Monday, March 11, 2013

Does Obama's Charm Offensive Matter?

According to Peggy Noonan, the Republican senators that dined with President Obama last week had nice things to say about the president.  But one of the senators pointed out his lack of leadership.
At certain points in the conversation the president, according to the senator, said that even if he wanted to agree with the Republicans on certain specific questions there would be a rebellion in his own party: “He said that a few times. But that’s an abdication. You have to lead! You have to educate as only a president can with a bully pulpit, you have to bring your party along.”
At the American Spectator Peter Hannaford talked about Trojan Horses and an invitation to betrayal.  The White House's idea is to get just enough Senate votes to send a bill to the House to undo the sequester.  Then, when the House rejects it,
Obama’s mouthpiece, Jay Carney, will say with a straight face, “He did everything he could. He worked with Republicans in the Senate, but the House just wouldn’t let go of its protection of millionaire and billionaire tax loopholes.”
Well maybe.  But I'd say that any Republican politician in Washington DC knows by now that you cannot trust the president on anything.  Whatever agreement you think you have, the president will change if he thinks he can score a point on you.

I just can't believe that any successful politician (and they are all successful to have made it up the greasy pole to Congress) would want to trust President Obama further than they can throw him.

Naturally, they say nice things to Peggy Noonan, and naturally Peter Hannaford is worried.  But really, here is a president that didn't want to talk to the Republicans until, all of a sudden, he lost a round in the blame game.  You don't think that these veteran politicians can smell weakness?

Michael Barone said it straight out about Obama and the White House.
They're flailing. That's the impression I get from watching Barack Obama and his White House over the past week.
The fact is that Obama is doing what any Democrat president would do.  He is putting off the inevitable day when the Democratic base will have to start eating "give-backs": cuts to their sacred entitlements.  The only way that a Democratic president will be able to sell cuts to the Democratic base is when the city walls are crumbling in a fiscal earthquake.  Until then, don't expect any leadership on spending from any Democratic leader.

Rahm Emanuel is justly famous for his remark that you never want a crisis to go to waste.  But the full truth is that in politics you can never do the difficult thing unless there is a crisis.

No comments:

Post a Comment