Don't Worry, Be Happy
In response to my post on PPP's Ohio poll, I was sent an e-mail telling me to relax:
I am an Obama fellow here in Ohio and am close to the campaign director for the state. They are about 4 points ahead in Ohio and expect Ohio to be close. . . . Their ground game here is phenomenal and unlike John Kerry and Al Gore, we are all over the southern part of Ohio which is where Obama has to not get swamped to win in the state. . . . Relax.
Ok. Tell it to Paul Krugman:
Why isn’t the Obama campaign getting more traction on economic issues? . . . [T]he problem isn’t lack of specifics — it’s lack of passion. When it comes to the economy, Mr. Obama’s campaign seems oddly lethargic.
[Obama] seemed to go out of his way to avoid scoring political points. “Back in the 1990s,” he declared, “your incomes grew by $6,000, and over the last several years, they’ve actually fallen by nearly $1,000.” Um, not quite: real median household income didn’t rise $6,000 during “the 1990s,” it did so during the Clinton years, after falling under the first Bush administration. Income hasn’t fallen $1,000 in “recent years,” it’s fallen under George Bush, with all of the decline taking place before 2005.
Krugman then does the unpardonable, he touts Bill Clinton's political approach on economic matters:
All this makes a stark contrast with the campaign of the last Democrat to make it to the White House, who had no trouble conveying passion over matters economic.
In his speech accepting the Democratic nomination in 1992, a year in which economic conditions somewhat resembled those today, Bill Clinton denounced his opponent as someone “caught in the grip of a failed economic theory.” Where Mr. Obama spoke cryptically in St. Petersburg about a “reckless few” who “game the system, as we’ve seen in this housing crisis” — I know what he meant, I think, but how many voters got it? — Mr. Clinton declared that “those who play by the rules and keep the faith have gotten the shaft, and those who cut corners and cut deals have been rewarded.” That’s the kind of hard-hitting populism that’s been absent from the Obama campaign so far.
Well, you can't be a post-partisan unifier and and a hard edged politics of contrast Fighting Dem at the same time. Krugman warns:
If Mr. Obama can’t find the passion on economic matters that has been lacking in his campaign so far, he may yet lose this election.
That seems virtually impossible to me but I do agree that Obama is pursuing the one path that could conceivably lead to defeat.
By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only
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