Thursday, February 05, 2009

Short Stimulus Notes

Obama's speech. It's good for Obama to get out there and campaign for his broader vision of stimulating the economy, reforming health care, and dealing with the energy situation. He also needed to be explicit in rejecting Republican tax cut dogma.

But, Obama should recognize that the Republican Party does not accept accommodation with either his administration or the Democrats. There are four GOP moderates in the Senate who are willing to negotiate and compromise with Obama. They're Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arlen Specter, and George Voinovich. The rest are dogmatic conservatives who view the stimulus fight as a chance to continue John McCain's presidential campaign.

The Permanent Campaign. To counter the Republican "war against Obama," Obama needs to run a presidential campaign while he's in office. Washington has been in the grips of "the permanent campaign" for more than 15 years and Obama doesn't have enough clout to end the fight. That's an unfortunate reality, but it is reality.

Actually, Obama won't be able to run his particular presidential campaign. Instead of focusing on the broader message and grass-roots organizing, Obama is going to have to dirty himself with the effort to dominate day to day media cycles.

It's an ugly job, but it has to be done if Obama is going to succeed as president.

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