July 15, 2010

AN ANALYSIS AT ODDS WITH ITSELF:

Why President Obama loses by winning (JOHN F. HARRIS & JIM VANDEHEI, 7/15/10, Politico)

This is an odd reversal of expectations. When he came into office, the assumption, even among some Democrats, was that he was a dazzling politician and communicator who might prove too unseasoned at governance to win substantive achievements.

The reality is the opposite. You can argue over whether Obama’s achievements are good or bad on the merits. But especially after Thursday’s vote, you can’t argue that Obama is not getting things done. To the contrary, he has, as promised, covered the uninsured, tightened regulations, started to wind down the war in Iraq and shifted focus and resources to Afghanistan, injected more competition into the education system and edged closer to a big energy bill.

The problem is that he and the West Wing are not especially good at politics, or communications — in other words, largely ineffective at the very things on which their campaign reputation was built. And the promises he made during two years of campaigning have turned out to be much less appealing as actual policies.


The problem there is that the last sentence essentially undermines everything that has come before. Because, if you are a brilliant politician, as witness having passed everything you set out to do, and a gifted communicator, so folks are all aware of what you have done, but the American people wish you hadn't done any of those things, then you'd be in exactly the position Mr. Obama is today.

The pig is just unlipstickable.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 15, 2010 4:53 PM
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