Green Room

Obama told he needs to get tough, angry (again)

posted at 12:46 pm on October 9, 2012 by

For a man who rose to the presidency on the promise of hope and change, Barack Obama has delivered. For nearly the length and breadth of his four years in office, his supporters have continued to hope that he would change. Obama in the eyes of his most earnest supporters has always been a work in progress. His greatness to them seemed within hailing distance. All he needed to do to bridge the gap was to be someone else. Be tougher, meaner, angrier they have advised  him variously and on numerous occasions.

There have been fleeting moments when he seemed finally to come around, to have taken on the mantle of the one they had been waiting for, but each time their hopes were dashed. The desire to graft a strong and resolute statesman onto the tabula rasa that Obama was in 2008 and remains in 2012 goes unfulfilled.

So here the Democrats are at another crossroads, another disappointment, and the advice once again is to get tough, as though the hundredth time may be the charm. This time, however, Obama has a second “second” in his corner who is telling him to disregard the advice of the first. The Wall Street Journal reports:

One Democratic official … at a weekend fundraising event in Los Angeles, used a vulgarity in urging Mr. Obama to be more assertive in the debates. The official said Mr. Obama responded with a smile.

Former President Bill Clinton said such a confrontational approach would be a mistake….

‘He said that his advice would be to directly engage the audience members [at the next debate, which has a town-hall format] and make it about their lives,’ said one Obama donor in attendance. ‘He emphasized that if either of them really tries to take a question and use it to attack the other, that’s going to come across poorly.’

Everyone on the left is in agreement that Obama needs to do something to get back into the race and make up ground he has lost since the debate. But few can agree on what approach he should take.

In the meantime he is not helping his own cause. As the polls show crucial independent voters shifting allegiance away from him and toward Mitt Romney, he continues to issue platitudes about what is at stake. He told a cadre of his monied friends in Hollywood friends on Monday that this election is not about
“clinging onto an office. It’s not about power. It’s not about perks. It’s not about winning. It’s about, can we sustain—over the next 30 days, and then over the next four years, and then over the next decade, and then over the next two decades—that sense that there’s something about this country that allows everybody to get a fair shot, and allows everybody who is willing to work hard and take responsibility to chase their dreams.”

But this country was founded on the principles that he claims to aspire to. The door of opportunity has always opened for anyone who knocked, and when it hasn’t we’ve changed to level the playing field. Even if you believe him when he says this election for him is not about “clinging onto an office” or “power” or “winning,” he is still running two hundred years too late. It is time for those who wanted to believe in him to accept that the dream was a fiction and move on to getting the country back on track.

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One Democratic official … at a weekend fundraising event in

Los Angeles, used a vulgarity in urging Mr. Obama to be more assertive in the debates. The official said Mr. Obama responded with a smile.

I thought “Angry Black Man” was a racist meme.

Marcola on October 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I thought “Angry Black Man” was a racist meme.

Nicely played. I suppose that the fact that Obama rejected the idea makes him either uppity or lazy.

Howard Portnoy on October 9, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Obama is in a box…without a teleprompter, he’s lost. Even with one, my dog could refute everything that comes out of his mouth (other than offing Bin Ladin). The guy is clueless and I see the 2008 rose colored glasses littering the streets.

teejk on October 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Please oh please oh please let President Mom Jeans attempt ‘tough and angry’. It will totally come across as peevish and whiney and arrogant. What does he have to be angry about anyway? Angry that someone is finally asking him questions? He is the one who has been in charge for the last four years.

bitsy on October 9, 2012 at 1:33 PM

What the left continuously refuses to understand is that showing anger is not in Obama’s DNA, and if showing anger was in Obama’s DNA, he would have been uable to fully contain it at times during the 2008 campaign season and he not only wouldn’t have won the presidency, he would have finished behind Hillary and possibly even John Edwards in the Democratic primary.

Obama has the personality he needed to have, and the (relatively) blank slate he needed to have in order to win in 2008. If he had showed anger or let loose on his true ideological beliefs, even Democratic primary voters would have just seen him as Al or Jesse in a different package, and moved on to Hillary or Rielle Hunter’s baby daddy.

Unless Romney decides to start attacking Obama’s kids during the final two debates, you’re not going to see any sort of honest anger rise up from the president. At best, it will be that phony anger Al Gore shows when he’s on a podium trying to get a crowd fired up; at worst, it’s going to be an unflattering petulance that will leave swing voters thinking Obama doesn’t like being challenged and doesn’t want to debate Romney on a level playing field.

jon1979 on October 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

For your viewing pleasure, Howard. Looks like King Obama’s supporters have an anger problem.

Obama Supporters: Vandals and Thieves

That is all.

JPeterman on October 9, 2012 at 2:25 PM

JPeterman on October 9, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Thank you, J.

Howard Portnoy on October 9, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Obama is a girly man.

kemojr on October 9, 2012 at 9:42 PM