Quotes of the day

“The president’s core problem is this: what persuadable Republicans want from him is the direct opposite of what his most fervent supporters want. The persuadables want Clinton-style economics; the fervents want share-the-wealth. The persuadables want health-care reforms that protect their medicine and hold the line on costs; the fervents want more generous coverage for the excluded, at the expense of those now getting a good deal. The persuadables want unity and conciliation; the fervents want sharp contrasts.

“When confronted with contradictions like these, the greatest Democrat of them all, Franklin Roosevelt, would airily instruct his aides: ‘Weave them both together.’ Somehow he did it too.

“Could Obama do the same? Well, maybe. To do so he would have to jettison the scapegoat hunting of his recent speeches and rediscover the unity themes of his great 2004 address to the Democratic National Convention. He’d have to remember that he’s not the president of the liberals, but of everybody—and that his job is not to identify substitute targets for blame, but solutions to the problems that beset the country as a whole.”

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“If Scott Brown has kept President Obama up at night, there could be more sleepless nights at the White House thanks to a new poll that ranks the senator-elect as presidential timber…

“The online news site, newsmax.com, reported that Obama leads Brown by 46.5 percent to 44.6 percent among the 4,163 respondents in a poll with a plus or minus 1.5 percent margin of error. Independent voters, who helped propel Obama into office in 2008, favor Brown 48.6 percent to 36 percent.

“Former Bush strategist Mark McKinnon told Newsmax, ‘The real problem for Obama is that he has lost the middle, and losing the middle means losing independents . . . if you lose independents, you’re going to lose the presidency.'”

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