Monday, January 18, 2010

Obama blew it:

At least that's one reading of Paul Krugman's column. Excerpts:
It’s instructive to compare Mr. Obama’s rhetorical stance on the economy with that of Ronald Reagan. It’s often forgotten now, but unemployment actually soared after Reagan’s 1981 tax cut. Reagan, however, had a ready answer for critics: everything going wrong was the result of the failed policies of the past. In effect, Reagan spent his first few years in office continuing to run against Jimmy Carter.

Mr. Obama could have done the same — with, I’d argue, considerably more justice. He could have pointed out, repeatedly, that the continuing troubles of America’s economy are the result of a financial crisis that developed under the Bush administration, and was at least in part the result of the Bush administration’s refusal to regulate the banks.

But he didn’t. (...)

Whatever the reason, Mr. Obama has allowed the public to forget, with remarkable speed, that the economy’s troubles didn’t start on his watch.
Obama avoided placing a lot of blame on Bush and the Republicans because he was doing that ridiculous "bipartisan-outreach" stunt. Not only was it not going to work, but valuable political points were lost when a blame-the-Republicans narrative faded from memory. And it's too late to deploy it now.

(Some would argue that in addition to trying the failed bipartisan gambit, Obama was compromised by having a financial brain trust that wasn't much different from the Bush crew: Geithner, Summers, et al.)


I'm with your second point - the main reason Obama is laying low on regulation of banks is he is in bed with them. Could have been a great way to get moderate (non tea partiers) populists on board with Dems; and energize the Dem base.

Kind of strange that we do not hear about oil company excess profit taxes since the bankers stuck it to us.

By Anonymous Mart, at 1/18/2010 3:35 PM  

On the first point, BS. Obama has said in virtually every speech he's made that he has "inherited this mess", or some variation.

You seriously don't want to go the route of "Obama isn't blaming Bush ENOUGH." That vein is all tapped out. There's nothing left down that path but misery and ridicule.

As for the second point, one of the key jobs for any chief executive is to hire the right people to advise him. This involves the difficult and ego-challenging task of evaluating and hiring people who are smarter and more knowledgable than you. This is where Obama's complete lack of executive experience is destroying him. He does not know how to hire like an executive, so he is hiring like Mayor Daley -- on the basis of ideology and clout. The result is an incompetent cabinet and incompetent advisors.

Really good advisors and a really good cabinet can make a mediocre president look good, or passable. Obama does not have this advantage, and it's entirely his fault.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/19/2010 6:38 AM  

sure, bush stifled regulatory powers and even blocked state attorney generals from going after predatory lenders, but any teabagger will tell you it was bill clinton who repealed glass-steagall.

krugman holds up clinton as above reproach, which makes me wonder if paul protested the deregulatory drive that rubin and summers orchestrated during the late 90s.

By Anonymous omen, at 1/20/2010 2:10 AM  

so he is hiring like Mayor Daley -- on the basis of ideology and clout. The result is an incompetent cabinet and incompetent advisors.

he isn't incompetent, he's compromised. his policies are set and tempered by corporate contributions.

By Anonymous omen, at 1/20/2010 2:50 AM  

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