Axelrod '94: Bush looked "out of touch" by ... talking up a bad economy from the golf course

Via BuzzFeed, enjoy as one of the masterminds of Hopenchange kneecaps his future self not once but twice in a 61-second span. Turns out it’s a bad idea to try to B.S. the public with economic optimism when they’re not feeling optimistic, and it’s a really bad idea to try to do it when you’re known for spending your leisure time engaged in the ultimate stereotypical rich-guy pastime. Eighteen years, a catastrophic global recession, and 100 rounds of golf later, here we are.

At least he remembered the Democratic lesson about beating up on Bush when else all fails. Or did he?

“At some point, it’s hard to spin your way out of a trash heap,” said Drew Westen, an Emory University clinical psychologist who studies the role of messaging and emotion in politics.

Obama’s “fundamental error,” Westen said, was not blaming former President George W. Bush and conservative lawmakers early enough and often enough in his term for creating the country’s economic troubles before he got into office.

“It’s too late to make that argument now,” said Westen, who has consulted with House and Senate Democrats on messaging on health care and energy issues. “It just sounds like sour grapes. Whether it’s true or not, it sounds like sour grapes.”

Is it really too late? I’ll bet tomorrow’s big “I have no solutions but I need more time anyway” speech on the economy will give it the ol’ college try.

Just think: If young Axe had a time machine, we might never have known the joys of “Recovery Summer.” Then again, if old Axe had a time machine, we probably would never have known the joys of ObamaCare.

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David Strom 5:21 PM on March 31, 2023