September 6, 2009


For Obama and Democrats, Colorado Becomes Less Welcoming (Dan Balz, September 6, 2009, Washington Post)

A year ago, Denver enthusiastically hosted the Democratic National Convention, which culminated with Obama's acceptance speech before more than 80,000 people at the Denver Broncos' football stadium. Legions of volunteers, young and old, fanned out across the state throughout the fall to rally the vote for Obama's campaign.

Today, the energy that powered Obama to victory has begun to dissipate. Some of his supporters remain on the sidelines; others are, if not disillusioned, questioning what has happened to his presidency. As they look toward 2010, Democrats are nervous. Gov. Bill Ritter, appointed Sen. Michael F. Bennet and at least one Democratic member of the House will probably face difficult election campaigns next year.

Roy Romer, a former Democratic governor, called the state of play "very much tougher" for Obama and the Democrats than it was a year ago. "The slippage is there, and it's because things are tough and solutions aren't easy, and they [voters] don't see progress toward solutions," he said.

Mr. Obama went to Denver and said nothing, which was exactly what voters wanted to hear after 12 years of revolutionary Reform. But then he got to Washington and started trying to do stuff and none of it is supported by the American people.

The Change Agenda At a Crossroads: From Health Care to Wars to Public Anxiety, Obama's Strength as a Leader Is Tested (Scott Wilson, 9/06/09, Washington Post)

[O]pinion polls showed support for the president and his policies dipping sharply, and the disheartening numbers had shaken the confidence of some of Obama's staff. Vice President Biden addressed the anxiousness when the Cabinet and senior staff met in the State Dining Room in the White House residence the next morning.

"Did you really think this was going to be easy?" Biden said, according to one participant.

The slide has only quickened. Emerging from an angry August recess, Obama is weakened politically and faces growing concerns, particularly from within his own party, over his strength as a leader. Dozens of interviews this summer in six states -- from Maine to California -- have revealed a growing angst and disappointment over the administration's present course.

Democratic officials and foot soldiers, who have experienced the volatile public mood firsthand, are asking Obama to take a more assertive approach this fall. His senior advisers say he will, beginning with his Wednesday address to Congress on health care.

Being more assertive about a Congressional agenda that voters have rejected is a good way to elect Republican majorities.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 6, 2009 7:57 AM
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