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I was standing at the bustop today in Philly and thought the woman next to me was Lynne Abraham, the tough ex-District Attorney in Phladelphia who served from 1991-2010 and served as DA under Gov Ed Rendell when he was our Mayor. I voted for her every time she ran since I moved to Philly in 1994 and I told her so. She was known as one damn good but tough Democrat in a heavily Democratic city. And so I asked her "Your're a seasoned politician. What happened on Tuesday?" I will not sugar coat what she said to me and she was very genuine as we talked as we waited for our bus to come....

I think the best way to capture what she said as she reflected (now retired from politics) is to put her central points in bullet form:

  1. Obama and the DEMS failed to adequately communicate the details of their accomplishments. She considered this a major flaw of Obama.
  1. She didn't think HC reform per se was the problem, but that the lengthy bill was never fully explained by Obama to the American people. She confirmed he should have gone on TV afterward and did a Healthcare 101 to drum the bill's benefits home and into the American psyche.
  1. The economy is in sad shape, too many people are suffering, and the DEMS are in charge of everything.
  1. If the Republicans in Congress don't do a good job, in two years they will be voted out. She confirmed Americans are fickle.
  1. I mentioned that the only white demographic Obama won in 2008 was whites 30 and under but that they had been neglected by this administration in my view; they were not energized and did not come out to vote like they did in 2008. She said that's because the policies passed by the DEMS largely did not impact them.
  1. I asked her why older adults voted in record numbers for Republicans who even threated to cut Medicare and Social Security. She said that narrative never struck with them - at least not this voting cycle (maybe the next), but that all they heard (perceived) was "big government" "cuts in Medicare" (scary!) - the HCB did cut Medicare waste but the Repugs did a good job convincing older adults otherwise - that these were CUTS to their health care. All six of these points I attributed as very valid and from the head of a very experienced seasoned Democratic politician.

The only thing thing she said that I disagree with is #7.

  1. He is showing his inexperience.

I did not agree with that statement but I was more just trying to listen. I thanked her, thanked her for her service, and told her I admired good ethical politicians - that it had to be a tough job. She concurred and said it was practically an impossible job with half of her constituents wanting one thing and the other half always wanting the opposite.  

I only wish I could have perceived that she had indeed given Obama credit for saving us from a near depression and possible global collapse. I wish she had indicated he saved the auto industry practically single handed. I wish she had indicated what a horrific plate he was handed coming into office and that by many measures he has set the country on the right track. But I guess if you have no job or your mortgage is underwater, all those passed DEM policies seem shallow. I would love to know the employment status of those who voted from exit polls.  I think I read someplace that most voters overwhelmingly were retired, older, and HAD jobs. If that's true, then I think the failure to communicate and break through the propoganda of the the media, in particular FOX, was a real determinent.    

My last point: the banks/greed/Wall Street nearly brought the globe and this country to its knees. But Obama is going to have to placate these devils in order for these Robber Barrons to take the new stock market money they are stashing away and begin to use it to start hiring. Can Obama win this high stakes game? For the first time, I honestly do not know. I only hope so.

Originally posted to RNmakingsense on Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 09:43 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  thanks for sharing that. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    giblets, Words In Action

    i'm in philly, too.... and i remember lynn pretty well.

    now you have a nice story to tell.


    "Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." -Helen Keller

    by ridemybike on Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 09:49:32 PM PDT

  •  hm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    If the Republicans in Congress don't do a good job, in two years they will be voted out. She confirmed Americans are fickle.

    Optimism that our abilities can beat the idea of "You don't want to give them Congress and the White House again"?

    or that if they don't do a good job, they'll just say that voters need to vote Obama out?

    they're in an interesting position. If things improve, they'll take credit, if they don't, they'll blame Obama.

    Not to mention the whole thing that beating 25+ incumbents in the campaign finance deform era is a daunting task and that the local parties got hit hard by the 2010 election losses and the reversal of DNC policies that helped those parties in 2006/2008

  •  Nice summation........ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think that after the election President Obama now understands that selling his accomplishments is one of his jobs. He may not like doing it.  But he's got to start.  He's got the bully pulpit.  It's an asset. Use it.

    Do things Lyndon Johnson style.....twist a few arms, make some demands.  I cringe when I see them pushing him around.  It bothers me.  Michael Moore said he "needs to stop being Gentle Ben".

    I know he has greatness within him. Maybe less concentration on the nuts & bolts aspect of his overwhelming job & more public relations.  He was great at connecting during the campaign.  I want that Barack Obama back.  


  •  I'll never think highly of her (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B, mallyroyal

    She made Philadelphia into the Texas of the North with her rapid support of the death penalty. Her zeal -- thirst even -- for the death penalty was an outrage for such a Democratic city.

    I wonder if she didn't retire because Seth Williams, who came close to knocking her off in the 2005, was running again in 2009.

  •  for some reason I don't buy (0+ / 0-)

    that companies are not hiring because they want to hoard their money. Simply companies are not hiring beecause there are no buyers for what they produce. If people was nocking at their doors trying to buy their products they would do whatever they can to meet the inventory demands,including hiring. For those who feel that Government jobs are not the answer show me a way in which, having a stalled private sector, any one can send thousands of people with their pockets full of money to the street and not have companies "eager" to separate them from their cash.If what the companies sell is good and if their work force can not keep up with the demand then they will hire

  •  #7 has something to it, too. (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, we did know what we were doing.  The trade-off with Obama, who is brilliant and humane, is that he wasn't experienced.  That's an OK trade-off but there's no point pretending it isn't real.  

    The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

    by Rich in PA on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 04:52:21 AM PDT

  •  Placate the Thieving Wall Street Devils?!!!!!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    That's a MAJOR Problem with Obama who refused to look back but instead freely chose to look forward only and forget criminally prosecuting Obama's thieving "savvy businessmen" buddies.

    Obama was the editor of the Harvard Law Review and possesses a doctorate degree in law from a premiere Ivy League graduate school that professes to train only the best and the brightest so he should know the difference between a thief and a "savvy businessman"

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