Obama vs. Obama
June 19, 2012
Today’s recommended reading comes from National Review Online. Rich Lowry and John Lott compare what President (not candidate) Obama said not long ago to what he’s saying now (he doesn’t compare favorably…), while Michael Barone discusses how the voters feel about that (angry). Read the whole thing (all three), but here are some excerpts:
In March 2009, when some economists, such as Harvard’s Greg Mankiw, questioned whether the stimulus would produce the promised benefits, Obama supporter Paul Krugman attacked their honesty. In one blog post at the New York Times entitled “Roots of evil,” Krugman accused Mankiw of “more than a bit of deliberate obtuseness” and claimed that “we can expect fast growth.”
Claims that the economy was on the verge of improving go back to the very beginning of the administration. . . .
By September 2009, Vice President Biden was gushing: “In my wildest dreams, I never thought [the stimulus] would work this well.”
Asked why he wasn’t striking out on his own on the DREAM Act at a September 2011 event with Hispanics, the president responded with an unmistakable rebuke: “The fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. . . .”
This keen understanding of the constitutional boundaries and legal requirements of his office apparently applied only so long as he wasn’t running even in the polls.
One reason Kerry outspent the president was that billionaire George Soros contributed heavily to Kerry’s efforts — and we heard few complaints about it at the time from those now decrying the billionaire Koch brothers’ spending as a threat to democracy.
In 2008, Barack Obama broke his promise to rely on public financing and raised and spent about $750 million — about twice as much as was spent on behalf of John McCain, who accepted public financing.
Now, despite the clout any incumbent president has, Democrats are likely to be outspent by Republicans.
. . .
American voter turnout has been rising, and so has Americans’ willingness to contribute money to political causes they think important. These are not negative trends, although incumbents targeted in attack ads tend to think so.