Give Obama Credit

Yesterday we did a brief commentary on the rather extraordinary swan song of Christina Romer, the recently resigned chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, in which she admitted to not only not having the answers but to not fully comprehending the questions.


Today, there is some moderate pushback from the administration trying to counter the air of bovine incomprehension that is beginning to adhere to this administration the way lint welds itself to Velcro.

The Washington Post runs a front page called New Tax Breaks For Business on the Table. The story itself is pretty much a nothingburger in which we discover that “on the table” means “ain’t no way they’re going to happen.” Not a huge surprise coming from an administration that casts letting you keep more of the money you earn as a “cost” to the government.

The article does carry an interesting factoid. The administration believes Obama is not being given sufficient credit for the emphasis he’s placing on the economy.

Last November, Obama announced that he would turn his attention to unemployment, calling it “one of the great challenges that remains in our economy.” He declared the same intent two months later, telling House Democrats he would focus relentlessly on job creation “over the next several months.” Senior aides went on television pledging that the mantra would become “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

But other matters – health care, the BP oil spill – continually stole the limelight, creating the impression, some Democrats complain, that the president was barely focused on the economy at all.

His advisers described his attentiveness – noting, for example, that he discussed the economy with New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) for 15 minutes before golfing – but got little traction.

“Obviously it’s going to be hard to get anything done before the election, but it’s really important for him to try, and to make the case to the American people that he’s trying to do something and the Republicans aren’t letting him,” said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic strategist. “We are at the final moments here.”



So I’m trying to rectify that problem. It the president talked to Mayor Bloomberg about the economy for fifteen minutes before golfing then let me be among the first on my side to give him credit for it.


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