Pump it up, Mr. President
A day after Americans tossed out a lot of experienced lawmakers and expressed anger with the state of the economy, President Barack Obama held his tongue, blamed himself and generally pontificated his way through a staged press conference that lacked one iota of zip.
This will not work for 2012. Just days ago, the president was pounding away on the campaign trail, sounding a lot like the man Americans elected just two years ago. He had passion, and it showed.
What showed in today’s press conference was the professorial reserved patter, the judicious and cautious leader. Yes, it’s fine to say he’ll compromise and gather round the Democrats and the Republicans and listen to other ideas from business leaders. But it’s not catchy and it won’t energize his base.
Why not admit the shellacking and move directly and forcefully to demanding the Republicans show the nation their ideas? Show us how repealing health care will not leave Americans uninsured and unable to afford insurance. Demand to see Republican plans for budget cuts and deficit reduction, specific plans for regulatory relaxation that won’t hurt consumers and will help create jobs.
The University of Chicago law professor had better make way for some passion and hope fast. The nation is hurting and needs to see some real heart in the matter of what’s wrong. If cap-and-trade energy policy is dead, as the president as much admitted in the press conference, then throw another option on the table fast.
Stir it up, Mr. President. Digging out of the ditch without a vision of what can be the future just isn’t any fun. One needs dreams and hopes, two things he artfully offered before his election. The question is: Can he summon that again?