The Senate votes today on the economic stimulus package which will (temporarily?) stave off utter doom. If it doesn't pass by a huge margin, Obama's "work together" agenda is a total failure! Time to panic!
The theme of the day among "political types" is this: Obama is bad at PR. Here we are, a couple weeks into this whole Obama administration thing, and where is his Big Speech to rally the country around the need for this stimulus package, or even, we daresay, to stimulate the country, all by itself? National TV networks should all be interrupted on a weekly basis, for an Obama speech. For hope!
Hey: he went and visited all the TV anchors this week to talk this stimulus package up. He even has an op-ed in the Washington Post today, which a nice, fancy, old-fashioned thing to do. In fact Obama is making the points that these same critics want him to make: namely, that the stimulus package is necessary, urgent, and if we don't do it now we are totally fucked, so don't fuck around with this, you Congressional hicks.
But he's doing it in that nice, reasonable Obama way that America came to know and love on the campaign trail. He won by grinding it out after Super Tuesday, retaining his equanimity, and making his opponents look like screechy fools in comparison.
During the campaign, though, if that strategy had failed, we would have just had Hillary Clinton as president. If it fails now our entire economy is shredded for the next decade. Which makes people nervous! Ironically, the most nervous are the fighting liberals who were Obama's biggest supporters when he was running. Now he's acting the same way in the White House. Surprise! Joan Walsh has already declared that he's no Great Communicator. What a disappointment this African-American president idea has been.
But we can all rest assured that Obama and Rahm and co. are breaking balls in their own low-key fashion. He doesn't want to bring the entire nation in front of a TV set to collectively listen to him rip the Senate Republicans in his first month, so they can work for the next four years to roadblock his liberal agenda items such as money for humans, out of spite. So hold off a bit, shouting heads. When this thing finally passes he'll look smart for going the reserved route. And nobody really likes listening to speeches, anyhow.