Will Obama Provide Clintonism Redux?

A familiar question for readers of this blog rears its head again today as Glenn Greenwald revisits the issue, inspired by David Ignatius trotting out the same old Beltway "post-partisan" "unity" tripe. Glenn writes:

Whatever else one might want to say about this "centrist" approach, the absolute last thing one can say about it is that there's anything "new" or "remarkable" about it. The notion that Democrats must spurn their left-wing base and move to the "non-ideological" center is the most conventional of conventional Beltway wisdom (which is why Ignatius, the most conventional of Beltway pundits, is preaching it). That's how Democrats earn their Seriousness credentials, and it's been that way for decades.

Several weeks ago, I documented that this was the exact approach that fueled Bill Clinton's candidacy and the Clinton Presidency. That's what Clinton's widely-celebrated Sister Souljah moment and his Dick-Morris-designed "triangulation" were all about: "moving toward the center in a way that upsets some of his liberal allies," as Ignatius put it today as though it's some brand new Obama invention. Clinton's approach even resulted in his own GOP Defense Secretary. And, during the Bush era of the last eight years, moving to the Center and spurning their base was about the only "principle" that ever animated Congressional Democrats.

That's why it's been so bizarre listening to Beltway pundits, along with some of the hardest-core Obama followers, acting as though they've discovered some brand new exotic elixir -- the most important discovery since the Fountain of Youth -- with all of these tired buzzphrases about centrism, post-partisan transcendence, and "competence over ideology." These are the same things Democrats have been saying and doing since the early 1980s.

Yep. This is a familiar theme for those of us here. My response remains the same:

It would be wrong for Obama and his supporters to embrace this crouched and defensive approach. Obama is in a political climate as favorable to Democrats and progressivism as I have ever seen since Watergate. Bold, principled, progressive leadership will be embraced, not triangulation. Not surprisingly, folks in the Village like the DLC's Harold Ford want and applaud Obama's "move to the middle." They believe it is still 1992. They are wrong.

Speaking for me only

< Sunday Afternoon Open Thread | Mainstreaming Torture: Newsweek Writes A 24 Episode >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Noble ideal (5.00 / 9) (#1)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:02:01 PM EST
    But the argument assumes that Obama is a progressive.  He really has never shown any indication that is true. And are there any newbies that got elected to Congress that are really progressives?  Dems were voted in in 2006 with this same hopes on them, and look at the disappointment they turned out to be.

    I actually would be surprised if Obama led a progressive agenda.

    Who would even assume Obama (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by Pepe on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 07:29:43 PM EST
    is progressive after two year of him telling us he is not? Well unless you buy his 'sudden' pandering shift to the left in his acceptance speech which any one knows now, and should have know then, that is was exactly that - Pandering.

    Just look at what Jeralyn posted about his turnaround with Gitmo, and how everyone must pay a price to right the economy, and don't forget FISA! Progressive! Not. And that is just the latest in his Progressive promises backtracking.

    And oh yeah don't forget how he just 'Bushed' back-doored Brennan as his top adviser on counterterrorism.

    And I will keep pounding the fact, until people here are willing to discuss it (which so far no one is), of how he is screwing the middle class, who he keeps pandering to us that needs the most help, with a $500 tax cut spread out over 52 weeks which equals less that $10 dollars a week. That is Progressive? Meanwhile his big money business donors are going to clean up in current tax breaks and be handed the gift of extended years of 'back year' tax write-offs. Where is the Progressive equality in all of that?

    And sorry but I don't find it credible that BTD the self-professed Free Trade loving centrist wants Obama to usher in Progressivism that would extremely curtail Free Trade among other Centrist themes. Of course Obama promised to redo NAFTA but I know, you know, and BTD knows that was never going to happen.

    Obama is going to out-Clinton Clinton that is for sure. And that will make the beltway and the Centrists of the country very happy.


    Agreed... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by blogname on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 12:39:47 AM EST
    It also assumes that the Democratic Party is progressive....Being to the left of the GOP (sometimes) is not progressive.

    Chicken Little Politics: Moderate Obama Causes Progressive Panic


    Well, yes, but we don't have to like it! (none / 0) (#45)
    by BrassTacks on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:30:53 AM EST
    I was hoping that I was wrong and he really was a progressive.  He's not.............sigh.  Clinton, part trois.  I was hoping for more.

    What is Clintonism without the wonk? (5.00 / 10) (#2)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:09:58 PM EST
    Not nearly as impressive, if that's the story.
    Before Obama has even taken office, I've seen him through several large bones to the far right.
    What have they offered to him in return?

    Those bones (none / 0) (#25)
    by Pepe on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 07:36:22 PM EST
    were payback to his corporate masters for the large donations they gave him to help him win. The worse part is that what he has given them and promised them is only a down payment of what they will receive in the next four years.

    But of course we got a "Change" poster with 'his' picture on it and a website to look at and plus $10 a week. Change is on the way!


    Rick Warren? (none / 0) (#46)
    by BrassTacks on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:32:40 AM EST
    He got lots of money funneled to Obama?  Somehow, I seriously doubt that.  And what did the republicans in the cabinet do for Obama?  Again, I seriously doubt they contributed much to his campaign.

    Thanks Glen and BTD (5.00 / 8) (#5)
    by Jake Left on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:13:42 PM EST
    for noticing the big gray elephant in the room. (Yes....I know.)

    It's a mistake to confuse the early '90s, (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by esmense on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:18:24 PM EST
    and what was required or possible at that time, when conservative influence was peaking, with today, when Republican governance has been discredited. But congressional Democrats, at least, can't seem to see the difference. Does Obama?

    I am holding onto the hope that he DOES understand that the times have changed and more is possible -- but, understanding that so many of his fellow Democrats are still scared and traumatized by the fights and losses of the 90s, and that the media still has its head full of the "common wisdom" of the Reagan/Gingrich era, he is, in terms of rhetoric, trying to not scare the horses. I'm hoping that in time his actions will prove he has a better understanding of what can and needs to be done than his verbal caution reveals now.

    Well, he's intelligent, but why is it that (5.00 / 9) (#9)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:21:57 PM EST
    he has no trouble hearing the advice of Republicans who disagree with him, but doesn't hear Democrats who aren't on board?

    No one really knows what he's thinking (none / 0) (#12)
    by SOS on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:28:28 PM EST
    It's all speculation.

    Which is ridiculous, imo. (5.00 / 6) (#14)
    by sallywally on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:53:55 PM EST
    No need for obscuring his views.

    Does he have any? (5.00 / 9) (#32)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:00:50 PM EST
    Other than "post-partisan" "can't we all get along" governance?  He's doing his community organizer thing, seems to me-- "My opinion doesn't count, it's what YOU want..."

    Er, except the "you" apparently doesn't include us, or even the majority of the American people, just the GOP pols.


    Obama is in many ways (5.00 / 8) (#16)
    by weltec2 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 06:29:00 PM EST
    an unknown element. My vote for him was really a vote against McCain who I felt would have been harmful for America. It's a bit like stepping off a cliff. I knew Hillary's track record. I knew McCain's track record. But BO... nothing really. He just seems like a typical wanna be politician.

    Of course we cannot judge his (5.00 / 9) (#18)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 06:36:49 PM EST
    performance as President, but I think he has hit numerous wrong notes in the transition.
    Saying that he will have to scale back expectations is wrong without also listing at least one goal on which he will not compromise, IMO.
    Where is the coherent overarching message?

    Given the incredeible mess (5.00 / 12) (#10)
    by oldpro on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:25:20 PM EST
    the Republicans have left the country in, it's not enough to be smart.  What is needed is smart, bold and brave.

    Can Obama rise to the occasion?  No one knows.  But he should because he's right about one thing:  "this is the time!"  With at least 3 of the best salespeople in the business, for the Dems and the country, I'd say it's now or never.

    And yes...as usual, Glenn nails it...sing along, everybody:  "everything old is new again."

    Sales and marketing (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by SOS on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:32:35 PM EST
    needs to have substance behind it. If one is selling hype and bullsh*t it can get you in big trouble if you don't deliver.

    A lot of people are going to be disappointed anyway when all that's available to compete for are shovel ready jobs that are not glamorous or "hip".


    If only that were true (none / 0) (#52)
    by sj on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 09:15:51 AM EST
    Sales and marketing needs to have substance behind it.

    The GOP have been enacting their agenda solely on marketing.  That the hype and bullsh*t don't match the results simply brings more sales and marketing telling us its just our lying eyes.  

    I think Madison Avenue would also be surprised to find substance a requirement.


    He's smart, (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by BrassTacks on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:34:23 AM EST
    Brave and Bold?  Not so much.  

    Congress? (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by BrassTacks on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:37:20 AM EST
    Lead by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi?  

    I feel my hope dimming................


    The difference I see between Obama and (5.00 / 12) (#17)
    by Anne on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 06:36:40 PM EST
    Clinton is that Obama doesn't really want to fight for anything; he wants people to be convinced just on his say-so, and when that doesn't work, he doesn't try harder to sell it, doesn't go to the people to help sell it, he acknowledges that those with objections might have a point and starts adjusting his position so he can come out with a "win" - even if what he wins isn't what we wanted.

    He confuses the metrics and politics of what is going on among the wheelers and dealers in Congress for what real people - like us - actually want. He's going to miss a rare opportunity to take the people's fight to the Congress and lead them to the right actions, and we're going to end up with watered-down, ineffective, lukewarm, legislation that isn't going to take us where we want and need to go.

    I can only hope - I think this is where the "hope" is going to come into play - that if Obama can't take the fight to Congress, that Congress can show some independent leadership and do the right thing.  

    I think this makes it more important than ever that our representatives know what it is we expect of them.

    We may miss Hillary in the Senate. (5.00 / 7) (#20)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 06:38:00 PM EST
    The right voices in Congress will be crucial in effecting change.

    Indeed! (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by sallywally on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 09:32:00 AM EST
    Has she said anything on anything at this point? And she'll be limited to foreign policy now, and dealing with his weird intelligence folks. Hopefully she and Panetta can work together.

    But we will miss her loyal opposition in the Senate. Maybe it'll be up to Al Franken to make the right arguments!


    Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by BrassTacks on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:41:49 AM EST
    He doesn't have the skills, or the personality.  

    Dream On (none / 0) (#26)
    by Pepe on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 07:48:08 PM EST
    Congress do the right thing? Who but Bernie Sanders would do the right thing?

    Congress isn't going to change. They hate Progressivism and the Progressives that push it. What did David Obey say? "Idiot Liberals". And how about Obama running from the Liberal label on Fox News Sunday?

    I guess we should be happy that we are going from Bush passionate conservatism to Obama centrisism. But then again so far I haven't seen a lot of difference between the two. Wouldn't bet on it happening either.


    Our San francisco paper did a long (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by hairspray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 06:51:33 PM EST
    piece on Obama and his statements on spending and the budget.  Interestingly it quoted Nancy Pelosi has stating emphatically that the rich would pay more and would be taxed more in spite of Obama's deciding to keep the Bush tax cuts until 2010.  Nancy will be key here in that she can pull the congress into line on spending and taxing.  Of course she won't want to embarrass Obama by sending him a bill he will veto, but I see her as very powerful in this respect.  And Obama who seems to be a smart but go along guy will have forces around him keeping him strong.

    Pelosi (5.00 / 9) (#33)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:04:26 PM EST
    did an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN that aired today and was about as emphatic as I've ever heard any politician be about anything that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy won't just be allowed to expire but will be repealed, no matter what Obama thinks.

    Interesting place for her to take a stand.  Seems to be something she actually feels passionately about.


    God bless San Francisco liberals! (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:25:57 PM EST
    Good luck with that Nancy. (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by tigercourse on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:07:34 PM EST
    Nancy says lots of things (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by BrassTacks on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:38:57 AM EST
    Talk's cheap.  Wake me when she actually gets something done.

    oh, would that (5.00 / 13) (#28)
    by cpinva on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:26:30 PM EST
    he would provide clinton redux! he'd have people eating out of his hand. but no, he isn't. why, you ask? simply put, the man doesn't really stand for anything, but barack obama.

    review the primaries, and this becomes painfully obvious. he's not (and never has been) a progressive. where that silly notion came from has always mystified me.

    he isn't really a conservative, in the right-wingnutopia sense of the word, either. having no strongly held policy positions of his own, he vacillates towards whoever seems to currently hold sway over the public.

    perhaps al franken, who's already shown backbone by blowing off coleman, can bring some much needed spine to the dems in congress.

    Simple answer to simple question (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by Lysis on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:31:02 PM EST
    Will Obama provide Clintonism Redux?

    Dear God, I hope so.

    The first two industries (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Che's Lounge on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:41:22 PM EST
    that Obama should revitalize are the duct tape and baling wire factories. He's going to need them.

    Triangulation is scheming to get (5.00 / 6) (#37)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:01:10 PM EST
    something you want by making a deal with the enemy. "Bipartisanship" is inviting the enemy into your home and giving him sayso over your decisions.

    Thank you, OneVoter, (none / 0) (#39)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:12:40 PM EST
    I've been wondering what the difference is.

    If it smells like 1992... (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by blogname on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 12:36:50 AM EST
    Obama has strongly indicated that he will govern from the center.  He has done so with his cabinet picks (and the team of rivals thing is a stretch -- given that Lincoln's rivals abandoned his cabinet).  He has done so by adding layers of nuance to his broad campaign promises that duped the Left into thinking he was a card carrying member.  

    A lot of people continue to exaggerate the social and political significance of his election.  They also overestimate the progressive loyalties of the Democratic Party.  Obama is no Leftist.  He models himself after Lincoln, who was constantly pushed and criticized by Radical Republicans and Abolitionists. His mentor is Cass Sustein, whose incrementalist approach to reform is hardly "bold" and "progressive."

    The passage of Prop 8 in one of the bluest election-night states shows that people who voted for him do not necessarily support liberal causes.  The time is ripe for Democrats, but this only matters if Democrats themselves are progressive.  The Democratic wing of the Democratic Party however, continues to dwindle....

    Are you Prof. Hutchinson? You have an (none / 0) (#44)
    by Teresa on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 01:42:16 AM EST
    impressive bio.

    I read some of your posts and somehow found myself back in Nov reading about Hillary being selected for SoS. I liked your "it was all politics" points.

    I've bookmarked your blog to check it out more tomorrow. I saw that fivethirtyeight had linked to one of your posts but there are also some not so friendly to Obama blogs on your links. It could be interesting over there!


    You got me curious (none / 0) (#53)
    by sj on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 09:29:52 AM EST
    What blog is it?

    this one (none / 0) (#56)
    by Teresa on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 11:44:24 AM EST
    His bio:

    Education: B.A., University of Pennsylvania; J.D. Yale Law School. I am a Professor of Law at American University, Washington College of Law. I teach and write in the areas of Constitutional Law, Race Relations, Law and Politics, and Gay and Lesbian Rights

    Dissenting Justice

    I'm pretty positive it is him because he links to his posts there, plus he is a Gator fan per a post here and there. At least one of his posts, says "as I wrote here..."


    Does anyone take into account (5.00 / 5) (#51)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:29:30 AM EST
    how far the "center" has moved since 1992?

    These days, it's hard to shock me, but the notion that the Dems should move to the "center", meaning move to the right, is bizarre and shocking to me.  

    Have these people been paying attention to the people at all?  

    Did they not notice the rejection of "the right" in the past few years?

    Really, I am baffled by this.

    It is an insult... (5.00 / 6) (#55)
    by pmj6 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 10:12:25 AM EST
    ...to refer to Obama's obvious right wing tilt as "Clintonism redux". Both Bill and Hillary are genuine Democrats, committed to making government work for the ordinary citizen. Obama is committed to nothing but his own self-advancement, and paying off debts to those deep-pocketed folks who put him in power in the first place.

    He's not yet the President, and he's already making noises about needing to "reform" Social Security and Medicare and about "shared sacrifice". That's not "Clintonism redux". The proper name is "Bush's Third Term".

    lol (none / 0) (#57)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:51:56 PM EST
    It is an insult... (5.00 / 5) (#55)
    by pmj6 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 10:12:25 AM EST
    ...to refer to Obama's obvious right wing tilt as "Clintonism redux".

    Must be tough sometimes to be a cultist and have reality to deal with. Drink some more kool aid, maybe that will help.


    Oh, if only it were 1992 (4.76 / 13) (#3)
    by Pol C on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:10:42 PM EST
    Or 1993, which is more to the point.

    Bill Clinton stuck to his guns as much as he could on his economic and tax policy. It ended up passing the Democratically controlled Senate on a 50-50 vote, with Al Gore providing the tie-breaker. Obama is reportedly of the attitude that he wants his economic package to pass the Senate with 80 votes, and that he'll compromise until he gets it. If this is true, the man is an utter fool. His only hope is to write off the GOP as much as he dares; his only constraint should be what he needs to get someone like Olympia Snowe to break ranks and to keep Landrieu, the Nelsons, et al. in line in order to get the cloture vote. Beyond that, he should put together the strongest package he can without falling short of the 50+1 needed to pass it. The only thing the GOP are interested in is thwarting him as much as possible while still managing to make this disaster his property.

    He should be thinking like Bill Clinton and FDR (who also wrote off GOP support), not trying to pursue this fantasy of his that he has the ability to bring the Dems and the GOP together behind him.

    If the bill that ends up passing (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by ruffian on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:27:54 PM EST
    looks just like a bill that McCain would have passed,  it will be the biggest missed opportunity since...well, the only thing that springs to mind was the 2003 Cubs that only had to win one out of 3 games to make it to the World series...and couldn't manage it.

    Only a bold bill will succeed That's the bottom line. I can't understand why Obama is too afraid to pass a bold bill with less than 70 votes.


    Yes (4.50 / 8) (#15)
    by TheRealFrank on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 06:02:34 PM EST
    It is wrong to compare this to "Clintonism" when it comes to the start of Clinton's presidency.

    Clinton definitely tried to pass a strongly Democratic agenda in his first year. But after the 1994 midterm election, he was forced to compromise with a Republican House.

    Obama's stimulus package is more careful then Clinton's. It seems that Obama is shying away from a fight to get it passed.

    This seems to be the difference between Republicans and Democrats. When Republicans get to power, they will do anything to get their agenda passed. And I can't blame them for that: in a Democracy, when you get a majority, you go and try to achieve as much of your platform as possible. It is, after all, what you promised to do.

    For Democrats, the standards set by the Beltway insiders are different. When you're a Democrat, you can't try to do what you promised. Because, even though you got elected on it, the US, is a "center-right" nation. Why? Because they say so.

    I hate it when Democrats buy into that nonsense. I think Obama is a smart and methodical guy, but it seems he is buying in to it. And he has this misguided idealism about "bring all sides together".

    In the GE campaign, he seemed to want to stand up for Democratic ideas more, and that made me like him more. I hope he isn't returning to the Obama of the primaries, with all his misguided post-partisan talk.


    Now is nothing like Clinton's situation (4.71 / 14) (#23)
    by pluege on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 07:15:16 PM EST
    Clinton's triangulation was because he constantly had to be on defense because of the rabid wingnut republican Congress (after '94) and the insane anti-Clinton scandal mongering media. Clinton did remarkably well given the circumstances. I would love to have seen what Bill Clinton could have done with Obama's situation of a thoroughly disgrace and retrenched republican party and corporate media on the defensive.

    I think Clinton would have mopped up the floor with republicans and the media in this environment. So far I see nothing but preemptive capitulation from Obama, which I believe is not a tactic (as triangulation was for CLinton), but rather is Obama expressing his true outlook: right of center economics, pro-military, anti-gay, pro-religious infusion in the government, deaf to womens' issues.

    Triple bingo (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:05:41 PM EST
    I agree completely, line for line.

    What good things has the Partisan schtick (1.00 / 1) (#4)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:11:08 PM EST
    Gotten us?  

    Secondly going after Bush now makes just no sense during this trying times.  Going after Bush and Cheney should not be what defines being progressive.    

    It got the Dems the presidency (5.00 / 7) (#6)
    by oldpro on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:18:17 PM EST
    and bigger margins in the congress.

    If you listened to any of the major speeches at the Democratic convention or any of the candidates' and surrogates' speeches on the campaign trail the two months prior to election day, you'd know that.


    If talking jobs and fical responsiblity (none / 0) (#19)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 06:37:41 PM EST
    Is partisan then yes they did.  I just don't see a lot of difference between the between your definition of partisan and the unifier talk.

    My definition is the Carville (5.00 / 9) (#27)
    by oldpro on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:13:27 PM EST
    definition: "They're Wrong!  We're Right!"

    Let me count the ways...

    Or you could just read Bill Clinton's convention speech.


    That should start with strong messages (none / 0) (#22)
    by hairspray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 06:55:24 PM EST
    from Obama about conservation. Yesterday I went to an upscale town with lots of upscale shopping and the big SUV's were driving like there was no tomorrow.  Gas is cheap again and the "livin' is easy" for the people in those suburbs.I hope he asks for some sacrifice real soon.

    Oh, he'll ask for plenty of sacrifice. (5.00 / 7) (#40)
    by seeker on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:34:08 PM EST
    I'm just concerned about who will be asked to sacrifice.

    I'm interested. (none / 0) (#31)
    by Che's Lounge on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:44:56 PM EST
    Some posters are recommending that Obama's plan be (more or very) "smart", or "bold", or "brave".

    What does that mean? What types of programs or actions are being recommended exactly?

    Obama's "plan" (5.00 / 12) (#41)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 12:01:45 AM EST
    includes a $300 billion tax cut.  And that amounts to more than 30% of his economic recovery plan. This isn't just bad policy it's idiotic policy.  It's policy designed to appeal to Republicans which is not only nnecessary but also greatly diminishes the potential effectiveness of the recovery plan.

    For the sake of bi-partisanship, Obama is apparently willing to sacrifice the strength and economic well being of the nation.

    Right now it appears to me that he can't get himself out of campaign mode.

    Bold means taking the right action even when Republicans squeal like pigs. Bold means going well beyond "shovel ready" projects and addressing long term infrastructure needs. Bold means enacting necessary reforms to the financial industry top to bottom.  Bold means erecting an industrial policy that revitalizes American manufacturing. Bold means renegotiating foolish, self-defeating trade policies. Bold means establishing an HOLC type agency to solve the foreclosure crisis. Bold means investing in alternate energy resources. Bold means spend baby spend.

    The appearance right now is that he simply doesn't grasp the gravity of the nation's state in spite of his rhetoric.  As Harry Truman said ... 'don't watch a politician's mouth, watch his feet.'