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  • Obama Hopes to Change the Subject

    Trying to move the political spotlight away from the new Senator from Massachusetts and the resultant chaos enveloping health care legislation, President Obama’s team can resort to a time-honored Washington strategy: Change the subject.

    By setting his nationally-televised State of the Union speech for next week, President Obama is following that approach. He can shift media attention to a White House-controlled presentation while his party huddles (away from C-SPAN cameras). It’s a diversion from the Humpty-Dumpty-like efforts to reassemble the shattered pieces of health care plans.

    Obama had delayed setting a date for the State of the Union in hopes it could be a victory lap for his health care bill. Instead, the January 27th date is now a convenient way to distract attention from that agenda. Especially since the oration will be followed by official release of Obama’s budget plans for his second year in office. And because the speech and budget always involve carefully-orchestrated leaks to win favorable media coverage.

    The need to change the subject was, of course the game-changing election of Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-MA). It put an unmistakable exclamation point on the multiple public opinion polls that showed collapsing public support for Obama’s health care agenda and his big government, big spending approach.

    In action worthy of their Boston Tea Party forebears, citizens of Massachusetts gave an unmistakable signal that they’re mad and not going to take it anymore.

    Unfortunately for Obama and his party, his budget is likely to run afoul of those who abhor the explosive growth of government. Yet the White House is already trying to spin it as an historic focus on jobs and fiscal prudence.

    Indicators are that the President will announce what he calls historic reductions in parts of the federal budget. No matter how genuine, they will pale in comparison to the spending increases Obama has already put in place and the extra spending he desires.

    His announcements will coincide with a critical U.S. Senate vote to raise government’s debt ceiling by $1.9-trillion, to $14.3-trillion overall. It’s a grim reminder of how spending has skyrocketed during 3 years of Democratic majorities in Congress and one year of President Obama in the White House.

    Obama’s big speech obviously will give renewed lip-service to bipartisanship. But so did his rhetoric in the early months of his first year in office, before his actions went in the opposite direction.

    We may hear again that Obama remains convinced that his agenda is right, but he just needs for us to understand it better. As he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos after the Massachusetts votes were in:

    STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’d you make all the same choices today?

    OBAMA: I — look, have I made mistakes through the course of the year? Absolutely. I mean, I don’t think there’s been an interview in which I didn’t talk about some mistakes…

    STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s usually about communication though.

    OBAMA: … about …

    STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s not about policy?

    Despite Obama’s record 500+ numbers of media interviews, news conferences and other chances to tout his ideas, he told ABC the problem is that we haven’t heard enough from him. In the President’s words, “I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people. . . . What I haven’t always been successful at doing is breaking through the noise and speaking directly to the American people in a way that during the campaign you could do.”

    The strategy could provoke opponents to roll their eyes as much as when the White House crasher Salahi’s blamed others, but then took the 5th Amendment when called to testify.

    It’s likely that President Obama’s odes to bipartisanship next week will be mingled with denunciations of what he calls GOP obstructionism. Because he’s lost his 60th Senate, everything that fails automatically becomes a convenient excuse to blame others rather than blaming his own agenda.

    It’s an extension of Obama’s consistent strategy to blame George W. Bush for our problems. But Massachusetts voters have proven how very high risk such a strategy is both to Obama and to his party.

    If Obama persists in blaming others or claiming we simply misunderstand him, disregarding the message from Massachusetts, many in the GOP will reply, “Go ahead. Make my day.”

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Obama Hopes to Change the Subject

    1. Kevin Habib, Glen Bu says:

      What's going on? Scott Brown wins election on Tuesday. Wednesday has the biggest drop in stock market in 4 months and today (Thursday) the market has started with another huge drop. Jim Cramer and all the other financial folks were saying Brown election would bring boost to the market and it has done opposite.

      The markets grew over 65% since the recovery package was passed last year. Sicne Brown became 41, has started to plummet. I thought Republicans were supposed to help the market!!!

      Brown is gonna end up hurting the GOP in November.

    2. Ozzy6900 says:

      It's not that we do not understand President Obama, it is he that does not understand what he is doing! Only a loser blames others. That was one thing I liked about President Bush, if something went wrong, he took the blame – even if it was not his! President Obama is like Little Johnny who stands there pointing the finger. What the President doesn't realize is that he IS to blame. These are HIS policies and ideas that are killing the economy. Put this together with a Hill that has been spend crazy since 2006 (that would be a Democrat/Liberal Hill) and you can pretty much figure out that we are spiraling into a real mess. President Obama is trying to save face and wipe his hands, but the mud won't come off and we caught him being "dirty".

    3. JIM says:

      OBAMA FAILS TO ADMIT THAT THE GOVERNMENT "MANDATED" THE BANKS TO MAKE WEAK LOANS TO PUT PEOPLE IN HOMES THEY COULD

      NOT AFFORD. WHY CAN'T THIS UN-AMERICAN GET ANYTHING RIGHT ???

      HE NEEDS TO BE IMPEACHED.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4. Pingback: Democrats Push to Raise Federal Debt Limit | Kim Linton

    5. Rob, TN says:

      Both parties have contributed to where we find oursefl today. However, the Progressive movement continues to want more and more power and money AND control more of our lives. Just look at the so-called health care reform bill. All it was a power grab.

      What we need to remember as Americans is that the Constitution is a fabulous document that serves us as well today (maybe better) as it did over 200 years ago.

      We need to ensure our elected officials follow it placing state rights where they need to be and maintaining the federal monolith in its proper place – limited and serving the people.

      If we contimue the outlandish and downright socialist agenda of the administration, we will sink this country – what the Progressives really want to do.

      Don't be so quick to point fingers at the 'Republicans or Conservatives' – everybody needs to examine their own house. The enemy is not the Republicans or true Democrats – it's Progressives. No security, no jobs, spiraling debt……the list in near endless.

      Massachussets was expressing their fear and displeasure of where DC is taking us. Scott Brown may or may not be a plus or liability to the GOP in November. His record will be what it is. Look at how quickly the arrogant Progressives in DC changed when the message from the people hit. However, I believe the administration and Democrats in Congress will be more than a boost to alternatives.

      Frankly, a good house cleaning would be a good thing regardless of party.

    6. Bobbie Jay says:

      The only change Obama wants, are non-exempt of, for or by our freedoms!

    7. RJM, Chicago says:

      Progress is all about which direction you're heading in.

      The Scott Brown win is just emblematic of a bigger problem the Obama administration is running in to: People have wised up to the progressive Left agenda he came to Washington to implement.

      Progress is a nice word, but if you are progressing towards nothing, or worse still, towards a Saul Alinsky-like vision of America, then we need to change direction.

      Check out this post: http://rjmoeller.com/2010/01/scott-brown-obamacar

    8. Ric, Lawton OK says:

      Lets not get screwed into govt run HC by having RINOs agree with the socialists/D on "fixing popular insurance reforms only":

      http://andrews.blogtownhall.com/2010/01/21/dont_b

      "How many times have you seen a post saying basically this:

      We don't need health care reform, or ObamaCare! All we need is:

      1) Force insurers to cover pre-existing conditions

      2) Allow interstate purchase of insurance

      3) Tort reform

      4) Sensible reform of medical forms

      …and so on and so on

      I made this one up, but I keep seeing posts like this, and I have decided to break my vacation to make a point.

      This is EXACTLY the wrong way to fight!

      First, this admits there is a "crisis" and it needs to be fixed. That is a mistake. Most Americans have access to adequate or better health care and are satisfied. Most Americans who lack insurance still get care. We have no "health care crisis"! Yes, Medicare/Medicaid are in financial trouble, but that is a GOVERNMENT crisis, not a health care crisis.

      But once you say "we just need to…" you give the ball to the Democrats, admitting there is a crisis means the only thing left to do is debate how to "fix" it, and, if there is a "crisis" the one offering bigger fixes will win the debate. And who offers bigger fixes than Democrats?"

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    10. Tony from Hopedale M says:

      We all need to listen to Pres Obama's words carefully – it's not the number of times he has spoken, it's the message. What he is saying is that up until now he has been telling the American people what he actually believes and is planning to do, no matter how popular or unpopular it is. What will change is that he will now tell the American people what they want to hear instead, no matter whether he plans to follow-up on it or not !

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