First 50 Days - Report Card On Carter's Second Term
With five opportunities at getting a grade, and three of those opportunities being a passing grade, it is amazing how many people do not believe that President Barack Obama deserves a passing grade for his performance in his first fifty (50) days.
Tale of the tape:
66% - Grade D, or lower (55% FAIL)
34% - Grade C or higher (24% "A")
The results of this grade matrix is made even more amazing, in that the place where people access the chance to assign a grade for Carter's Second Term surrogate, Barack Obama, is considered by most objective observers, the most biased and least watched cable news channel (home to Kieth Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and Chuck Todd), MSNBC.
It is not known that at this moment, if MSNBC has broadcast the results of its own web poll. Heck, it may be taken down before they are even given a chance ... ala: "The Dog Ate My Homework".
This excerpted and edited from Chuck Todd, MSNBC -
Obama's growing pains
Next week can't come soon enough as administration learns early lessons
By Chuck Todd, Chief White House Correspondent and Political Director - NBC News - updated 8:05 a.m. PT, Sat., Feb. 7, 2009
By this time next week, the White House will have quite an accomplishment topping their list of early victories — passage of a massive economic stimulus package in less than a month.
And for the White House, next week can’t come soon enough.
They know they will figure out a way to pass this package. But more importantly, passing it will give them a chance at a fresh start. And it will teach them some important lessons about how to move forward when they present even tougher asks to Congress and the American people.
A couple of things have struck me while watching this White House attempt to pass this first big bill.
First, they seemed to stop using the tools that got them to the White House in the first place. President Obama gave very few direct speeches to the American people and made few attempts to go local with supporters. It’s been a top down approach to governing in these first few weeks.
Second, the Obama White House forgot a few things about what it’s like to have nothing left to lose – the exact position the Republicans found themselves in.
It not hard to find something wrong with a bill as large as this stimulus package.
But what should have the Obama administration been prepared for?
Obama never should have allowed his first major piece of legislation to be written largely by a man elected to Congress when the president was only 8 years old. I’m referring to House Appropriations Chair David Obey.
I’ve noted many times here and in “First Read” the stunning lack of change inside the leadership of the House Democratic caucus. The roster of current committee chairs is not exactly a profile of change Obama outlined during the campaign.
Some day the public might actually revolt against the undemocratic system of seniority that allows Congress to keep the old ways of Washington engrained into the culture of Congress.
The GOP has nothing left to lose
Obama’s efforts at bipartisanship are in many ways just what he promised throughout the campaign. If he weren’t talking bipartisanship now he’d be facing even more criticism about Republican involvement in this stimulus.
The cynical question should be what do the Republicans accomplish politically by cooperating with Obama? Will the 15 or so Republicans in the House and perhaps five in the Senate who support Obama on the stimulus get a free pass from voters? Or will the Democrats get the credit while collectively the Republicans gain nothing?
If the stimulus does not work, and the Republicans are seen as the party that offered an alternative, they stand to benefit.
Most elections are about the worst ideas losing, not the best ideas winning. Democrats have control of both houses of Congress and the White House because the country got fed up with the Republican rule, not necessarily because voters saw more merit in the Democrats.
They believed their own hype
My colleague, Andrea Mitchell, refers to this syndrome as an inauguration sugar high. Perhaps it was burnout. Perhaps they watched a little too much TV [MSNBC, CNN, and Network Nightly News programs] and forgot how they got to the White House.
The Obama team, starting with the president, certainly seemed a tad haughty, acting as if their lofty rhetoric was enough to cause Congress to bow and the stimulus bill to magically pass.
History will one day record the administration’s effort to pass the stimulus package as an amazing feat, especially given the size of the bill. In our 24/7 news cycle, everything is nit picked, something it seems the Obama White House forgot.
Obama will be best served if he embraces his own campaign rhetoric and remembers the sophisticated operation he built — the one which got him elected.
The smart White Houses put the same efforts into winning an election as they do into passing an agenda.
The Obama folks may be getting that now… now that they are off their inauguration sugar high.
Funny what can happen in only one month since Chuck Todd wrote this post. We all know that the Stimulus Bill passed with only three Republicans saddling the American taxpayer with an across the board spending increase of 70% [$787 Billion dollars] in all of the agencies of Government and now the Barack Obama Administration and the Democrat Party controlled Congress want to pass a new "Omnibus" spending bill that will increase the spending 8% MORE until the next budget is due in October (what? 70% increase in spending not enough?).
After reading this PAP mused by liberal political policy wonk, Chuck Todd, no wonder Obama and the 34% who gave the current Administration a passing grade might be surprised ... pure Democrats (those who voted and are in power) and the media are believing their own press.
Chuck Todd should change his assessment of what elections are about - the worst ideas losing, not the best ideas winning - to - the reality that the Democrats worst ideas are winning while the nation (and its economic and cultural success) is losing.
Welcome to the first 50 days of a failing grade (66%) Carter's Second Term.
Cheer up, we only have the balance of a four year term to witness the complete economic and social destruction of our country.