plan.

    No CEO makes a bonus if they have to initiate layoffs or their respective company's yearly profit ends in the red.

    I think the problem is all in compensation...nobody should make so much money that it requires elimnating necessary jobs to meet CEO demands.

    That's just a start. We're in a crisis...trickle down economics does not work. Let's face it. If you want to do business in the United States, you don't rape the people and consudmers of the United States to make your own package 'golden.'

  •  Well, the right wing meme is that Obama is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Livvy5, Stiffa
    fear mongering and that the American people don't really want this recovery package.   So even if they say they want it, they don't really want it.  They are just too stupid to think otherwise. It's the same logic that makes them think republicans weren't rejected and we are a center right nation.

    I thought Obama would teach everyone the difference between "its" and "it's."

    by Into The Stars on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 07:22:43 PM PST

  •  hahahaha (0+ / 0-)

    Liked your last paragraph, Susan. Just wanted to mention that.

  •  Stimulus (0+ / 0-)

    I would fall into the skeptic ranks.  The amount of money Obama is talking about will lead to the usual proclivity of Congress to fund their pet projects at the expense of the drastic change that we certainly need.  The money will get dumped out to the states.  The states will spend it on roads and bridge projects they have in the works already, feeding the vested interests that already infest the Democratic party with their reactionary social agenda.  We will get a token amount spend on mass transit and green projects.  Every contractor in the U.S. will suddenly have a road to Damascus epiphany and  become an environmental supporter interested in saving the planet from climate change.  The sad part of it all is that they will never even begin to understand the real problem and most of the effort will be marketing and spin.  And it will not help move us towards a solution.  

    Two years out we will hear the beginning of a litany of serious charges of corruption in how the money is being spent with full throated denials from the Democrats who knew from the beginning how this would play out.

    As usual the supporters of the two party catastrophe will sigh and say "Well, what do you expect.  That's how the system works."    

  •  Even my retired military DC centric acquaintances (0+ / 0-)

    are calling for truce, with kudos. I'm just left wondering. Is there anything up their sleves?

    "They pour syrup on shit and tell us it's hotcakes." Meteor Blades

    by JugOPunch on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 07:27:50 PM PST

  •  Gut Feeling Often Right (0+ / 0-)

    Sometimes what you tell a pollester and what you really think and feel is the difference in your conscious and your subconscious.

    Have to say my gut feeling is often as right as all my practical, rational researching.

    Someone once explained to me that that gut feeling you have, even though the available facts might tell you different, is bits of unrecongized info lingering around in your subconscious.

    I have no idea if this is true. LOL

  •  Thank You SusanG! (0+ / 0-)

    I think it is critical that we all hold mega-drama creation "news" sites like Politico accountable for this baloney.

    Politico has been the master of this since the primary ended last year.

    There are numerous instances of Politico fabricating drama, over-reaching and creating "news stories" that read more like long blog posts of rumors and inuendo in attempts to make the Dems & Obama try to look bad.

    You can count on 1 hand the number of times Politico has had a headline about bad news for Bush or the GOP.

    Politico is all Obama / Dem made-up drama all the time ...

  •  re: (0+ / 0-)

    When a story purports to be about public opinion but doesn't bother to include any polling number about public opinion, it should be met with "a ton of skepticism" because "there's a sense out there" that the reporter is not basing his story on anything but gut feeling, without identifying it as such.

    Poll or not, there are times when it doesn't seem to matter much to journalists or pundits.  I've seen cases where even with a a dozen polls knocked upside their head pundits who have an agenda tend to grip that agenda like a dog obliviously gnawing on his favorite chew toy.  And if one poll leans their way? Forget about it-they are drooling all over it.

    So, a healthy does of skepticism is always a good idea when it comes to journalists or pundits with bloody obvious agendas, with or without polls.

    You don't reach out to shun it.-landrew

    by mentaldebris on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 08:11:11 PM PST

  •  The major reason the public is behind Obama's (0+ / 0-)

    plan is due to the tax cuts.  Most tax payers in the income bracket of $250k or less have battled with excessive taxes for far too long.  Obama won this election in large part because he promised sizable tax cuts to every single American making $250k or less.  The fact that the focal point of his "stimulus" plan is to provide long awaited tax relief to those making $250k or less is long overdue.  It is something we should all celebrate.

    •  We are not talking about those tax cuts (0+ / 0-)

      we are talking about across the board tax cuts that weren't discussed in the election and tax cuts for business that hire new employees - which could result in firing people and then hiring scabs.

      Good Frames Won't Save Bad Paintings.

      by thethinveil on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 05:06:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  About Neil (0+ / 0-)

    Public Opinion Strategies has been described by the New York Times as "the leading Republican polling company" in the country and the firm was named "Pollster of the Year" by the trade publication "Campaigns and Elections" for its work in the 2002 election cycle.

    Enough said.

  •  By the evening of his inauguration, the jury will (0+ / 0-)

    have decided the success or failure of the Obama presidency.  Or so it seems.  I have never seen more wasted breath on something that hasn't even been created in my life.

    "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..."--HST

    by moondancing on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:05:48 AM PST

  •  I am so sick of this... (0+ / 0-)

    I keep reading things like, "the honeymoon's over," before Barack has even been sworn in. I mean, cut the man some slack here. He's just a man, a human being; he's not superman. None of us are. He deserves the chance to make a difference. Look what we've put up with for the last 8 years. Surely, he can't be worse than that. I don't even want to know who could be.

    She is only HALF a mother who does not see HER child in EVERY child - Anonymous

    by forever blue on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:34:21 AM PST

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