Friday, October 17, 2008

Pre-Emptive Attacks on the Obama Administration

The Wall Street Journal's has started attacking the Obama administration well before the Nov. 4 election.

Today, it was Matthew Kaminski predicting that the David Axelrod approach to inspirational "hope" and "change" didn't work after Duval Patrick was elected in Massachusetts and wouldn't work if Barack Obama is elected president.

According to Kaminski, Patrick's "inspirational outsider" approach didn't work because Massachusetts Democrats didn't want to go along. They were also still holding a grudge over Patrick beating an insider in the primary.

But it isn't the same.

If Obama is elected, he's going to have a very Democratic Congressional leadership. He may have started with outsider rhetoric, but Obama was also a Democratic Party "golden boy" who landed a gig as the keynote speaker for the 2004 convention. The leadership might have thought that Obama was running four years too early, but they were also suffering from a long-standing case of "Clinton fatigue" and weren't looking forward to eight years of a Hillary presidency.

As a result, there hasn't been even a whisper of unhappiness with Obama's nomination from the Democratic Congressional leadership.

But the bottom line is that Barack Obama has added a foundation of good policy ideas to his "hope" and "change" themes. During his debates with John McCain, Obama looked like a steady, seasoned, and practical politician while McCain was playing an immature version of a maverick.

If Obama's elected president, he'll get a tough ride. But it will be because the country is going through tough times more than anything else.

1 comment:

CBL said...

Speaking as a Massachusetts voter, I think the biggest "change" that the Patrick administration has been able to bring about is his election as an African-American and a Democrat to the governor's office; those are two enormous milestones for this state.

The WSJ article is essentially correct - once elected, he began approaching his duties as a CEO, "I make the policy, you the legislature push it through," and that didn't go over well. The same thing happened with the Romney administration. The casino-gambling issue was handled especially badly, and he paid the price for it. He has since been marginalized, and legislative autocrat Sal Dimasi pretty much controls the levers of state government these days.