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In President Barack Obama's sales pitch for his jobs bill, there are two versions of reality: The one in his speeches and the one actually unfolding in Washington.
When Obama accuses Republicans of standing in the way of his nearly $450 billion plan, he ignores the fact that his own party has struggled to unite behind the proposal.
When the president says Republicans haven't explained what they oppose in the plan, he skips over the fact that Republicans who control the House actually have done that in detail.
And when he calls on Congress to "pass this bill now," he slides past the point that Democrats control the Senate and were never prepared to move immediately, given other priorities. Senators are expected to vote Tuesday on opening debate on the bill, a month after the president unveiled it with a call for its immediate passage.
The reports are not good, disturbing even. I have heard basically the same story four times in the last 10 days, and the people doing the talking are in New York and Washington and are spread across the political spectrum.
The gist is this: President Obama has become a lone wolf, a stranger to his own government. He talks mostly, and sometimes only, to friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett and to David Axelrod, his political strategist.
Everybody else, including members of his Cabinet, have little face time with him except for brief meetings that serve as photo ops. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner both have complained, according to people who have talked to them, that they are shut out of important decisions.
Time and again in our reporting over the last few months, this strain of thinking has come up — and the deeper President Obama’s political troubles grow, the more often we hear it.
In the wake of President Obama’s press conference last Thursday, there was considerable skepticism — bordering on contempt — for his assertion that now was the time for the Senate to pass his jobs bill.
And, this morning the New York Times’ John Harwood wrote that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) views White House chief of staff Bill Daley as “ham handed” and that leading Democrats believe that “Team Obama’s zeal for secrets creates more problems than it solves.” Message. Sent.
A majority of Americans now oppose giving President Obama a second term, reflecting the country's continued weak economic performance, according to the latest IBD/TIPP survey released Monday.
By 51%-41%, respondents in October picked "someone new deserves a chance" over Obama "deserves to be re-elected." Among independents, it was 54%-36%. Back in September, the readings were 50%-44% and 53%-38%, respectively.
Americans are frustrated over the continued sluggish economy, says Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, which conducted the poll. As Vice President Joe Biden recently admitted, after nearly three years in power, the Obama administration owns the economy.