Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Obama Loses Jon Stewart and Blames Progressive Blogs for His Negative Approval Ratings

As noted before, I have little or no sympathy for Barack Obama who seems to be acting like a cry baby over the fact that many Americans are unhappy with his leadership and realize that he sold most of us - and possibly the economy - out to the GOP in the so-called debt ceiling deal signed yesterday. As Politico is reporting, the White House unloaded on progressive groups at the weekly Common Purpose meeting, where progressive leaders and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling had a tense exchange about the debt deal. Possibly spurring the White House displeasure was the ridicule that Obama received from the Daily Show's Jon Stewart. First this from the Washington Post on the Jon Stewart trashing of Obama:
It is a truism, annoying as it may be for White House officials, that when the TV comics make the president an object of derision, the president is in trouble. Such ribbing is confirmation that whatever spin the White House is using to conceal a misstep hasn’t worked, and the entire country knows it, making it fodder for jokes.

The debt-ceiling deal is a case in point. Jon Stewart, the most intellectually astute of the left’s comic darlings, went after President Obama in hilarious fashion. . . . Very funny — unless you work in the Obama White House and are scrambling to defuse the contempt, anger and disappointment oozing from every pore of his liberal supporters.

All of this has very immediate implications for the 2012 race. First, at a time when Obama should be courting independent voters he instead is working feverishly to reassure his base. That in turn (especially his pleading for tax increases and a bevy of new “investments”) will make his job of recapturing independent voters even tougher. Second, his weakness invites Republicans to revive questions about his leadership and competence.Those queries will have more resonance with the public and the media now that Democrats are in essence complaining about the same thing. And finally, Obama’s assurance that tax hikes, regulation and “investment” remain part of his agenda can only further worry and paralyze employers. You can understand why they might not be rushing to hire more workers.

Back at what happened at the weekly Common Purpose meeting, Politico has a story. Here are highlights:

The meeting is an off-the-record, regular gathering that some on the left credit both with keeping the White House aware of liberal concern and keeping liberal messaging coordinated with the White House. Critics deride it as a "veal pen" aimed at neutering the left.

Yesterday, Sperling faced a series of questions about the White House's concessions on the debt ceiling fight and its inability to move in the direction of new taxes or revenues. Progressive consultant Mike Lux, the sources said, summed up the liberal concern, producing what a participant described as an "extremely defensive" response from Sperling.

Sperling, a person involved said, pointed his finger at liberal groups, which he said hadn't done enough to highlight what he saw as the positive side of the debt package -- a message that didn't go over well with participants.

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