Preach, Axelrod. Preach!

Via Greg Sargent:

David Axelrod chatted with around a dozen bloggers at the White House late yesterday, and I got a chance to ask him to respond to all the claims — coming from left-leaning, right-leaning and nonpartisan observers alike — that Obama is in the midst of an ideological makeover in the wake of the 2010 losses and in preparation for reelection.

Axelrod adamantly denied there had been any discussions about repositioning at all and reaffirmed that Obama is a “progressive.” Axelrod’s answer, alternately frustrated and pleading, is worth quoting at length, because it captures something interesting about the collision between Obama and Axelrod and Washington’s permanent culture.

And here’s what Axelrod said:

I’m not going to change the nature of this town and the nature of our politics….But we tend to sit on the back of the truck and look at what happened before, and then define what’s happening now in the context of what happened some other time.

So, Bill Clinton repositioned himself to the center, and that’s the prescription for what you do and so on. I guarantee you, as God is my witness, we have not had a repositioning discussion here. We have not talked about, “let’s move three degrees to the right.” That’s not the way we view this.

It is true that we have to go back to first principles and really think about what it is that drives us and what it is that has been so central to Barack Obama’s public life and outlook. Because some of that has been sort of ground down in the minutia of day-to-day governing here…

I mean, there’s nothing that the President said last night that I couldn’t draw a straight line from to speeches that he has made way back to 2004.

I got a reporter’s inquiry, `the President seemed very optimistic and he seemed to be talking about American exceptionalism last night, and is this a reaction to the elections?’ And I said, go back to his convention speech in 2004.

When the President got the call that he was going to give the keynote speech at the convention in 2004, I was with him. We were driving in a car in downstate Illinois, on some dark road somewhere with bad cell service. So we had to call back and confirm that he actually was going to be the keynote speaker, because the call got dropped. And the first thing he said was, “I think what I want to do is wrap my story in the larger American story and talk about what it is that makes us who we are.”

And it’s something that he believes deeply in, and it’s what he talked about last night…I mean, there’s no doubt he is progressive in his outlook and that’s what he believes in. But he has never been particularly dogmatic…His fundamental view is you don’t have to agree on everything, or even most things, to work together on some things. And so there was no sort of grand repositioning…

But I’m not going to defeat this. I had a politician in this town say to me, after the speech in Tucson, “Boy, that was a great speech. I can see he is really thinking about re-election.” And I’m thinking, “What are you talking about?” Because I spoke to the President before and after that speech, and I’ll tell you what he was thinking about more than anything else. He was speaking about a nine-year-old girl who was about the same age as his girl. And he was pretty broken up about it. And all he wanted to do was speak to that moment.

But everything in this town gets evaluated in that way, and that’s just the way it is. Anybody who says that, I will give them a volume of Barack Obama speeches going back many, many years, and I will defy them to say, where has he changed? Where is he different? Where is his basic approach different than it was when he started on this journey five and six and seven years ago?

YES!

220 thoughts on “Preach, Axelrod. Preach!

  1. I love this. Thanks BWD!

    “I think what I want to do is wrap my story in the larger American story and talk about what it is that makes us who we are.”

  2. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows this,so that leave out all the screaming frustrati and the politicos.

  3. I don’t know what is so bad with the idea that folks think he’s moving to the center – I wish that was the prevailing opinion because the GOP have worked damn hard over the last two years to paint him as some far left ideologue.

    The stimulus spending was about half what Krugman and the boys wanted, the HCR bill was borrowed from Romneycare and the Heritage Foundation 1992 counter-proposal to Hillarycare, and the financial reforms didn’t even go as far as re-instituting Glass-Steagall. Just because no Republicans voted for these measures doesn’t make thm far left. I mean Ben Nelson, Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieu and others still had to vote for them. Nelson is probably to the right of 3-4 GOP Senators.

  4. People hear what they want. That’s why every major speech is followed by pundits and analysis. It is an industry in itself, analyze the President. If the President says “affordable healthcare for all”, some hear “public option” and others hear “government take over of healthcare”.

  5. He is a moderate Democrat on fiscal issues, foreign policy he borrows a lot from Scowcroft and Bush 41, socially he’s probably more progressive.

  6. Of course, Sargent couldn’t resist doing his best to color Axelrod’s comments in the shade that best suits him:

    “Axelrod, of course, has contributed to the excesses of Washington culture. But as the above captures pretty neatly, he’s also long been said to be genuinely ambivalent about it and even disappointed that he and Obama have failed to change it in any meaningful way.”

    Hey, Greg, guess what? You’ve failed to change Washington in any meaningful way, too!

  7. There are so many on the left and right who want Barack Obama to be what they think he should be and to say what they want him to say. However, like Axelrod states, the BHO has never wavered from who he is and what he believes. That’s precisely what I like most about him.

  8. It all gets very tiresome imo.. and shows how little our media apparently has to do. Time after time after time- the President makes a speech.. or a townhall.. or a press conference and inevitably, someone in the media or on a blog carries on about how : He’s BACKKKKKK!! “thats the Obama I voted for”… “he’s moving back to the left”.. Ohhh the community organizer has returned”!!!

    Blah blah blah. This is a human being with multiple facets to what make him- him. He’s never ‘changed’.. other than possibly to ‘evolve’. If the MEDIA would take the opportunity to READ his books.. read/listen to ALLLLL his speeches over these 5-7 years.. they might actually find themselves KNOWING who Barack Obama is and has always been.

    It truly boggles my mind- how they continuously attempt to pidgeon-hole President Obama. It is YOU-MEDIA-Professional Left- you folks who rely on the name of Barack Obama to make your mighty$$$$$$$- that can’t be consistent.

  9. BWD,

    I used to follow you on dkos,where I would defend you against the craziness from time to time. I have been a long-time lurker here but I just wanted to say thankyou for this blog, and thank you as well to all of the people who participate in the comments
    section. Your work putting together this website, and all those who comment here just
    make my day. I’m an expat who lives overseas and I wish that people could see the extradordinary impact that this president is having on the rest
    of the world.

    Fired up!
    Ready to go!

  10. Excellent points by Axelrod. I have often said that if people simply read what the man wrote in his books years ago and said in his speeches years ago they wouldn’t be confused. He’s been remarkably consistent over time which lets you know he has a very particular personal philosphy that he works from that guides his decisions. He’s not acting according to polls or pundits. He’s thought through his approach to life and that’s how he’s governing. It’s simple as that.

  11. What was particularly brilliant to me about the SOTU: He defined the center in what reasonable people would consider the true center, and it was significantly Left of what this right-ward careening Republican party would define.

    You refuse to come even to this line, Republicans? Seriously? Brilliant.

  12. Past perfect thinking prevails in this country. It’s never about trying to get a fix on that person and where he seems to be going — it’s always about trying to fit him into some pattern of the past.

    They just don’t get it. Obama is a future perfect thinker. He takes what’s useful from the past and uses that plus new ideas to try to create a new outcome in the future.

    That’s how it was they kept guessing wrong during the primaries — and the election…

    And by 2017 — they’ll know why I said in 2007 (or 8 — whenever I said it) that Obama is going to be the best president ever!

    (I’ve been places I shouldn’t have been. I’ve got to get my spirit back up. I don’t understand pessimists — I really don’t. Feeling bad does not feel good!)

  13. Ed Schultz was dreadful this morning: He was sooooo disappointed in Obama. Ed Schultz really is the dullest tool in the progressive radio shed.

    He kept harping that nothing Obama said created manufacturing jobs — green technology, fuel-efficient cars, education, innovation — that doesn’t create jobs?

    Ed was looking for Obama to find a magic way to make a plastic spoon in the U.S. to compete with Chinese-made plastic spoons. And nothing else Obama said mattered.

    I detest having to fight Republicans AND the PL. Hate it.

  14. I honestly don’t have a problem with saying that you wish Obama had spent more time on “x” and had mentioned “y”. But what you hear instead is complete destruction of everything Obama said because they didn’t get their personal favorite in the speech.

    Like Lawrence and gun control — panned the entire speech because he didn’t get his pet concern. How can someone with Lawrence’s experience in the Democratic Congress not understand that if Obama had gone there that would be ALL anyone would be talking about? Can he be that stupid? Especially since Obama is going to address gun control — the SOTU was not the place in this political climate to do it.

  15. AWESOME!!! Pres Obama never sold out and always stuck to what he believes in. It’s amazing that people can be so cynical sometimes instead of accepting things and peole ar face value. Why is it that everything that the pres does has to be because he wants to get re-elected and not because maybe it’s the right thing to do?

  16. THIS AMAZING PRESIDENT IS NO DIFFERENT. HE IS THE SAME PERSON WHO CAMPAIGNED. HE IS THE SAME PERSON WHO TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE IN JANUARY 2009. HE HAS ALWAYS SAID THAT IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO AGREE TO DISAGREE…TO LISTEN…TO TAKE IDEAS FROM EACH OTHER’S INPUT…TO DITCH THE POLITICS AND WORK FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE COUNTRY. ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ ARE HIS PRIORITY OTHER THAN GOD AND HIS FAMILY. HE’S DOING A WONDERFUL JOB…IS PROBABLY THE BEST PRESIDENT IN OUR HISTORY. HIS VALUES ARE STRONG…HIS MORALS ARE EVEN STRONGER AND HE WON’T BE BROKEN BY TALKING HEADS! GO OBAMA 2012!

  17. There’s a certain poster on Huff and Puff who always bitches about Obama being a centrist and posts quotes from dead politicians about change not being found in the center.

    Yeah, said poster plans to vote for Bernie Sanders in 2012, so go figure.

    Those folks need to get used to the fact that Obama can’t govern from the far left and get things done. He doesn’t have the votes for a far left agenda, since most of the votes for his legislation are from centrist blue dogs.

    Also, I don’t get the argument about blue dogs being closet Republicans, if they were closet Republicans, wouldn’t they be voting WITH Republicans more than the Democrats? There are indeed certain blue dogs who vote with Republicans, as the Obama Care repeal in the House shows, but overall blue dogs vote with Dems more than with Repubs. It was the blue dogs that made Obama Care happen, and one far left Dem, Kuchinich.

    And I don’t get the PL talking point about Obama being a “moderate Republican.” So I guess all the Republicans voting “No” on his legislation and working to repeal Obama Care is to show love for their fellow man?

    The PL can go blow themselves, Obama is going to do whatever needs to be done in order to win next year. It’s the independents that he needs to win, and governing as a socialist isn’t going to get the independents.

  18. LABELS-LABELS-LABELS

    I am so f’ing sick of it. Boxes, and dualism, and pissing conrests about whose label is better, (and bigger, I keep getting unsolicited Viagra ads). BASTA. Get a life, grap a mop, and cool it with the intellectual, “tiresome” as Sheri puts it, and waste of the precious moments of your life, GAME. You mind eff with other mind effers, give yourself high fives (WE ARE AC-TI-VISTS!!) Well, crap. Way to divide us further.

    I can never do the phone banking/canvassing thing like my friend KittyPat and so many others do, but I have two stints at the Rehab Hospital next week. One should be easy, the other…challenging. They give me the tougher patients because of my background, but…

    BWD has given many a huge gift, and apparently does not eat or sleep. So, pundits, frustrati, you may take your mastabatory never ending analyses about POTUS’ DIRECTIONS, and, well, what did Mrs Kerry once tell a reporter??

    The End.

    (they should NEVER cancel school. This is what happens :))

  19. Boy, does that say it all! I, like all of you, get so sick and tired of those who say “he’s moved to the center” or he has moved to the “right” or “left.” President Obama has been the most honest, solid, true person I have ever seen. I will stand behind him 100% in whatever he does until I die, no ifs, ands or buts.

  20. It’s because the PL needs to find ANYTHING nefarious about what Obama does, so they can complain about him not being far left enough. They keep on projecting an agenda he never ran on, he always ran on being pragmatic and practical.

  21. Its that old “moving the bar”.. and as far as I’m concerned ALL the MEDIA are guilty of it.. they set the President up time and time again as a ‘failure’ on one thing or another- because that, imo is the narrative that keeps the drama ongoing. And it doesn’t seem to matter whether they (the media person/pundit) is known for being savvy or even smart.. they just continue to follow one another along in this game of finding failure with President Obama: He must do/say this one thing NOW.. or he has by-God FAILED me/us/we/the country/the world.

    I’ll keep saying it: The biggest problem our country has is the media- the magnify/distort and deceive night after night- they are not serving the American people.. and they’re getting lots of fame and fortune for it. Its the one thing I’m truly soured on.

  22. It’s not about people thinking that he’s moving to the center – politicallt it’s probably a good thing – It’s about the Left creating the notion that he is some kind of a sell-out, a moderate-Republican at best. If i had a dollar for each time i heard that – I’d be filthy rich.

    Nothing, nothing makes me more furious than when i hear and read people questioning this man’s clear progressive values, or simply forgetting what he said in ever damn speech since 2004.

  23. Bbbbbut you Obamabot!🙂

    That’s what I get called when i post on PL sites like Huff and Puff, anyone who is supporting Obama over there is called an Obamabot from PL posters. And of course they criticize Obama for being too much like Bush, being too friendly to Wall Street, being too much of a corporatist, all baseless hyperbole and conjecture not based on facts.

  24. Another thing that hasn’t changed about Mr. Obama: he stays focused on what he wants to get done, not on what people are saying about him. Makes me shake my head every time I hear someone opine that he’s doing this or that “in response to critics from the left/right/outer space.” He doesn’t have time to appease the critics; he has (as Jon Stewart says) sh*t to DO. And looky there, he’s doing it!

    Great rant by Axelrod, who knows the man.

  25. Now that Ed Schultz follows The Rachel Maddow Show, I have to make skid marks to the remote so I don’t have to see his face on my television.

  26. Oh the captions that could be written on that Axelrod/Obama picture!

    Axe: “Hey did you see the Palin response to your SOTU speech where she talked about Sputnik.”

    Obama: “LOL…..yea, she is the gift that keeps on giving!”

  27. He’s still polling 85%+ among Democrats though, and I suspect at least half the 15% will vote for him as well.

    He needs to win back independents, centrists and steal moderate Republicans if he can because their votes are two-for-one, because if they don’t vote for Obama they vote for the Republican in the race meaning -1 for Obama and +1 for the Republican for a swing of two.

    Listening to the Plouffe video posted here a day or so ago, among the people that voted in 2004/2006 Obama won them only 50-49 over McCain/Palin in 2008, but won the new voter 71-29. That is a pretty scary number.

  28. This seems so obvious to me that I have never understood all the people who say he has changed or is different from when he ran. He is the most consistent politician I have ever heard. He has always talked about being one people, working past our differences, being in this together, etc. And yet, every few months we get hit again with some meme that the President is now responding to some temporary political setback and changing his rhetoric. I just shake my head and wonder just what they have been listening to because the one thing that I am certain of is that President Obama is still saying the same things he has always said.

    The pundits love to claim some special insight into his mind and project what they think he should (or shouldn’t do) onto him and then talk like that is actually the way it really is. Then when the President gets to actually speak for himself, he doesn’t react the way they think he should, but is instead the same, consistent, thoughtful, intelligent pragmatic person he always was and they act all surprised and tell everyone he must be acting that way in response to poll numbers, or gearing up for re-election, or in response to the Tea Party, or the whiny PL, or whatever other thing they can think of that would be what they would respond to if they were in his shoes. We have a sad excuse for a national media in this country.

  29. YES! It’s something that drove me nuts about the frustrati. They’re continuing insistence that he ran on, or promised, something that they “wanted” or “believed.” Anyone who listened to his speeches (and read the transcripts), and read his platform knows that he’s doing just what he said he was going to do. It’s been two years now, and if they couldn’t be bothered to educate themselves on that score in the first place, let along learn since, it’s obvious they’re just too stupid to be listened to.

  30. I agree. Read both his books, listened to all of his speeches, some of them more than once read his guest editorials and this is the man I voted for. He is the one who ran in 2008. The only thing that has changed in my view is the way some perceive him.

  31. 😀 I haven’t seen him since they made the line up change. I haven’t missed him either.

  32. Boy, what a nice official start of my day. How thrilling that you were able to ask a question.

    I think the problem for a great many people is that they cannot look at the President, or any Congressional person, without seeing someone who is manipulative and really just looking our for themselves.

    Having read Obama’s books and just about every book written about him, he is a different type of person and politician. When he said he was willing to be a one term president, I believe him.

    I think history will reveal that Barack H. Obama is indeed a unique man.

  33. It’s best to avoid those places as much as you can. Pessimism does indeed feel bad and it is contagious. Sometimes it seems like there are people who want and long for a terrible crisis and therefor look for any sign that can be twisted to make that crisis appear imminent. Reality is better. There are enough bad things in the world without inventing more. Luckily, there are also a lot of good things to help balance them out. I’ll never understand people who refuse to even hear about the good as if somehow mentioning anything positive means that the negative can not be seen as well. I refuse to live a life of despair. There are terrible things in the world, hard challenges to face, but there is also hope, determination, courage and intelligence that can face those challenges. That’s where I put my energy.

  34. Exactly!! Axelrod is telling it as it is. The reporters seem to have a historical gauge that they use measuring everyone by it. Relegating everyone to fitting into their story of what they are doing. I have said Obama’s book Audacity of Hope says it all. He has always seen ideas from both sides as beneficial. His ideas have been spelled out in this book and he never flip flopped or worked to get to the center. I feel he has always been left of center with some ideas from the far left and seeing some GOP ideas as workable and beneficial. He also feels we need to get done whatever we can do even if it means little steps in achieving the goal.

  35. There is nothing Obama can do to “win over” independents and centrists. He is already doing what he needs to do. The problem is that the media is serving the interests of the conservative spin doctors because conflict sells. The only thing the Obama administration can do is to try and counter the spin with their own media products and to use OFA to reach the independent and centrist voters on the ground with the real story.

  36. Faith, I shudder just to see that man’s name. Hateful, arrogant and frankly not too bright a bulb in my opinion. Now, he is someone who is a phony in that what he really wants is to be a star.

    I think Ed and Rush are just about equal in their vileness.

  37. Ed’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. I think his heart is in the right place but his understanding is a bit lacking. He is quick to react and slow to analyze which leads him to say dumb things. I really don’t know how he got a show on radio or TV, as he isn’t particularly bright, or charismatic, or funny. I guess he can be strident and passionate at times. Sadly, that seems to be enough these days to warrant a national platform to speak your views to the American public.

  38. teehee. Ladyhawke, I know exactly what you mean. I was that way about Keith. I did not want to see his face.

  39. Great to hear you here to, sherijr! I’ve been lurking for awhile after GBCWing from, um, elsewhere. High time to delurk.

  40. I could be wrong,but I think that part of the issue is that it’s been a while since we had politicians who stayed true to who they are. For so long, we have had politicians who say one thing and do another. Every action is based on winning the next election,not what’s in the best interest of the country in the long term.Then along comes Barack Obama and he changes everything. It’s hard to change old habits. A lot of us think, surely he can’t really be different from the others.

    I think that President Obama is setting a new standard on how things should be. Hopefully after his second term, the rest of the nation can catch up and hold future politicians to a different standard, the Obama standard.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everything is or has been perfect under President Obama, or that I agree with every move that he’s made. I take issue with several things that he’s done, but I think that he is looking at the big picture for the nation as a whole and not just Democrats.

  41. They’ve rarely seen a politician who isn’t preoccupied by his re-election 24/7. So they don’t believe it when they see one.

    Decades from now, historians, sociologs will still be fascinated by the presidency of Barack Obama. I hope some of them write about the behaviour of the political commentariat.

  42. My guess it has something to do with sports – someone losing a bet or perhaps one of their inner circle doing something funny. From what I have read, Obama really doesn’t engage in the small and petty.

  43. Lilaf, That is why I have stopped watching MSNBC. On occasion I will watch Rachel, but if she starts going after the President, I will not listen.

    She has a right to her opinion, but I do not have to listen to it. Pnh, you and many of us have gone to dark places because of all of the criticism and hatred spewed by both sides toward our President.

    I have stopped watching pretty much all the pundit programs, and I feel 100% better. Add the fabulous new blog sites, and I am now a different person. Why would I want to listen to people denigrate someone that I believe in?

    “Don’t worry be happy”–until it gets close to the next election. When that happens I will be a nervous wreck.

  44. Exactly. Furthermore, i think that his core beliefs are very much on the left. I absolutely believe that the man who said back then that he was a single payer kind of a guy, s still a single payer kind of a guy. But obviously he can’t make it happen now. And the difference between him and the hair-on-fire screamers from the left is that he reject the all-or-noting approach. And this makes him a much better progressive than any of them will ever be. He actually believe in “progress”.

    That’s why i think that those famous final 5 minutes of the tax-deal press conference will go down in history as some of his finest.

  45. I am thrilled you came over here. I really believe THIS is the “happening” blog, as well as the blogs on the roll.

    “Our group” was ahead of the curve there, and we are here as well, and growing.

    I believe life is too short to wallow in misery.

    Funny coincidence…my son and his GF are heading to SF for a few days. They love history, art, and good food. She’s a vegan. If you have time, and could provide suggestions…

    And one piece of advice – if you feel an urge to go back to DK, fight it🙂

  46. I have never watched his show. I really do believe that a lot of these people don’t know what they are talking about.

    It is scary that even those that call themselves seasoned journalists don’t take the time to look at the big picutre. If these people really wanted to cover the president in the way he should be covered as far as their meme that he’s changed, they will take the time to do the research.

    Get his speeches, analyze it and then come back and say where they’ve found instances where he’s changed. The trouble is that, as Axelrod has defied them to, they won’t find it.

    And so they keep up with the 24-hour news cycle. What I’ve noticed is that someone in their circle will start a meme, and in no time, it becomes a part of the conversation. Here, often, I see no original thought.

    I first heard POTUS speak at the convention. I read one of his books, I listen to his speeches, this man has not changed not one iota.

    The village is totally not ready for this person. And so, they carry on with the status quo.

    Thanks, for this space, BWD. And boy, to all the folks here for the very stimulating discussions.

    I am more of a lurker these days since school and my clinical started, but I never fail to come here and get my fill.

    Kudos.

  47. I guess we didn’t “know” each other over there, n. I know ALL about those places, esp, DK. In fact I was banned from that one (she said proudly :))

  48. You appear to be describing a version of Obama that exists in some alternate reality, unless you are talking about his pragmatic aims rather than his stated ideals and goals.

  49. Was just thinking that. Back in my English minor days, I learned the phrase “Procrustean Bed.” That is what we have here. About five years ago I converted to Zen Buddhism which is all about seeing all moments as new – everything is in flux, etc. This President embodies so much of my eastern philosphy, as well as genuine Christianity. It’s about being open minded, anathema to pundits and frustrati.

    And now, g, who was going to take a hiatus, has been hit with one school cancellation after another, really WILL return to focussing on wellness. Being self absorbed, not the Buddhist way. Whoops🙂

  50. Exactly. It is so nonesensical. Funny how every time he is preparing to give a speech, they all come out with what they think he should say, how he should say it.

    They whip themselves into a frenzy about something they heard he is going to do — i.e. — how he was planning to cut Social Security. When he comes out and proves them wrong, they simply move on to another subject. It is laughable at this stage.

    They are so predictable. The beauty of this whole thing is that the president continues to prove them wrong. They so want to be right that they can’t see clearly.

    It must be hard getting up every morning being these people.

    This president inspires me to be a better person everyday. I am grateful for him and his wonderful family.

  51. Me too. I’ve listened to almost all his speeches and read his books. The problem is that the pundits in the MSM media and on the “self appointed progressive” blogs are infected with amnesia. I remember being infuriated, following the Tucson speech, when I heard someone on the news say that the President had discovered empathy. These people are all about defining and redefining the President to suit their own biases.

  52. Why do you guys think he is trying to fix education. We produced a lot of people who don’t listen. LOL!

  53. Bingo. And it speaks to the limited vision and insights of some members of the new media that this obvious effort has been mistook for a sellout or collusion with the right wing. I’m glad that Axelrod continues to try to set the record straight, but I continue to contend that the WH underestimates the degree of malice inherent in the misreporting in the new media. John Edwards would not have been treated in this fashion, guaranteed.

  54. Bingo. It’s the character attacks. I certainly do not mind if people critique some of POTUS’ policies as a little too centrist. That has nothing to do with the ongoing, ceaseless character attacks and diminishment of this President in the new media. Those attacks have little to nothing to do with policy IMO.

  55. Dear Saint: “what is so bad” is that it is not true. Just because the GOP has constantly lied does excuse people in the media to continue parroting the lies.

  56. I’m wondering if all the people who wrote about what our President SHOULD say in the SOTU were disappointed? Then to compound that disappointment, the speech gets between 84-92% approval rating from viewers. Guess you can’t get it any more wrong than they did.

  57. Why can I, as a political novice with no real insights into the inner workings of DC, no real insights into the inner workings of the Democratic party, and absolutely no clout or access to inside information—why can I detect what’s going on, yet all of these people in the chattering class have such difficulty?

    And so they keep up with the 24-hour news cycle. What I’ve noticed is that someone in their circle will start a meme, and in no time, it becomes a part of the conversation. Here, often, I see no original thought.

    Bingo.

  58. The P.L. are losers. The fact that their favorite candidates cannot win elections should be a major indication of how out of touch they are. If Pres. Obama followed their advice he/we would have lost HCR, DADT, and many of the other PROGRESSIVE policies Obama succeeded in getting enacted. ANyone who can argue with a straight face that Pres. Obama is not liberal or progressive is a fool and/or a liar. Would any Republican President have enacted any of the legislation that has been enacted over the last two years? Maybe to the P.L. the only way to prove your Progressive credentials is to be an unelectable loser (see Nader, Ralph). Any politician who faces political reality and actually gets things done, is by their definition a sellout.

  59. Can you cite specific evidence that on “foreign policy he borrows a lot from Scowcroft and Bush 41?”

  60. Very well said. That drama equals readers and viewers and hence, money. Seems to me that several businesses were built during the various genuine outrages of the Bush years. Rather than changing that business model, they’re merely applying it to President Obama without regard to whether the outrages are legitimate or manufactured.

  61. Senator Cantwell (D) WA today introduced a bill S.74 to fix the woefully insufficient rules the FCC put in place to deal with net neutrality. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:s.74:
    •Amend the law to allow the FCC to protect the level playing field that has allowed competition and innovation to flourish;
    •Require the FCC to treat wireless and wireline service the same;
    •Prevent carriers from implementing “paid prioritization” schemes that favor some Internet content over other content;
    •Require that the FCC respond to people’s complaints whenever violations occur.

  62. They go from crisis to crisis to crisis to crisis. There’s a high drama every day. Unbelievable.

  63. God I love him for his enthusiasm about science and technology.. he’s so much fun to listen to – watching the YouTube interview right now.

  64. I actually did! Didn’t title it that way, but put GBCW in the tags. (Admin found it, you betcha.) The comments were actually respectful and friendly for the most part. I won’t link to it, heaven forbid, but the title was: “Lifetime DKos Subscriber Wants Money Back.”

    It was a pretty gentle GBCW, mostly because there are so many communities there that I love and respect (and miss!). Actual politics, however, has become impossible at that site. As we know.

  65. I am so glad that you were there as one of the bloggers. Hope the WH knows what a jewel they have in you. Also hope that you have some understanding of the magnitude of good your are doing and I think the magnitude of influence this blog has in others perceptions of PBO. I thank you everyday!

  66. Like Axelrod said if you go back and listen to his speeches you will learn a lot. Just like whats happening now in the middle east. He said your people will judge you for what you can build and not what you destroy.

  67. I hope g-Son and girlfriend have a great trip! No clue where the vegan restaurants are, sorry, but I’m sure there are dozens of them. One history recommendation: have them look up http://www.sfcityguides.org for a schedule of guided walks around different City neighborhoods. Free, even! (Donations accepted, of course.)

    I do fight that urge. Allow myself one lurk a week over there; have slipped a couple of times, but not many. Much happier over here.

  68. Hi Hon

    I’m not like the school cancellations. Too much time to think! Of course, I COULD shovel snow…last night I actually had a good time with it. I used my IPOD, and danced with my shovel to the Nutcracker Suite🙂

  69. and that is saying a whole hell of a lot about how great a president he is when the Washington D.C. sesspool does not rub off on you.

  70. Your title was great! I understand about the communities, but the cons outweighed the pros by huge margins towards the end. I was also having these bizarro visceral, Pavlovian reactions to merely clicking on the site. Bottom line: to paraphrase Soup Guy from Seinfeld – No hits for YOU, Kos!

    It was a powerful addiction, though. I had to get myself banned and then block the site. I gave up cigarettes more easily.

  71. President Obama is consistent. It’s just that simple. I’d say the 84-92 % of the folk who viewed and approved of his SOTU get that. We get it.

    Even those who disparage him, likely get it – and, privately, it’s totally freaking them that no matter how they spin, lie, belittle, bath in hate, …. be they fringe right or left, they know they are failing to get the attention of most of us and are totally failing to have the President even look in their direction – with one exception, he still cares for them and protects them because they are Americans and humans.

    That latter character trait of the President is the one that likely most galls them more than any other because they know they do not have even and ounce of empathy and thus live in their dark pools of self loathing.

  72. Just a small correction, BWD, it’s spelled “preach” Otherwise, YES! That was wonderful. Peace.

  73. And he’s woefully uninformed and sometimes misinformed. And he’s not afraid to share his ignorance.

  74. That just shows the complete idiocy of Ed Schultz!! He understands nothing of business and global economy, and how technology plays a role!

    There are many components that influence where manufacturing jobs flow, but the reality is one major factor is the cost to produce & complexity to produce! I could go on and on about this topic, as I work in manufacturing.

    But the point is I wish people who don’t know what they are talking about just shut up already – that means Ed Schultz & Sarah Palin

  75. No kidding, Faith.

    I see Ed as a phony ex-republican making his money solely on bombast and nontroversies. I swear I can’t fathom who watches his show other than those that need an outrage du jour adrenaline fix.

  76. Hi, gn! (Waves back)

    Hi, protean4f, from another of the recently de-lurked!

  77. Lots of people have already said this; those of us who listened to OBAMA during the 2004 convention and read his books are not suprised by how he acts during his tenure as president.

    I think folks who say otherwise, either did not hear or educate themselves about him during the campagin, and as a consequence projected their own views on him hence their disappointment. Some folks are disingenuine. some are opportunist ( you know who you are) and some are straight up trouble makers, and are some are trolls✌

  78. Exactly, Faith.

    Even after he was told that President Obama was going to address the issue separately in the near future, O’Donnell was not to be deterred. IMO, that’s the same shit, different topic: if our single issue wasn’t discussed or discussed enough then everything is viewed from a single issue.

    It was important for President Obama to discuss an overarching vision for America. IF he had MENTIONED gun control, nothing else would have been discussed: total oxygen drain.

    Now I would assume that O’Donnell knows that but still has to fill Keith Olbermann’s shoes.

  79. Oh,that is a real solution, vote for Bernie Sanders. Childish!

    I appreciate what you said about blue dogs. Indeed, even Blanche Lincoln voted 90% of the time with the dems.

  80. Thanks good news! We really need to improve how everyone can get good informtion. Since the SCOTUS – Scalia said that the news does not have to be truthful opened up the Faux Noise Rupert Murdoch flood gates of lies.


  81. I absolutely believe that the man who said back then that he was a single payer kind of a guy, s still a single payer kind of a guy. But obviously he can’t make it happen now. And the difference between him and the hair-on-fire screamers from the left is that he reject the all-or-noting approach.

    Exactly – as I quoted before: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”.

    And as he indicated in the SOTU speech, there’s still room to improve on laws passed (even though his example was a Republican itch.

  82. The answer is very simple, gn. You can see it because you look at things directly, not through a lens of “what do I think people want to hear?” You look at things in terms of what can be, not what should be (defined by your own ego). You don’t try to define things based upon how important it will make you seem, or how knowledgable, or how independent. You define things based solely on what you see, because you can think for yourself.

    Most pundits, right or left, (and since I don’t really see many true journalists out there, pundits includes just about everybody in the media) have decided that they must be against something more than they are for something. And they feel they have some mission to tell people what they must think. That is why they use the word “should” so often. Not many talk about what they would like to hear or see, but what should be seen and heard. Since, whetgher from the right or left, their pristine image is an impossibility in the real world, they can only be against.

    You, and others here, have to work and deal with the real world and that colors our perceptions from a reality POV, not some “Camelot” POV.

    And most importantly, you trust yourself to be able to see things for what they are. You don’t need to be told.

  83. Was it that high, Tien Le? Oh my…I just listened to Bristol’s Mom say she could barely “stomach it.” This is getting good. Eventually comments like that will cause even more of her defenders to peel off. She will become even too stupid and too crass for even them. Or pragmatically, they’ll acknow they are backing a loser.
    The Rise and Fall of DKos. The Rise and Fall of Sarah Palin. I wish I liked to write🙂

  84. FYI ~ I just read this on twitter:

    @chucktodd reports that President Obama will name Jay Carney as the next White House press secretary.

  85. There is the old saying “What you see is what you get.” With the President, that is exactly the truth. Yet people, specially those who consider themselves part of the “establishment” just can’t accept that. Nothing is that simple. There must be all sorts of convolutions and permutations. The man has shown many times over that he is a progressive in terms of what he would like to see happen and a pragmatic realist in terms of what can happen at any specific point in time.

    He has said many times, in effect, he will not sacrifice the good on the altar of perfection. I may disagree with him from time to time on what can be achieved, but I will never question his sincerity about what he would like to achieve.

  86. I am watching the Oprah show about military families and it is very emotional and a real eye opener. The voices of the men and women in the military and their families need to be heard and supported. Tissues required.

  87. Very interesting. Was Bidens comm director. He’s a former Washington Bureau Chief for Time magazine and a regular ABC “Roundtable” talking head when Stephanopolis hosted the Sunday show.

    His wife is a senior correspondent for ABC news.

    This is more like when Bush chose Tony Snow. Somebody who used to be a reporter who will know how to “handle” reporters a little better.

    Best of all – it’s not Burton!!!

  88. For me I have resolved to completely ignore these self appointed progressive” pundits. Especially since some of the loudmouth bashers of the President, like Ed Schults and Arriana Huffington, are former conservative Republicans. Let me be clear: President Obama and Vice-President Biden have always been progressive Democrats. They were progressives Democrats long before Huffington and Schultz became converts. Schultz and Huffington remind me of born again Christians, who infuriatingly so judgmental, forgetting that they were never as pure Christians as they pretend to be.

  89. Rep. Pence delayed his announcement on his 2012 plans until tomorrow. It’s either run for President, run for Govenor, or less likely stay in the House.

    I think with Bayh saying he’s not running for Governor that the spot is pretty much a slam dunk whereas the Presidency is a longshot. Pence considers himself more of a serious Presidential contender, so I think he’ll go the Governors route now and position himself to be a 2016 top contender.

  90. Very well said! First the media filters, and in many instances entirely neglects to cover, what the President says and does. Then they invent the meme that the President is a failure, not because he failed on what he promised, but because of their false lies about what he did not do. Finally, when their filters fail, and the American people are able to hear the President directly, as was the case with his Tucson speech and the STOU, then they try to cover their lies by claiming that the President has changed. I am really glad that David Axerod told them to go back and look at the President’s 2004 speech to the Democratic Convention to see that he has been consistent in his vision for the future of the country.

  91. Unless it has a GOP co-sign I don’t think it has any real chance of passing. If she could get it through the Senate, getting 60 votes then I think there could be some pressure on the House GOP. Still a real long shot.

    On a side, expect to see a lot less cloture demands in the Senate this session as that way the GOP doesn’t have to supply votes and the GOP house could kill it. If a bill heads to the House with 60 votes, meaning seven Republicans signed on, the pressure would be on Boehner.

  92. Important: FCIC’s Report on Causes of 2008 Economic Crisis

    “This morning, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FDCI) released a report on the causes of the 2008 financial and economic crisis. At the event, the Commission is delivering the results of its inquiry and its conclusions as to the causes of the crisis based on this inquiry.

    In a statement from the commission, it said that the financial crisis was avoidable. They blamed both Wall Street and government officials for not spotting the warning signs of the crisis.

    In the course of its research and investigation, the Commission reviewed millions of pages of documents, interviewed more than 700 witnesses, and held 19 days of public hearings in New York, Washington and communities across the country that were hit hard by the crisis.

    The FCIC’s main report, which will be released later today, is a conclusive 567 page book detailing the causes of the recession including reasons involving the lack of adequate risk management by financial institutions and the government being unprepared to manage the fallout.

    The Commission’s six Democratic appointees support the causes presented in the report while the remaining Republican members will issue an additional two reports. The report with accompanying dissents will be delivered to the Pres. Obama and Congress today.”

    http://www.c-span.org/Events/FCICs-Report-on-Causes-of-2008-Economic-Crisis/10737419171/

  93. Love your reaction, bwd — Bahhhh! It’s been driving me mad, too. It took me a few minutes of reading to realize there wasn’t a character in there with the last name, Preace!

  94. This Oprah show is a must see for everyone in the country. The guests included Tom Brokaw, Bob Woodward, First Lady Michelle Obama and members of the military and their families.

    http://www.serve.gov/

    =================================
    On January 24, 2011, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden unveiled new measures to strengthen and better coordinate the Federal Government’s support for military families.

    Coming in March, the First Lady and Dr. Biden will launch a major initiative calling on all Americans to support our military families. On January 27th, the First Lady will join service members and their families on The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss the unique challenges they face, the remarkable strength and courage of the military community, and the upcoming service campaign.
    =================================

  95. Very well said. My problem with the “self anointed progressives” is their pre-occupation with tactics and not the goals. Here is an analogy that I think best illustrates the approach of the “frustrati”: Suppose I want to travel from San Diego to Los Angeles. Obviously the fastest way to get their is to hit the freeway. But what if there are accidents and road closures? Isn’t it logical that I go through detours, that may take me much longer than the freeway, if my goal is to get to Los Angeles? It seems to me that the “frustrati” think that, despite accidents and freeway closures, if I take back roads, it means that I don’t intend to get to LA.

  96. sherijr, I agree that the real problem is the media. They are not interested in informing us. What they are trying to brain wash us.
    By putting their own spin on whatever they are discussing, they begin to alter reality.

    Yup, the nastier they are the more people listen.

    I would imagine that there are a big number of repugs that watch Ed and also watched Keith.

  97. Pamela, I had not thought about the consequences of Keith’s legacy, but I bet you are spot on.

    Gotta keep those rating high.

  98. There are probably very few politicians who would fit “What you see if what you get”.

  99. Hi Lize in San Francisco

    I wanted to introduce myself since we are neighbors (Nor Cal). This place is so fun. You will quickly get addicted. I am relatively new to blogging, but highly addicted to this site.

    Virtual Wave

  100. Greetings
    I just finished watching Arne Duncan and Kathleen Sebellius. They were both great.

    Their answers were on point and easy to understand, they seem to be getting more comfortable with this Q and A format.

    Also many of the questions on Health Care were framed in a very positive way. My favorite was – “we like all the benefits of the new law and wonder why we need to wait until 2014.”

    The Republicans have seriously mis-judged the public if they think they received a referendum to repeal health care.

    I think I will slice up the videos into bite size pieces and include them at my blog. I am so encouraged. Now how do I double the hours in the day??

  101. Gibbs has a combative air about him though. I think he’s a better pundit on television than as Press Secretary. I understand why he got the gig, but I never thought he was a good fit in it.

    I like the choice of Carney, but will have to see him in action to see if he’ll be effective. Answering questions is way different than asking them. However in the very least he’ll know most of the White House pool professionally if not some personally from his days on their side of the microphone so I think there will be more respect afforded him.

  102. The trouble with “quotes from dead politicians” is that they tell us nothing about the reality of what they did. I did not read huff & puff article, but I assume the dead politicians they invoke include FDR and LBJ. Here is the reality: FDR was elected in 1932. However his most enduring signature legislations, such as the Social Security Act, were enacted between 1935 and 1940. And these were not perfect laws. LBJ became President in the wake of the assassination of JFK. Although he gets the credit for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the credit really belongs to JFK who initiated it in 1963, in response to the “sit-ins” and “freedom rides.” People forget that it was not entirely because of LBJ’s progressivism. Rather it was the mood in the country, following JFK’s assassination, and the massive Civil Rights protests, that prompted Congress to pass the Civil Rights Bills. I am just so sick of revisionist historians who show very little understanding of history. I wonder if this idiot, who plans to vote Bernie Sanders, really thinks that Sanders could some how wave a magic wand that forces congress to enact a single payer health bill. With all due respect, some of these so called progressives are delusional.

  103. Hi nintendo:
    I used to post at “Huff and Puff”but i soon realized that many of the people claiming to be progressives by attacking the President were hopeless. So i decided to never waste my time responding to them.

  104. Further ‘breaking news’ … dozens of orange flashes have been detected throughout the blogverse as the news of the ISC’s decision reaches the screens of various frustrati …🙂

  105. Murdoch has been trying to buy more of the cable satellite network in Europe called BskyB and they wouldn’t let him do it. He has now said he will give up Sky News to get more of BskyB, so that might fly. That would mean he loses a voice, although Sky News is nothing like Fox. His other station is Euro News and that is nothing like Fox. I just hope that he isn’t planning on carrying more cr-p like Fox once he owns more of the network, but I doubt the communications people would allow it – one awful station is enough, although he might try shoving the Fox Business channel at us.
    Nice ti see someone standing up to him and him taking some lumps.

  106. It will be better for his re-election campaign. Sure we can push back and say “No, he’s always been there”, but we’d be fighting an uphill battle. If he’s seen as a moderate, the eventual GOP primary winner will have a really tough time beating him. If he’s still seen as a far left ideologue like the GOP tries to frame him, it would allow the eventual GOP challenger to try and claim the moderate middle.

    No matter what is said to try and push back againdt the idea that the HCR, Stimulus, Financial Reforms were pretty moderate pieces of legislation, there isn’t a Fox news to blast out that idea.

    If the rest of the MSM is ready to run with the story that he’s more centrist/moderate now – that’s better than nothing and better than them still saying “Obama doesn’t compromise and is too partisan”.

  107. If he wants to run for President in 2016 it might be tough to run for Governor because everybody would know it was a two year gig and then it would be basically part time for the second two years. I’m not sure how Indiana works if the Lt Governor runs separately or they run as a ticket, if it’s a ticket than he could pick a competent lt. Gov that his supporters would be comfortable largely taking over. If it’s separate then it could be a real issue.

    However he has to be Governor because he’s not going to have a chance in 2016 as a Congressman going against former Governors like Jeb Bush, Jon Huntsman, Mitch Daniels etc.

    With Bayh not running it would pretty much be a lock for him, however also being a Presidential year it could be too close for comfort and a loss would end his higher aspirations.

  108. Claire MacCaskill just wrote:

    Great news. Just over an hour ago, our campaign to stop secret holds prevailed on the floor of the U.S. Senate!

    That’s more good news.

  109. Great news. If you don’t like the guy, then work against him by backing another candidate. To try and block him because of a rule that shouldn’t apply to him was ridiculous.

  110. Glad to see he is back on the ballot. While there were some other good candidates, Rahm will bring the necessary energy to the position. Chicago has so much going on and it isn’t a job for someone who doesn’t act like the Energizer Bunny every day.

    And on a related subject, seeing President Obama in action and how much can and needs to be accomplished by a presidenta we should seriously look at changing the law and requiring an age limit of 65 for anyone running for President.

  111. However larger filibuster reforms were defeated. Harkins bill to lower the cloture threshold went down 12-84. The push to make filibusters have to actively engage by taking the floor was defeated as well.

  112. I love Kathleen Sebelius and was so distraught when President Obama took her away from us. Now we have…wait a minute…..it’s stuck in my throat and figers…uh…now we have Brownback. There I said it.

    I’v been around for the past two years and was a member of DK until it got so toxic. I just couldn’t believe what was being written and wondered where their problem lied.
    I give the MSM no credit anymore. To me they get dumb and dumber. Few seem intelligent enough to evaluate what is really happening as far as President Obama goes. They make up stories from their little minds to meet their needs and cause chaos.

    All I can say is that from the night I heard his first speech at the convention in 04, I said he is going to be president someday. I stood behind him then and I stand behind him today. I don’t bother with the pundits because they are all wrong and just wait for him to tell me himself. The President is the same man he was then.

    Intuitively I trust him, his character, his brilliance, his ablility to speak truth to power and his patience which is beyond my indurance if I had to put up with the phenomenal duress he seems to be immune from.

    For the reasons mentioned above I thank BWD for this site of others who get it. I will never understand “stupid” out in the US.
    Even other countries “get it.” and love him.

  113. Not suprising in the least. Those changes may have to come when the other side gets abused by the status quo.

  114. I feel your pain. We went from Napolitano to….*clenches teeth* Gov. Jan Brewer. Ick.

    I loved this part of your comment:
    “just wait for him to tell me himself”

    Seriously, the press are practically unecessary by their own doing. I wish people would just wait for POTUS because he’s been telling you the real deal from his emergence on the national scene to this very day.

  115. I don’t doubt that the GOP won’t change them in a second after the take back the Senate. If there was going to be no changes, I’d have rather saw them codified though legislation.

    I believe there was just an agreement struck between McConnell and Reid not to use the 51 Constitutional option for rule changes but use the 67-vote threshold.

    So if in 2012 the GOP takes back the Senate, the costitutional option is still for them to use.

    McConnell is a weasel, I figured with Reid relelected he might get a little tougher. Guess not.

  116. If Obama had been able to rely on the people that voted for him to understand what he and this country were up against; that it would take years to un-do Republican damage, we would have seen more of his progressive soul.

    Their ‘holding his feet to the fire’ backfired. It demoralized Democrats, so much so that defeating the tea party wasn’t motivation enough for them. The message they really sent: progressives are not reliable.

    This man had every reason to believe that his statements wouldn’t be parsed by the people who supported him in 2008. No other President has been treated this badly by his own supporters. No time in recent political history would the progressive actions taken by this President not been heralded by his party. Shameful.

    I read somewhere the other day: if Republicans had passed this very same HCR, they’d be cheering their President, even the ones who HATED the whole idea of it. How much ‘outrage’ did you hear from Republicans with the unpaid-for Medicare prescription drug plan? That wasn’t even close to revenue-neutral, like HCR was. Did you see Republicans bailing on their President? Hell no.

    But move HCR down the progressive road, and all progressives can do is bitch about its imperfection. It is truly astounding.

    Can you imagine the wind at his back if progressives had cheered as they should have? Can you imagine if we’d had his back as a party? Instead we hand him Speaker Boehner and Rand Paul and Mark Kirk, making it damn near impossible to be as effective as he was the first two years.

    This is all Obama’s fault. I listen to progressive radio in Chicago, and I might as well have been listening to Rush and Glenn after the SOTU. Awful.

  117. And what a decision it was 7-0. And with a ‘are you guyz “retarded”‘ smackdown to that venal appellate court.

  118. Nathan, It took me a while, but now I too ignore these arrogant know it all screamers.

    I haven’t read Huffington for months and months, but I knows she is determined to do as much harm as she can to PBO.

    It is interesting because people like Schultz and Huffington who were repubs are annoying because they still play like repugs–dirty.

  119. I am completely disgusted with the democrats. They allowed their fear that they will be in the minority next cycle to completly stifle the improvements the senate needs so badly. It is broken in case they have not noticed!

  120. Great analogy. It points out that many who are Passionate about their agenda have only a short view of things. I’ve heard it said that the only thing the wise possess is the capacity to see the consequences of action a little further down the road than the rest of us. The only question being will we heed them or argue because we don’t see it ourselves. Obama plays a long game but the majority of politicians and pundits can’t see past their nose.

  121. That comment of Greg’s was so freaking petty. It kills him to have to admit that the PL’s latest argument on the Obama administration may be incorrect.

  122. You could smell the rat in the appellate ruling. No way was Rahm going to let them get away with that ruling. I am in MD but I wish him luck.

  123. Rahm Emanuel stays on the ballot. IL Supreme Court unanimous decision.

    A serious smackdown of the appellate court from five of the justices, two thought the smackdown was too strong but concurred on the findings.

    Some little Republican election worker is whining on PBS in Chicago right now. “Anyone can rent out their home, and come back in 25 years and say he’s a resident!”

    One of Rahm’s attorneys quietly and effectively schooled him on how the law works. Hysterical.

  124. Things to do in SF:
    Whale watching trip to the Farallon Islands.
    Hot fudge Sundae at Ghirradelli Square
    See all the sites shown in Star Trek movies
    Muir Woods
    Eat spicy Vietnamese food on Market Street
    Street life in the Italian Section
    Catch a live play, performance piece or other avant garde offering
    Catch a movie at the Alhambra
    Visit Japantown
    Get a tour of the federal courthouse
    Fall in love with the best city in America.

  125. GN, there are two reason, you do look at things directly, but my feeling is that you are also a very smart and informed person.

  126. For sure. I really don’t like voting for judges in elections and never know who to vote for since thankfully I’m never in court and I have no time to research their rulings for god’s sake. And in Chicago there are soooo many judges. For all I know I voted for that appellate court. Judges should be chosen by the members of the bar.

  127. An inside look: This was not about Rahm’s political clout. I’m a Chicagoan: if anything the political clout was against Rahm and in Gery Chico’s favor.

    Ald Ed Burke, an old machine politician, supported Chico and those bringing this initial lawsuit would not say who was bankrolling them. A strong suspicion that by a few degrees of separation, Burke could have had his fingers all over this.

    His wife is an IL. Supreme Court judge, but Ann is a decent person. Once it was clear this was going to be unanimous, there would have been no advantage for her to dissent. And she may not have ever entertained it.

    When the Supreme Court said it would hear the case, that meant a lot: they have to have reason to believe that the person will prevail in order to hear the case. However, the way that statute was written gave me serious pause.

    What the majority did say is that there is case law aplenty to back this decision.

    Anyway, I’m glad. The two other main candidates are either crooks, incompetent or both. I think Rahm will do well in this job.

  128. On Lawrence O’Donnell tonight it looks like once the Teabag Party candidates (Republicans in sheeps clothing) got elected, they NO LONGER NEED TO BE ASSOCIATED AS A TEABAG PARTY….didn’t see that one coming. I wonder if it was due to Crazy Michelle Bachmans post post rebuttal.

  129. San Francisco is my favorite city, bar none.. g- tell your son & gf to have a wonderful time.

  130. Virtual wave back, What Is Working! Glad that northern California is so well represented here, and that you’ve developed such a healthy addiction. 🙂 See you around the place!

  131. Agree on all points. I didn’t know about the prior case law which makes this an open/shut case. Judge Burke objected only to the majority “inflamatory” dissenting language.

  132. Jay Carney, Biden’s press secretary, is the new WH press secretary.

    You guyz have any ideas about him ? Good ? Bad ? Bring back Gibbs ?

  133. Oh, btw KO fans must be so sad that he didn’t make the cut. Expect more poutrage express.🙂

  134. Yeah. She and the other justice said it wasn’t as cut and dried as the majority made it out to be. I just read the opinion: it’s cut and dried. The case at question is from 1867 and its findings have never been in question — until this appellate court. Even at that, the two slightly dissenting judge agreed on the conclusions of the Supreme Court.

    There’s lots more. The entire majority opinion is a smackdown of bad judging. It’s stunning to read.

    More inside smackdown: the appellate court had accepted all of the facts as presented; and there was no way there was a preponderance of evidence against Emanuel, and even a higher standard of proof could not be met. here was also an interesting smackdown about the difference between establishing residence as opposed to residency requirements: it’s a great opinion.

    Now we really have to question if Burke’s Judiciary Committee was, by its nature, enough to scare the appellate court. Well, they sure didn’t scare the majority of the Supreme Court. Not even Judge Burke.

  135. This is why the President isn’t counting on any legislation this year. The Senate is completely broken, and after Reid’s rant yesterday about “no earmarks”, I certainly don’t trust the Senate to have the President’s back regarding overturning a veto. The Senate is a disaster.

  136. Thanks, Sheri.

    We’ll probably get out there sometime as well. Greece was in our plans for this year until my health issues prevented that. We are going to go out of the country, but a less complicated venture – Nova Scotia.

    Probably just as well. My claustophobia would be monstous. We had gone to Tucson every year for the past decade, but I want to give AZ some time to..well…not be a state so closely aligned with the Teabaggers.

  137. I tried watching Lawrence but I can’t. He always have that awful Jane and Adam on to sprew their latest outrage. He pushed back on one show and I thought he was going to be a honest broker but sadly he didn’t stay the course. These people use their shows to push their pet projects and not to inform the public.

    I haven’t read huffington in a year. It’s creepy the way she is always telling her audience what they should be thinking and feeling about the President.

    Now Ed is just a lose cannon who’s not going to last much longer. That channel has completely lost me.

  138. I remember last year when the troops came home from Iraq, the media just ignored it. Didn’t bother saying “he kept his word”. When DADT was repealed no “he kept his word”, when healthcare reform passed no “he kept his word to do it in his first term”……they just ignore everything positive.

  139. What they don’t understand is that they’re losing viewers PRECISELY because people are tired of the constant whining. The majority of democrats are HAPPY with President Obama and are fed up with the over the top criticism.

  140. Since turning off cable chatter, I now watch my local news and man have I been missing a lot.

  141. I love reading the comments. I have pretty much quit watching pundits because I am sick of the egos and spinning the information to create ratings.

  142. Reading articles on this move, one thing jumped out at me more than anything – Gibbs is only 39 yrs old. Meaning he was Press Secretary at 37 and one of Obama’s campaign “wisemen” as 35-36.

    I find that shocking, I don’t know why. I guess I never thought about his age, but I probably would have pegged him as closer to mid-40’s.

    He was same age or younger than virtually all the White House Press Corps I’d hae to imagine – I wonder if that lead to some of the disrespect there seemed to be.

    I can’t really have an opinion on Carney until I see him in action. Though once being a journalist/reporter I think there will be certain professional courtesy shown initially, rather than trying to ridicule and bait. Watching youtube vids, he doesn’t seem to have a commanding presence, but again I’ve only saw him when asking questions, or providing analysis.

    Looking into Bush press secretaries – Perino was 35, Snow was 52, McClellan was 37, Fleischer was 40.

  143. Charmed, you hit the nail on the head. That is why Blackwaterdog is performing such an invaluable service.

  144. I’m glad that Axelrod put them in their place. He’s right. If they would go back and read all of his books and look at all of his speeches since 2004, they would see that he has not changed. I consider him to be a moderate-liberal.

  145. (((((The pundits love to claim some special insight into his mind and project what they think he should (or shouldn’t do) onto him and then talk like that is actually the way it really is)))))

    This sums it up really nicely.

  146. Just to be clear – I agree with you, Faith, not with Saint Roscoe.🙂

    My comment was meant this way: the president has progressive values and goal, but recognizes the necessity of a pragmatic approach to governing when there are competing values within the government itself. Saint Roscoe seems to be mistaking President Obama’s pragmatism for his personal values.

  147. I think the PL main problem is that they cheer for bipartisanship until he’s bipartisan….they really want to fight and can’t understand why President Obama doesn’t get nasty with people. It’s just not who he is and they can’t stand it….

  148. Bobfr,

    I think the 84-92% positive reaction to the STOU speech tells us what happens when the people get to listen to the President without going through the media filters.

  149. Certainly no unified vision, gn. Lost in ephemera. The devil IS in the details, because when one is obsessed with them, all meaningful action flies out the window.

  150. They also have little historical or political insight. The West Wing was more realistic about what could be done within the political system and how it could be done than are the frustrati. I am an idealist whose idealism has never turned into cynicism (the ultimate temptation of the idealist), but I have no illusions that I could last more than 10 minutes in the political system. I believe idealists are necessary for a healthy culture to dream for them, but I have great respect and admiration for those who are willing to compromise to get things done within a highly-flawed system. I think the President has accomplished an amazing amount in the two years he has been in office despite tremendous odds against him. I don’t think anyone else could have done as well in his position.

  151. Am I the only one who almost felt sorry for Brewer at the unity rally? She looked so wooden and sounded so insincere. To polite applause. Then she’s immediately followd by Napolitano, to thunderous applause, who reads with simple, sincere meaning, a passage from the Old Testament.

    The contrast between ‘leaders’ was profound. I almost felt sorry for Brewer.

  152. That’s so funny but so true Felecia…
    That’s why I switch off as soon as the President’s finishes speaking;
    I heard everything he had to say and do not need anyone distilling what I just heard…

  153. Faith, you are right in your analysis. However, I don’t hear him saying, “those who work everyday in America shouldn’t be poor,” anymore, or that “the minimum wage should be tied to inflation, like SSI,” or that we are, both black and white, victims of corporate greed. (Philadelphia speech, I am paraphrasing) He talked about America’s new Sputnik moment, but I, for one, did not feel it. I heard a lot about how things used to be in AMerica for workers, and how it is now. Like it only takes 100 workers to make the steel, not 1000. Hardly inspirational. I know he is hamstrung by so many things, not the least, the relentless bashing from the left from day one. But I was not inspired by that speech. At all. You have to throw some red meat to the democrats; their numbers are actually shrinking now. I kept seeing Geithner’s smiling face in the audience. Ok, Wall Street is fixed. Now, how about the rest of us. I love this President and his family. But I feel myself less interested. I feel myself slipping off. Give us something to fight for, Barack. And I was a teacher for 37 years. No Child Left Behind just about killed what good was left in the public schools. I can’t get excited about his educational efforts. He needs to deal with poverty in this country. The middle class is beginning to mean those making more than two hundred grand a year. To me, that is the rich. The real middle class are the working poor, at least that is what we are now. I love you, BWD, and everyone here. But I am sad and feel there is really nothing to fight for anymore.

  154. One thing at a time, Roscoe, one thing at a time. It’s progress albeit slow progress.

  155. So sorry life’s so grim for you Anita…

    So sorry President Obama hasn’t done and said everything exactly like you’d want him to…

    So sorry that he hasn’t undone 30+ years of damage with the flick of a switch and the wave of that magic wand; and attended to your every need and prioritized your specific laundry list and in your specifically articulated order…

    So sorry that in two short years of a 4 year term and with the extensive mess he inherited and faced with much hostility, unprecedented attacks, sabotage & obstruction from every side, President Obama has failed your impossible to pass test based on your humanly impossible to meet standards…

    But it’s your prerogative…

    I’m however certainly not sorry that contrary to your assertions, that there are still so many of us who unwaveringly trust and support this extraordinary President who in spite of all that’s been thrown at him continues to do everything in his power to positively move this country forward…

  156. But I’m not going to defeat this. I had a politician in this town say to me, after the speech in Tucson, “Boy, that was a great speech. I can see he is really thinking about re-election.” And I’m thinking, “What are you talking about?”

    You Know, I think some People just have a problem accepting “President Barack Obama” for who he Is. It’s easy, It Is what It Is. Accept It!!!! He’s a Human Being for Heavens sakes that just shared his thoughts & feelings, you know like WE all do. Besides, he Is the PRESIDENT. So then when you here someone say that just because, I show compassion for People who were hurting, then I have a political selfish reason, for showing compassion, & just being a good Citizen, or a good Human Being? So that means that I may get someting out of the deal? Come on now, really? That Is CRAZY!!!!

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