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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


I find it interesting that the Obama folks aren't making a larger, more public effort to attach more blame for the economy on the Bush administration to keep the blame off them. That would be the traditional play. (If you'll remember, the Bush administration tried to blame Clinton a full 7 1/2 years into the Bush presidency.)

Maybe it's because they have polling showing that "blame Bush, not Obama" mentality already exists? Maybe they figure that getting into such a blame war would create a talk show argument which would, to some degree, inject "Obama's at fault" into the dialogue?

I don't know. It just seems unusual that they're not more following the modern presidential tradition and more actively casting all blame backwards.


  • It's Obama's non-traditional politics (his avoidance of tit-for-tat recriminations, for example) that keep his opponents off balance. While he remains cool, his opponents become increasingly shrill and extreme, thus undermining the legitimacy of their arguments.

    Obama is not above executing a political smack down. But not going to be baited into a fight. If this isn't a wholly new kind of politics, it's a new dance of politics.

    By Blogger -epm, at 8:49 AM  

  • I'm not quite as pure hearted as you are. I admit they've done some large arc, very effective non-traditional stuff, but I'm still looking for the political calculation in this one.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:31 AM  

  • Well, I don't know about pure of heart, but I think the Obama people are playing a long-view political game while most of Washington's players can't see past the evening news cycle. And I think Obama has some very good polling information that helps him both pull punches and plan strikes, so to speak.

    We're still very much in the early hours of this administration. I think we forget that because Obama's been on the national stage since 2004, and under a media spotlight since 2007. So even though we're only weeks into this thing, we all expect more. More solutions, more political muscle, more... everything.

    I think we need to wait until the autumn before we can get a decent look back... a sense of direction, of perspective. Right now we're still doing ground prep and it's hard, if not impossible, to determine how what Obama is building will hold up.

    By Blogger -epm, at 11:03 AM  

  • I'm willing to engage in that as a possibility, I'm just not sure I wholly believe it at this point.

    My hunch would be that they're just trying not to start unnecessary fights because they have rolling momentum right now.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:08 PM  

  • And I'm saying it speaks well of them that they can recognize "unnecessary fights" and not take the bait. Especially giving the extreme partisanship and increasingly bizarre rhetoric coming from the Republicans and right-wing cable/talk. I think most politicians would find it difficult to keep their powder dry under what I see as an outright political assault.

    I want to see Obama and his administration is meeting my expectations of the campaign marketing.... for now. I'll give them until summer/fall before I take of the rose colored glasses :)

    By Blogger -epm, at 1:15 PM  

  • I think it is easy to overlook how young Obama is, and the simple truth that this will almost certainly be his last elected position.

    He doesn't think or act like a typical career politician because he isn't one.

    By Blogger OpenMindedRepublican, at 4:00 PM  

  • A very interesting point.

    I guess I'm just more cynical than y'all are.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 5:05 PM  

  • "...and the simple truth that this will almost certainly be his last elected position."

    Interesting point. But isn't this true for every president?

    I don't think his age is really an issue.

    I do think his personal history and exposure to other cultures bears some role in his philosophy. It remains to be seen exactly how differently he practices politics on the national stage. Frankly, I think he's been pretty conventional in his execution. The real difference I've seen is his composure under fire... he's patient and not easily distracted by oppositional taunts.

    By Blogger -epm, at 7:02 PM  

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