Sunday, September 26, 2010

Empathy? Bill Clinton Says Dems Should Blame the GOP

The Clinton interview ran Wednesday. More recently John Harwood spoke to President Obama and a number of Democrat operatives, and the take there is a bit different, "Obama, Empathy and the Midterms" (via Memeorandum):

That’s where, over salad and swordfish, former aides to another Democratic president, Bill Clinton, explored principal questions hanging over the coming midterm elections. How can Mr. Obama do better at defending his record and his party’s candidates from the wrath of an unhappy electorate? Why doesn’t he receive more credit for winning passage of expanded health care coverage, new financial regulations and an economic stimulus package that many independent economists say helped end the Great Recession? Why can’t he get his message out?

Republicans argue that it’s because Mr. Obama has expanded the size of government and swelled federal deficits, with little to show for it, in the face of public resistance. But Democrats, who share the president’s philosophy, look for other explanations.

The former Clinton aides, like many pundits, turned to Mr. Obama’s cool, cerebral public style. Emotional connection was an aspect of leadership at which Mr. Clinton, for better or worse, excelled. If only Mr. Obama could more effectively demonstrate empathy, they argued, he might be able to convince the supporters he thrilled in 2008 that he’s still on their side.

That observation has gained wide acceptance in Washington. Mr. Obama may have played like a rock star in the campaign arenas of 2008, according to this view, but he displays a Spock-like emotional aridity in more intimate settings. In reality, however, a look back at previous midterm elections, especially during economic weakness, suggests that dollars and cents matter far more than hugs or lip-biting.
Bill Clinton was a better politician than Barack Obama, although both men are stained by the same fatal deceits and socialist ambitions. Democrats can't escape the totalitarian impulse that drives their ideology. What they can do is fool the people, many of whom are already in the tank for the left's secular religion. Either way, sooner or later, a majority of the electorate turns against their party. In response, Dem insiders scheme ways of taking back control, portraying conservatives as venal and outside the mainstream. No biggie right now though. The coming reckoning is going to be huge, and it may make Clinton's 1994 debacle look like a tight contest in comparison. I can't wait.


PRH said...

Bill Clint00n=the ultimate media whore.

Rusty Walker said...

To even suggest that the President’s slip in popularity is about empathy is to greatly underestimate the general public. As the article notes, Clinton, the master at schmooze, lost the house and senate mid term. It is the spending! Also, the measures the president is ostensibly not getting credit for, ANY president would have been forced to implement (although a Ron Paul probably wouldn’t have enacted stimulus); but any other administration would have been foolhardy to have not made that move. So, the stimulus bank bailout isn’t something for which the public is likely to give credit (excuse the pun), particularly when we are asked to believe the fantastic notion that Health Care investment during a crisis will end up deficit-neutral. Spending has not been addressed as promised in this congress and it is going to cost them.
Ms. Hart’s direct challenge to Obama was actually softball underhand pitching; it was only such a shock because the Town Hall meetings are hand-picked. Growth has stalled, jobs unavailable, because the economy has stalled due to government spending. Obama and the administration, unlike Clinton who moved to the center, continues to move further left. Tax and spend never works (Read "The Forgotten Man," Schlaes) when the economy calls for GDP growth measures.

Always On Watch said...

Bill Clinton was a better politician than Barack Obama

Can't argue with that.