“The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency.
“The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office…
“The National Debt also now exceeds 100% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services.
“Mr. Obama has been quick to blame his predecessor for the soaring Debt, saying Mr. Bush paid for two wars and a Medicare prescription drug program with borrowed funds.”
“The public seems to agree by a wide margin, with a recent Fox News poll finding that 59 percent of respondents felt the Supreme Court should repeal either the entire bill or parts of it. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll is even worse for the president, with a total of 67 percent saying the mandate or the whole law should be thrown out…
“Asked about the poll numbers, Carney insisted that the poor numbers are due to Republican attacks, a sign the White House believes the problem is the message not the substance of the law.
“‘The polling data suggests in part the hundreds of millions of dollars that was spent attacking it,’ Carney told reporters. ‘And what we’re focused on is implementing it so that Americans — more and more Americans see the benefits that it brings.'”
“Obama and his advisers have cast the collapse of the [grand bargain] talks as a Republican failure. Boehner, unable to deliver, stepped away from the deal, simple as that.
“But interviews with most of the central players in those talks — some of whom were granted anonymity to speak about the secret negotiations — as well as a review of meeting notes, e-mails and the negotiating proposals that changed hands, offer a more complicated picture of the collapse. Obama, nervous about how to defend the emerging agreement to his own Democratic base, upped the ante in a way that made it more difficult for Boehner — already facing long odds — to sell it to his party. Eventually, the president tried to put the original framework back in play, but by then it was too late. The moment of making history had passed…
“A president who promised to bring the country together, who confidently presented himself as the transformational figure able to make that happen, now had his chance. But, like earlier policy battles, the debt ceiling negotiations revealed a divided figure, a man who remained aloof from a Congress where he once served and that he now needed. He was caught between his own aspirations for historical significance and his inherent political caution. And he was unable to bridge a political divide that had only grown wider since he took office with a promise to change the ways of Washington, underscoring the gulf between the way he campaigned and the way he had governed…
“What happened during those days in July when the grand bargain was almost reached, but not quite, had changed him. He no longer seemed divided.
“His goal now was unequivocal: to win a second term.”
“Obama said Lincoln — an oft-mentioned Obama role model — understood Americans are one nation, and they rise and fall together. He contrasted that with ‘on-your-own economics’ which he says his Republican foes embrace.
“‘They’ve got a simple philosophy: We are better off when everybody is left on their own, everybody writes their own rules,’ Obama said…
“‘That shift that has taken place in the Republican Party we haven’t seen in a very long time,’ he said. ‘In 2008, the guy I was running against, the Republican nominee, he didn’t deny that climate change might be a problem, he thought it was a good idea for us to ban torture, he was on record as having supported immigration reform.'”
“The frustrations of the presidency once had Barack Obama reach for a literary metaphor.
“‘At times he couldn’t help feeling, as he told one associate, a kinship with the protagonist in Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea,” writes David Corn in his new book on the presidency.
“‘He had, against tremendous odds, caught a big fish, but on the long voyage back to shore, his prized catch had been picked to pieces by sharks,’ Corn writes.”
“Corn writes that after the midterm elections, Obama told labor leaders in December 2010 that he held Fox partly responsible for him ‘losing white males.’
“‘…Fed by Fox News, they hear Obama is a Muslim 24/7, and it begins to seep in…The Republicans have been at this for 40 years. They have new resources, but the strategy is old,’ Corn recounted Obama as saying…
“And in a meeting with an adviser after the 2010 midterm elections, Obama slammed corporate executives for attacking him.
“‘I saved these guys when the economy was falling off a cliff,’ Obama said, according to Corn. ‘Now I get nothing but their venom.'”
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