Obama told he needs to get tough, angry (again)
posted at 12:46 pm on October 9, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
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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- The power of flat-out self-delusion
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- Dems are pinning hopes of blunting Romney momentum on Joe Biden?
- Now that Debate 1 is history, out come the excuses
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