I heard a statistic a few minutes ago on MSNBC that blew me away -- and not in a good way.
In early January 2008, I came out of the divorce-induced political hibernation I had been in for the past several years, and I got all fired up for a guy who seemed to embody the zeitgeist like nobody since John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Throughout that year, among the many reasons I saw to believe in and support Barack Obama, one of the strongest reasons was that with his ability to communicate, I knew we would see the Presidential bully pulpit being used more effectively than it had been used in generations.
Obviously, President Obama didn't wield the bully pulpit brilliantly, as I had expected. In fact, he didn't wield it much at all. This is a major reason the Republicans have been able to spread many of their Big Lies about the stimulus, health care reform, the deficit, taxes, and the alleged failure of the Obama Presidency.
To his credit, the President did figure this out quite a while ago and started trying to turn it around, which is part of why I'm supporting him so strongly. The Republicans, of course, are ridiculing this idea. Lyin' Ryan has added a line to his stump speech about how the problem with this Presidency is not that the President didn't talk enough, hahahahaha.
But today on NOW with Alex Wagner, HuffPo's Sam Stein provided almost irrefutable proof that the President indeed did not talk enough, or at least didn't talk enough to the American people about the what, how, and why of his policy provisions, or what they accomplished:
What he's gotta do, I think, is twofold: One I think is explain exactly what the accomplishments are that he achieved -- I mean, I know it's sort of cliche, but he has to re-explain the health care law again. People still don't get it. And when I was in Tampa, reporting on that convention, we called up 12 stimulus recipients in the Tampa area. Eleven of them had no idea they got stimulus money.I don't even know what else there is to say. It speaks so loudly for itself. I guess the only, rather obvious, observation left to make is that this convention has got to do everything possible to remedy those earlier omissions.