Bush's Address on the Economy

Things like this make it tough for me to understand why Obama isn’t leading by 10 across the board.

Yesterday O’Reilly just ripped Bush apart for not appearing to have any presence to the nation on the economic problems that are dominating the news and conversations. Not that Bush was the cause - although he ripped him a new one on his SEC chief at the same time he ripped into the congressional inaction, etc. on what was happening over the last couple or three years. But rather: this is a situation that has a lot of Americans literally frightened. Hell, I’ve got a lot fewer years than most people here before I’ll be at retirement age, and I was almost sick to my stomach at how much money (and time) I’ve lost in my 401K recently, and worrying about what would happen if this continues to collapse.

O’Reilly’s point was that this is where the nation needs a leader who will go in front of the American people, reassure them, tell them what is going to be done, assure them that he will work with Congress and all agencies to ensure that the economy doesn’t collapse, remind them of times not so long ago that looked dark and frightening and how America pulled through, etc. Try to inspire and reassure. As O’Reilly put it, use the “bully pulpit.” Yet - he seems distant, remote, uncaring, etc.

So OK, I expect that from O’Reilly, he rips Bush frequently. But all during the day I was hearing on the radio conservatives who felt that Bush was AWOL. What really surprised me was listening to a local talk show host who is incredibly conservative, who considers McCain a liberal, etc. and who normally supports Bush. This guy made the observation that a Reagan or a Clinton would have addressed the nation by now, and would have the power and leadership abilities to calm a lot of people down and reassure and even inspire them. He said “yes, you heard me right, I’m telling you that Bill Clinton had a leadership aspect that is dissapointingly absent in this president. And I will now truly shock those of you who know me, I believe that capability is critical in a President and his role for the nation, and I believe Obama would be able to do that extremely well, and I doubt McCain would be able to do it at all.”

So yeah, I know, for people here, “big surprise, Lackey, Bush’s leadership and presence is non-existant.” But the point is that I’m hearing a lot of the most conservative of people (not counting weirdos like Hannity) expressing their frustration and depression in how the nation can be facing a potential crisis and Bush, even when he does talk, giving it only a superficial effort.

How is Obama not 10 points ahead across the board?

Lame-duckery has made him even more of a loser.

Divisive primary + latent racism/“muslim” rumors + arguable lack of experience.

Also, McCain is still benefiting from a mostly undeserved “maverick” label and has been able to partially distance himself from Bush.

I think on the whole Obama’s campaign staff has shown themselves to be the best the democrats have had in years. And Obama himself has carried himself very well as a candidate. I don’t think you can fault their campaign much so far (which I never would have said about Kerry or Gore).

Sounds about right. Though the interesting thing about the “divisive primary” factor is that what happened is a bigger issue for independents who don’t think Democrats are unified behind Obama than it is for actual Democracts, who largely are unified behind Obama (though some may be luke-warm in that regard.) It’s a weird situation.

I don’t think we’ve seen this play out in the polls yet. Maybe by Monday. McCain has had a horrible week though. Fiorina, Blackberries (heh), Palin’s favorables, Palin’s mistakes, no clear message on the economy…

And I will now truly shock those of you who know me, I believe that capability is critical in a President and his role for the nation, and I believe Obama would be able to do that extremely well, and I doubt McCain would be able to do it at all.

Good place for this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONM7148cTyc

Obama’s linkage of Bush and McCain isn’t taking hold.

In the strongly partisan country we have now it’s very difficult to open up a wide margin without the other guy totally collapsing. Bill only managed 8.5 points in 1996 against a badly run GOP campaign and a good economy as an incumbent, for example.

Going back farther, you have blowout years (Reagan 84 by 18, Nixon 72 by 23, Johnson 64 by 22.5), but otherwise they’re pretty close of late. Hell, Reagan only won by 9.5, and he had a total meltdown and the south switching parties.

It’d be interesting to see what Bush’s re-elect numbers would be right now; I suspect even now he wouldn’t be down by more than, say, 15.

Obama isn’t 10 points in the polls because people want someone who can fix the problem, not just speak eloquently about it.

I was astounded by the brevity of his speech this morning. It can’t have been much more than, what, two minutes long?

I sat down to see what was in the news, heard some newsreader mention that the speech was about to begin, and, before I had time to blink, it was over. And I can’t even remember the gist of it.

“Fuck you guys, I’m outta here. You’re on your own.”

Yeah, here’s a chance for him to salvage some of his legacy and he’s totally detached. He just doesn’t care.

Can’t even speak eloquently about it.

Amazing news, if true. I keep saying this, but Obama’s path to the White House is through dissatisfied Republicans and independents who either flip or stay home. This general malaise with McCain has always existed, but it felt like the right was trying to psyche themselves up after the Palin convention. Palin fatigue + economic crisis just brings them back to their normal situation, being members of a party who’s candidate they are lukewarm about, at best.

Obama needs to center himself more. He needs to get away from the personality politics but also away from the “elitist, Ivy-league, arch-liberal” accusations. He needs more Bill O’Reilly’s saying, “You know what, this guy’s bright and engaged and not actively trying to tear down America. Maybe we need something new right now…”


Yeah, I think the Palin bump is something that won’t last unless the Democrats keep it bumped up with stupid attacks. I had a very open mind on her, but I’m also hearing some conservatives who are getting tired of her answers to everything being “We’re going to go to Washington and reform things like I did in Alaska!!!” and not being able to answer some pretty straightforward questions with any details. I don’t think she’s dumb at all, but I also get the feeling she’s now trying to give the “McCain” answers to everything, and the more she sounds just like a parrot of McCain, the less fresh and new she will sound to those Republicans and Independents who were looking for an excuse to vote for McCain.


Some reporter’s attempt to fashion a narrative out of his ass doesn’t refute SK’s valid point.

Er, how does the narrative SK is pulling out of his ass refute the NYT poll?

I mean, there are a billion polls and we can argue about methodology and whatnot, but for whatever it’s worth a majority of respondents thought he’d follow Bush policies or be even more conservative, and a majority thought he was a typical Republican.

Just dismissing outright any effect the McCain=Bush meme might be having on those numbers seems silly to me.

Obama isn’t ahead by 10 points because you just don’t get 10 point Presidential blowouts in modern times. And because McCain still runs a few points ahead of his party compared to a generic Republican. And because Obama is relatively young and inexperienced and unfamiliar, running for a job that activated the most authoritarian father figure seeking instincts in a lot of voters. And finally, because he’s black. Blackity black black, and that still matters more than I wish it would.

It’s really amazing to me, though, how impenetrable and utterly intellectually inconsistent the hatred of Democrats is, and how deeply rooted it is to the point where it’s virtually unchangeable.

All i hear around white collar business is to paraphrase; “better make hay while the sun is shining” or “Obama is just going to raise taxes” or “have you ever dealt with the government? Any tax is a bad tax” or “don’t believe that crap on the internet, McCain is the right guy, who is this Obama, what has he ever done?”.

All i hear around blue collar business is “We went into Iraq and we supported it and the Congress supported it and the American people supported it and it’s my duty to support it too! Getting out is chickensh!t, we have to stay until it’s done!”.

It’s funny when you look back at the fall of the Roman Empire and it’s causes that perhaps the main one was the lack of loyalty in the population itself. No one believed in the idea of Rome (or Byzantium) anymore, no one wanted to fight or spend or even live or it, and the government was simply the arm of a central authority that had the military and ideological clout to make you do what it wanted you to do. Once that authority disappeared, the population made little to no effort to restore it themselves. I feel like i’m in a time where the majority of small to medium sized business owners - the merchant middle classes - no longer feel much of any loyalty to the government and would happily abandon it, if there were the option of doing so; and the working classes are too proud, and basically uninformed/uninterested (not necessarily ignorant, they know quite a lot about their own business) to overturn the apple cart. Appealing to their sense of duty and honor will always overwhelm any chance of liberal intellectualism self-reflection making any headway. Especially if they have to admit that they made a mistake. I’m getting inundated in the last week by chain emails with videos made by veterans in support of McCain and against Obama saying things like “Mr. Obama it was not a mistake to go into Iraq to give the Iraqi people a chance at freedom and defeat terrorism. You are wrong sir and that’s why i support the man who understands why we are fighting, Mr. John McCain”

this reminds me of the last election where some conservative on another forum posted one of those attack emails telling lies about democrats. he claimed that kerry voted against every military bill. i then posted links and snopes and factcheck articles showing that, in fact, kerry had voted for almost every military bill in the past decade. he then switched his gripe to “kerry has only voted for the military after the gulf war, when the military was popular”. after reading that, i simply quoted his original and latest claims together and called it a night.

Reality has a well known liberal bias.