Sunday, September 11, 2011


Sure, there's reason to be concerned that any president's reelection chances might be poor in an economy like ours. The empirical realities of a crappy economy and disgruntled citizens, including Obama supporters, are unavoidable. But the Democrats really don't help themselves.

After a Thursday address that recaptured momentum on the side of President Obama and even optimism in some corners, here are some of the Democrats vocally expressing their fears about the president's reelection in today's NYT. Idiots. Great job of killing political momentum.

The article may be to blame to some extent since it's unclear in many cases at what point in time the quotes they cite were actually said, while the article gives the impression that they are largely post-speech, coming from a DNC meeting in Chicago yesterday (see other post-speech punditry roundup here and here).

Nonetheless, many of the Democrats interviewed express their nervousness at the odds of Obama's reelection. That's fine - there's reason to be concerned - but it's also inane politics. If you want your president reelected, it's not great political strategy to perpetuate doubt. It is good strategy to help turn the momentum, and you don't even have to lie to do it. It was a damn good jobs speech, given the political and economic context. The Republicans to a person would be calling this a definitive conquest if he were a president from their party. The Bush presidency, on the other hand, was all about rhetorically maintaining a political climate favorable to themselves in the face of scarce resources for doing so.

Presidents can only do so much with an economy and Pres. Obama inherited a mess. Spending to spur job growth is a strategy superior to anything the Republicans have or will propose. That's policy. Since few citizens pay close enough attention to the economic details, however, the politics of economic doldrums is largely a function of national mood, which can be influenced by the White House and congressional leaders. Resetting the political climate in your favor makes actual economic policy-making easier to undertake.

C'mon, man. A little cheerleading is sometimes the right policy.

1 comment:

Cheryl Rofer said...

I think it used to be called team spirit.