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Posted at 12:39 PM ET, 01/ 6/2011

The problem with William Daley as new chief of staff

By Greg Sargent

So it now appears to be official: Obama has chosen William Daley as his new chief of staff.

There's been a lot written about how this pick is sure to anger the liberal base, because the optics of appointing a banker as chief of staff are bad and because Daley early on urged Obama to chart a more "centrist" course. But I think there's another problem worth pointing out, though it's probably not too high on Obama's list of concerns. The Daley pick will inevitably reinforce a faulty interpretation of Obama's first two years: That Obama governed from the far left.

As many have already pointed out, Daley repeatedly criticized Obama's agenda as too left-wing. For instance, he said:

"They miscalculated on health care. The election of '08 sent a message that after 30 years of center-right governing, we had moved to center left -- not left."

Now that Daley has been picked, there will be a fair amount of commentary to the effect that Obama has wisely received this message and is in the midst of a course correction. But here's the thing: Daley is wrong. Obama didn't govern from the "left." And as it happens, he did govern from the "center left."

This has all been argued already at length by others, but here goes. Obama's approach to the crises he inherited were by any sane measure mostly moderate and reasonable. The stimulus was smaller and less ambitious than most liberals wanted. The health care plan he adopted jettisoned the most liberal elements and embraced solutions once championed by Republicans. The Wall Street reform bill was the most sweeping overhaul of financial regulations in generations, but as observers across the spectrum have noted, it wasn't fundamentally transformative. Obama is winding down the Iraq War, but he escalated in Afghanistan. And he has embraced some controversial Bush policies on civil liberties and terrorism. And so on.

Despite all this, Republicans and conservatives have uniformly condemned the Obama administration as in the grip of unrepentant leftism run amok. Yet what's actually happened is that in so doing, Republicans have moved to the right, and we've all agreed to move what we arbitrarily call the "center" to the right in order to accomodate this.

The pick of Daley, however, will reinforce the conventional narrative that Obama has recognized the error of his ultraliberal ways and has picked a "seasoned Beltway hand" to steer the adminstration back to the center. Obviously this is only one of many things to consider about the Daley pick, and there may be many other good reasons to pick him that outweigh this problem.

But in interpreting the Daley pick, many commentators will be pointing to Daley's interpretation of the first two years as if it's, well, true. They'll assert that Obama has internalized it. And maybe the President has internalized the Daley interpretation of his young presidency. But that doesn't mean it has anything to do with what actually happened.

******************************************************************

UPDATE, 12:59 p.m.: To be clear, I'm not saying that Daley will necessarily succeed in dragging Obama to the right in policy terms. I agree with Steve Benen that Obama has shown himself to be the one setting the agenda, sometimes in defiance of his chief of staff. My point is more geared to how this will be interpreted: I'm not looking forward to reams of commentary supporting Daley's interpretation of the first two years as Gospel truth.

UPDATE, 1:39 p.m.: Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee:

"This was a real mistake by the White House. Bill Daley consistently urges the Democratic Party to pursue a corporate agenda that alienates both Independent and Democratic voters. If President Obama listens to that kind of political advice from Bill Daley, Democrats will suffer a disastrous 2012."‬‬

By Greg Sargent  | January 6, 2011; 12:39 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Comments

Agree that this is an issue, but it should be noted that based on appearances, Daley's HCR position is no different than Rahm Emanuel's. The key thing to note is that Obama got Emanuel's advice and chucked it out the window.

Posted by: calchala | January 6, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Sickening. "The health care plan he adopted jettisoned the most liberal elements and embraced solutions once championed by Republicans." Got that right. Well, I'm glad I'm not downwardly mobile, because both party's know who butters their bread. As I said yesterday, the only real difference is in the SCOTUS nominees, but I wonder how long that will last.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 6, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

Bulls-eye. As predicted, Obama and the DC Dems learned precisely the WRONG lesson from the Mid-Terms: Obama has moved into full Clinton Triangulation mode. Of course, we knew it was coming since the Administration learned the wrong lessons when Ted Kennedy's seat was lost, too. President Obama: The American people, not to mention Democrats, want you to be MORE PROGRESSIVE, not more Right WIng.

How can these DC pols so out of touch with what the American people want? How can they be so stupid? Even if Obama saves himself 2012 will be very ugly for the Dems b/c Obama is undermining what makes the Dem Party viable. But that doesn't matter to me. What matters is that the nation is sinking and Obama is making it sink faster. The GOP vs. Democrat game is a sideshow that enables the plutocracy.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Not to the public it won't. I think the majority of the pundits have pretty much internalized this and that is who this pick plays to: the pundits and the business community sitting on 2 trillion in cash. The only path to 2012 is through a reasonable unemployment number. If that number comes down; then the political landscape tilts clearly toward the President and he can enter a second term with his hands free to pursue the policies he wants. But first he needs to make nice to the buisness community and the hedge funds that went hard against the party in '10.

This is all about the buisness community and if he needs to eat crow to get through the next two years; he's obviously going to do it on his schedule and on his terms the best he can.

But now, when he pursues these centrist goals they (1) can't say no one in the White House ran a buisness and (2) say he's being advised by lefties.

This was an optics pick IMO and he's getting a good guy who will execute his plans; Daley was a good surrogate in '08 and he will be the next two years as well IMO. This isn't a White House bent on passing legislation; this is a White House playing politics and executing its regulatory power. Daley's in a good position to see the President's goal through; despite carping from the left.

I see this a lot like the tax cut deal. Not pleasant; but necessary to move the ball forward.

Posted by: Rhoda | January 6, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"The pick of Daley, however, will reinforce the conventional narrative that Obama has recognized the error of his ultraliberal ways and has picked a "seasoned Beltway hand" to steer the adminstration back to the center."

Ya know what?

Let them think that.

It's all a sport to the MSM and narrative-shapers anyway. Why blow your energy out trying to convince them of something they wouldn't acknowledge if it was staring them in the face? May as well humor them and keep moving forward.

These aren't the droids you're looking for.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 6, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

So, if the 2008 election was a call to move to the center-left, and if Obama has governed from the center-left, why did the American people deliver a shellacking to the Democrats in 2010?

We're all just stupid, I guess.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 6, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"Leftist, look a leftist," and then these cartelists scramble atop the counter like wives that don't want the little mouse running up their pantyhouse. But how much does JP Morgan have invested in the health insurance companies -- er, cartel -- that now enjoy total mandated control of the US population?

Posted by: Papagnello | January 6, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

FDL, OpenLeft and the rest of the professional left need another bad guy now that Raum is gone. Hamsher must be squealing with delight she will have no problem keeping her minions endlessly chasing waterfalls while counting the clicks all the way to the bank.

He'll be the perfect lighting rod!

Brilliant! It's a win win for Obama and the Professional left.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 6, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

It appears the American "free" market capitalists are letting their cronies in government know they need a one party state in order to compete with the resurgent, formerly communist now state capitalist countries. And if Peter Orzag writes one more column on how to control medical costs for the NYT...well, I might just sit right down and write him a letter. I mean, Obama is a nice person and a good dad, but the people he assembles around him to advise him on topics about which he knows nothing...it is as if Bush never left. I suppose he cares more about outflanking the Republicans than doing the right thing, but holding my nose to vote for him is getting to seem harder and harder. Maybe the Republicans will help by nominating someone ridiculous.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 6, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

What's your thoughts on what Howard Dean has had to say about Bill Daley as CoS?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 6, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

@fool: "why did the American people deliver a shellacking to the Democrats in 2010?"

Because the electorate in the midterms was decidedly older, whiter, and more conservative than the general electorate. You know this. We've been over it a million times. You just can't handle the truth.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 6, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Rhoda | January 6, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

So sayeth the DLC.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

sue, as I said, there are probably plenty of good reasons for picking him. I just wanted to highlight this aspect of it...see my update...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 6, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Interesting take on it, Rhoda.

"We're all just stupid, I guess. "

Pretty much, it would appear. All this talk about freedom and liberty and crap, and then you vote for people who intend to hand over the government to sovereign wealth funds and foreign CEOs.

Posted by: fiona5 | January 6, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure that Daley's selection indicates any admission of faultiness in previous administration policy or necessarily a change in direction now. As I recall, everyone blamed the previous COS - Rahm - for pushing Obama towards triangulation and yet later data showed that was anything but true. I think it's important to remember that the COS carries out Obama's policy and not the other way around. My guess is that Daley was picked because he can work the levers on Capital Hill and with other stakeholders. It remains to be seen if that is true.

Posted by: SteveCanyon | January 6, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1 Not only Howard Dean praised Daley but Robert Reich did today as well: "On MSNBC, Robert Reich calls Daley "very dedicated public servant" & "good and important addition to the WH."

Posted by: calchala | January 6, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"The GOP vs. Democrat game is a sideshow that enables the plutocracy."

Of course, the plutocracy and their stenographers in the MSM and the ideological shills on cable TV.
Every time Obama or some other politician talks about "America's greatest days are ahead of us" I choke up like I've swallowed an olive pit.
Let's just look at who we have had in the WH in the last 30 years -
1) An amiable dunce who knew where to stand for the photo opps and took direction well from Bill Casey, Bush Sr. and the boys.
2) The ultimate insider, a guy strongly attached to the energy industry and the national security state.
3) A "trimmer" who played all sides and essentially is the son that Bush senior never had.
4) Then there is junior, a puppet manipulated by Cheney, old man Bush's hired gun.
5) Now we have the new kid on the block reflecting the changing demographic of the coutry, but totally beholden to the plutocracy. Obama's intincts may want to rock the boat, but that would put his welfare and that of his beautiful family
in dire peril. He knows that it's best that to "get along you go along." Those who stand up to the plutocrats don't last long.

Posted by: filmnoia | January 6, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Political partisanship is destroying the country because our political system has been completely hijacked by the Rich. The Rich totally control the GOP and they own enough Democrats to neutralize the party (as we have seen over the past 2 years). In other words, the RIch control both of our two parties. Politics now is just for amusement purposes. Our two-party system is like a never-ending football game that distracts and occupies the energy of citizens, while the Rich do whatever they like with their government allies. How do we emerge from this plutocracy? Can we? When? Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on critical issues like climate change and Pakistan and we are not even discussing the problem, never mind rendering solutions. The United States is in freefall.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

So, now that Howard Dean AND Robert Reich have thrown their support behind the Daley pick, does that make Dean and Reich a couple of corporate tools too?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 6, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne "How can these DC pols so out of touch with what the American people want? How can they be so stupid? "

Because of the election results.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 6, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"UPDATE, 12:59 p.m.: To be clear, I'm not saying that Daley will necessarily succeed in dragging Obama to the right in policy terms. I agree with Steve Benen that Obama has shown himself to be the one setting the agenda, sometimes in defiance of his chief of staff. My point is more geared to how this will be interpreted: I'm not looking forward to reams of commentary supporting Daley's interpretation of the first two years as Gospel truth."

Ha! Greg, the Dems are circling the wagons. You're either with us or you're against us. No matter what we do.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@ethan and fiona: "The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as Democrats fell to 31% in 2010, matching the lowest level in at least the last 22 years, according to Gallup."

Why would this be? If the country wanted a return to center-left in 2008, and Obama has governed from the center-left, and the Democratic Party is center-left...

I don't get it.

It only makes sense if Greg is wrong and Daley is correct.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 6, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

RE your update.

I don't know what to say; people have been writing that kind of bullshit the last two years and frankly the Daley pick is actually a way to get them to STOP and choose a new bullshit narrative. Which in and of itself is good news; I like variety.

Obama has always charted the course his West Wing will take and he's made sure to read and hear outside opinions. He's got Valerie, Rouse, and Plouffe there too so Daley isn't stepping into a power vacuum.

This along with getting Gibbs on the outside to get voices providing cover for POTUS on cable is important and will go a long ways towards making the next two years successful IMO.

Posted by: Rhoda | January 6, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Before you all go all FDL on us, take a breath and ask yourself if the endorsement of Reich and Dean might mean first reactions of some blogs you follow might not be wholly justified in regards to the Daley pick.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 6, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

sbj: Dems lost the elections because of the economy, which didn't turn around because the stimulus wasn't big enough

The number of self-identified Dems dropped because Dem-leaning indys blamed Obama and Dems for the government dysfunction that resulted from accross the board GOP obstructionism.

This is one possible interpretation. Adn there are probably many reasons for the Dem losses.

But there is no denying that Obama's policies were not "far left," unless Republicans are the ones defining the term, which appears to be what everyone's agreeing to.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 6, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"the President [] he can enter a second term with his hands free to pursue the policies he wants"

This is what passes for sensible analysis within the Democratic Party? Obama will NEVER be "free[r] to pursue the policies he wants" than he was in January of 2009. So either Obama got the policies he wanted or he was unable to do so. There is no logic in suggesting that the "real" Obama will emerge after 2012. That is what partisan reasoning looks like, however.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne |-

You sure we weren't separated at birth?
The Rich have always been with us and have always controlled the politics in this country.
It's interesting to note that the only two Presidents we have had in the last 100+ years that have known how the Rich play and how to get them to heel, have been the two Roosevelts, both of whom came from that class. The influence of the rich is more flagrant today, because they have squeezed about as much as they can out of the American working class, so now they are working on the rest of the world.

Posted by: filmnoia | January 6, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"I don't get it."

Obviously.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 6, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"If the country wanted a return to center-left in 2008, and Obama has governed from the center-left, and the Democratic Party is center-left..."

Obama has NOT been Center-Left. If he had been, the Democrats would still control the House. If HCR had been done is a timely fashion and included the most popular provision, the public option, the Dems would not have lost Ted Kennedy's seat. If Obama had insisted upon letting the Bush tax cuts expire, the Dems would have won the mid-terms.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Epic fail on day one:
"
"The new Republican majority in the House is learning already that governing is harder than campaigning.

They vow to repeal President Obama’s health reform. But they say they want to reduce the deficit, too, so one of their rules requires that any new legislation be paid for fully.

Here’s the problem: The health care reform includes new taxes and a tough cut in Medicare spending. It actually reduces the deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office. So if you kill health reform, the rules require that you find offsetting spending cuts or tax increases to plug that gap.

So Republicans have decided to exempt health reform from the rule. That deficit they talked so much about during the campaign? Never mind.

We haven’t seen this kind of hypocrisy in Washington since … a few weeks ago, when Republicans insisted on extending tax cuts to the wealthy and didn’t pay for that either."

Posted by: fiona5 | January 6, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

To me this pick is about re-election, nothing more, nothing less. There is no agenda for the next two years, not really. This pick will appeal to both business interests and some independents, who have also bought the beltway meme that Obama governed from the left. Did anyone else read the piece Greg linked this morning from Ed Kilgore? We will probably lose the Senate but retain the Presidency in 2012 so all we can do now is hang on for dear life and try to protect what little bit of the safety net and good jobs we can preserve over the next decade or so.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"That’s not the best way to look at the rest of the Obama presidency. Instead of hoping for a quick return to the box-checking of the 111th Congress, progressives will have to gird themselves for a long, hard struggle with conservatives—one in which avoiding defeat will more often than not have to stand in for victory. Today’s radicalized GOP is not focused on any positive policy agenda, and it does not share with Democrats the fundamental philosophical goals that make principled compromise a likely prospect. The Republicans who just took control of the House of Representatives are playing for keeps. The party’s goal for the next six years will be to wreck the public sector—fundamentally altering the social safety net, de-funding investments in our children and our economic future, and rendering the government’s regulatory apparatus deaf, dumb, and blind—and liberals must realize that preventing or reducing that wreckage is an essential, and even noble, task which we should learn to value if not love."

Posted by: lmsinca | January 6, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"You sure we weren't separated at birth?"

Where is our organization? I was just discussing this with Imsinca. Is it the Green Party?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Weren't the left complaining about President Obama's choice of Rahm, so how the hell can they now turn around and complain that picking Daley is a signal that President Obama is renouncing the two years under Rahm, the guy that the left wing loves so much.

Left us get real, for a moment. Unless the President had picked Hugo Chavez to be his chief of staff, some of the most hard line liberals would keep complaining.

Obama picked both Rahm and Daley because he feels comfortable having them working for him. The same people who hated Rahm, can not now turn around and complain that picking Daley is a sell out, but they will.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"liberals must realize that preventing or reducing that wreckage is an essential, and even noble, task which we should learn to value if not love."

My god, how far we have fallen since Obama's election. I pray that Democratic regulars like those commenting here will not stand for the dismantling of New Deal programs under a Democratic President. I am not sanguine.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: Thanks for the callout.

These are some nice theories that I disagree with.

There is zero evidence that the economy would have improved faster with a larger stimulus.

As for "obstruction" I could just as easily assert that Dem-leaning independents voted for Republicans and are leaving the Dem party in *appreciation* of GOP "obstruction".

BTW, I agree that many of Obama's policies are center-left - it's primarily the Democratic congress that has been championing a far-left agenda. I don't think that can be denied - what with DADT, DREAM, and so on.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 6, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

A few days ago, SBJ was going berserk, because he claimed that Harry Reid was trying to block repeal of DADT. Today SBJ is calling repeal a part of the Democrats "far left agenda"

That is all you need to know about this SBJ phony.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"Daley laid out his political ideology last year upon joining the board of Third Way, a moderate Democratic think tank. "We must acknowledge that the left's agenda has not won the support of a majority of Americans — and, based on that recognition, we must steer a more moderate course," he said at the time.""

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2011/01/ap-sources-obama-chooses-daley-chief-staff-0#ixzz1AHYqQC7k

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Anyone think we'll win the tax fight in 2012 when the "GREAT" compromise of extended tax cuts expire?

Posted by: lmsinca | January 6, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"Where is our organization? I was just discussing this with Imsinca. Is it the Green Party?

The "Left Out" party has a nice ring to it.

Posted by: filmnoia | January 6, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The Left Out Party.

That's hilarious.

Posted by: Papagnello | January 6, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"There is zero evidence that the economy would have improved faster with a larger stimulus."

There's a lot of evidence, actually

http://blahblahblah.linksthatyouwillignore.com

Posted by: DDAWD | January 6, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Too much fun fo' me. Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like Daley had it just about right.

Democrats took a recent "shellacking", because moderates, and Independents abandoned them.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010 "@fool: "why did the American people deliver a shellacking to the Democrats in 2010?"

Because the electorate in the midterms was decidedly older, whiter, and more conservative than the general electorate. You know this. We've been over it a million times. You just can't handle the truth."

Your use of the term "general electorate" is incorrect. Any election open to everyone consists of the "general electorate" as opposed to primary voters. Midterm elections are decided just as much by the "general electorate" as are Presidential elections. One group is no more or less legitimate than the other.

A better explanation is provided by President Obama himself:
"One closing remark that I want to make: It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election. There may be complaints about us not having gotten certain things done, not fast enough, making certain legislative compromises. But right now, we've got a choice between a Republican Party that has moved to the right of George Bush and is looking to lock in the same policies that got us into these disasters in the first place, versus an administration that, with some admitted warts, has been the most successful administration in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward.

The idea that we've got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible.

Everybody out there has to be thinking about what's at stake in this election and if they want to move forward over the next two years or six years or 10 years on key issues like climate change, key issues like how we restore a sense of equity and optimism to middle-class families who have seen their incomes decline by five percent over the last decade. If we want the kind of country that respects civil rights and civil liberties, we'd better fight in this election. And right now, we are getting outspent eight to one by these 527s that the Roberts court says can spend with impunity without disclosing where their money's coming from. In every single one of these congressional districts, you are seeing these independent organizations outspend political parties and the candidates by, as I said, factors of four to one, five to one, eight to one, 10 to one.

We have to get folks off the sidelines. People need to shake off this lethargy, people need to buck up. Bringing about change is hard ? that's what I said during the campaign. It has been hard, and we've got some lumps to show for it. But if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place.

If you're serious, now's exactly the time that people have to step up."

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/obama-in-command-br-the-rolling-stone-interview-20100928

The mid-term elections showed that progressives and Democrats weren't serious in the first place. Obama is reacting accordingly with his staff changes.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 6, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The Left Out Party:

"Inherit the Earth"

Posted by: Papagnello | January 6, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

lol ddawd

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 6, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Liam, I despise Hugo Chavez (a Caudillo is not a leftist, he is an ultra-nationalist, or a national socialist, a crypto-fascist, but we need not rehash the minor difference between the far left and the far right, it all turns to semantics) I despise Rham and I despise this pick too. The fact that Republicans are worse does not make me like what happened to this administration.

The reason so many of us wasted all that time and money was because we thought he'd do a better job than The Clintons. But if this all looks good to you, then the Clintons would have been just fine too, right? Or do you think the Clintons would have been a better choice? It is possible. I don't think they would have done what he is doing in Afghanistan. Bill learned a thing or two in Mogadishu.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 6, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Anyone think we'll win the tax fight in 2012 when the "GREAT" compromise of extended tax cuts expire?

Posted by: lmsinca | January 6, 2011 1:48 PM

......................

There will be no tax fight in 2012. We missed the one chance we had to let the Bush Cuts for The Oligarchs expire.

They will be renewed, until such time as Republicans regain control of Congress and The White House, and they will then make them permanent.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like Daley had it just about right. Democrats took a recent "shellacking", because moderates, and Independents abandoned them.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

You think Obama was too far Left and that's why the Dems lost?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

@ddawd: I think you perhaps confuse "evidence" with "conjecture?"

Posted by: sbj3 | January 6, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I ask again whether anyone has an opinion of the Green Party? I think they are on all 50 state ballots, which is a big part of the problem for a third party.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

He's a free trader, a globalization fanatic, and a Wall Street insider. That, evidently, is all that matters to Obama. Obama genuinely believes in the sophomoric nonsense of the Ayn Rand nitwits.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 6, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"The mid-term elections showed that progressives and Democrats weren't serious in the first place. Obama is reacting accordingly with his staff changes."

So Obama IS moving RIght, but he's correct to do so? Why? Who will gain by Obama moving to the Right?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"Who will gain by Obama moving to the Right?"

Obama

Posted by: sbj3 | January 6, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

This pretty much "does it" for me. I would support any real Democrat who decided to oppose Obama for the 2012 presidential nomination.

Posted by: Jihm | January 6, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

After reading these blogs and the insane denial they depict I have to admit that Gibbs was right about the far left. I will take Gibbs one step further and state that the far left would not be happy if Obama was as far to the left as Hugo Chavez. As a conservative I think Obama is seeking Caudillo status but has not quite gotten there. Obama has governed from the left (cap and trade, card check, net nuetrality) and he got kicked in the teeth this November for doing so. Obama is not as far left as some of the critics in his party however. We could do worse. The left wing loonies could always nominate Dennis Kucinich.

Posted by: jkk1943 | January 6, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@wb: "I ask again whether anyone has an opinion of the Green Party?"

I would be a Green if the two major parties didn't collude to squash independent voices/parties.

@jnc4p: "Your use of the term "general electorate" is incorrect. ... One group is no more or less legitimate than the other."

Umm, ok. I should have said "eligible voters" instead of "general electorate". Or something.

My point remains. The population that voted in the 2010 midterms was older, whiter, and more conservative than the population of eligible voters in America.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 6, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"Who will gain by Obama moving to the Right?"

Obama

Posted by: sbj3 | January 6, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

My answer as well. Or so the White House calculates. But it won't help the Middle Class. It won't help the Poor. It won;t help the nation. And it won't even help the Democratic Party. Not that nay of that stuff matters, of course.

Just remember: Obama is NOT triangulating. And the Chamber of Commerce is our friend.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

After reading these blogs and the insane denial they depict I have to admit that Gibbs was right about the far left. I will take Gibbs one step further and state that the far left would not be happy if Obama was as far to the left as Hugo Chavez. As a conservative I think Obama is seeking Caudillo status but has not quite gotten there. Obama has governed from the left (cap and trade, card check, net nuetrality) and he got kicked in the teeth this November for doing so. Obama is not as far left as some of the critics in his party however. We could do worse. The left wing loonies could always nominate Dennis Kucinich.

Posted by: jkk1943 | January 6, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"I would be a Green if the two major parties didn't collude to squash independent voices/parties."

Can't that be overcome? Are we trapped by our own political system?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p: "The mid-term elections showed that progressives and Democrats weren't serious in the first place. Obama is reacting accordingly with his staff changes."

Thanks. That was about the most sober and well-reasoned post I've read here lately.

And wbg, about the Green Party, where they should focus is on seats in Congress. They don't have any national influence because they don't currently represent any constituents at the national level.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 6, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's a pretty good analysis of who voted in the mid-terms, it's a little hard to claim progressives were sitting on their hands so now it's time to move right. I love how the progressives get blamed for just about everything that goes wrong, funny.

wbgonne, I've voted Green in the past but only on a local level based upon the specific candidate. I just don't see a credible primary or third party getting anywhere, they never have at the National level.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Nationwide, the analysis by Dr. Lorraine Minnite showed that, while voting for the most part followed predictable historic trends for midterm elections, a few distinct features of the 2010 voting population stand out, which contributed to the results:

Across the country, senior citizens turned out in force, with the number of ballots cast by voters over 65 increasing by 16 percent. While making up only 13 percent of the U.S. resident population, Americans in this age group constituted 21 percent of 2010 voters. This age group also significantly increased their support of Republican candidates, from 49 percent in 2006 to 59 percent in 2010.
The number of ballots cast by Americans from households making over $200,000 a year increased by 68 percent compared to 2006.
Relative to 2008, minority and youth voters dropped out of the voting population at higher rates than whites, undoing much of the gain in demographic parity achieved in 2008.
Women—already one of the most reliable voting groups—increased their share of the electorate, and significantly increased their support of the Republican Party.
Bucking the national trends, Latinos increased their share of the voting population in several states, saving at least three Senate seats for the Democrats.

“It is fair to say that 2010 was the year of older, rich people,” Dr. Minnite writes in the study.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 6, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

All of those castigating Obama for capitulating to the Republicans and appointing a, relatively, moderate Democrat to be his chief of staff are calling Obama a traitor to the left and a sell out to a more moderate agenda.

Good, then he is likely on the absolute correct path to a second term against the Republican contender who is likely to come out of the current crop of seven dwarves.

The United States is a centrist nation whose moderate middle always determines who will be President. The party which forgets this and both governs and campaigns from either extreme will soon be in the minority wondering where all that mandate disappeared to as the Democrats found to their chagrine in November when independents and swing Reagan Democrats went to the polls in droves and voted against a perceived left wing government which was attempting to move to far left too fast.

Daley will bring some common sense and pragmatism which was sorely lacking in the aftermath of the 2008 election when Obama was annointed as the Boy King and Nancy and Harry got drunk with the power of majorities in both houses of Congress. What this produced was overreach on health care and ignoring of the importance of economic rehabilitation to the average man/woman on the street. So much time was spent preparing for and attempting to pass legislation on a major new social entitlement, eliminating sexual bias in the military and cleaning up the world's enviroment single handedly we lost sight of what was necessary in order to kick start the economy.

If Team Obama does not veer back to the center in the next four years under Daley's leadership it will be a mistake and will open the door to a viable Repubican challenger who can position himself as a moderate/centrist who is not out to impose government mandates on every aspect of our life. So far, none of the Republican challengers has taken up that message but it is early and as the zealots. like Palin, Gingrich and Huckabee fall by the wayside we will see an opportunity for a new kind of Republican emerge. One who will not be so willing to embrace radical right wing social concepts and one who understands this nation moves slowly in any direction but anywhere off center is the wrong direction for a President who wishes to govern a working majority in Congress.

Posted by: bobfbell | January 6, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"lol ddawd

Posted by: mikefromArlington"

haha, I mean really? Haven't these people ever cracked open a history book? Like, we all know about the Great Depression and how it was combated through infrastructure and wartime stimulus, right?

I'm curious as to what recessions/depressions any nation has climbed out of through aggressive upper class tax cuts.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 6, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Unless Obama moves to the right he will not get elected. The angrier he makes his left wing (as evidenced by the crazy bloggers here) the more he appeals to Independent Voters. Democrats are a small and declining percentage of the electorate, they can't elect a President without sufficient support from independents and some support from centrist Republicans. The left only plays well in coastal cities and some university suburbs. They are detested by most of middle America.

Posted by: jkk1943 | January 6, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

How in the world is it the Left's fault that Obama squandered his victory and the Democrats got clobbered? Obama did not govern from the Left yet he managed to undermine Liberalism anyway. Unbelievable. It's like living through the Looking Glass.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like Daley had it just about right. Democrats took a recent "shellacking", because moderates, and Independents abandoned them.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

You think Obama was too far Left and that's why the Dems lost?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 1:58 PM
................................

Nice Strawman. Grow up, or shut up.

Obama was not on any ballots, but the election results, and the exit polls, show clearly that those who matter, the voters in the middle, abandoned the Democrats.

Go form your Green Party, and live in Fantasy Political World, because you can not handle reality. I am just as committed as you to progressive causes, but I also can handle the reality, that only twenty percent of the electorate said they are liberal, compared to forty percent that said they are conservatives.

Again; and I doubt if you are even capable of absorbing this reality: Those twenty percent Liberals, need to have at least thirty percent of the voters, who are not liberal, to vote with them, where as the Conservatives only need ten percent.

Now go fire up your Green Party, and get your one percent or less, in 2012, and feel like you have really come along way.

I am very happy that we passed so much progressive legislation under this President, in just two years, I disagree with his decisions on extending the Bush Tax Cuts, and on building up the number of troops in Afghanistan; but he is the man in the Arena, and he gets to make the decisions.

Over all, I am still a big supporter of him; and I see not a single Democrat or third party candidate on the horizon, that could possibly do a better job.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"I ask again whether anyone has an opinion of the Green Party? I think they are on all 50 state ballots, which is a big part of the problem for a third party.

Posted by: wbgonne"

I voted for the Green candidate for Congress in 2008 (LA-2) Of course, the major party candidates were William Jefferson and a Republican.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 6, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Greg - Obama was already governing from center left. Where he failed was in messaging. He allowed the right to deliver unhindered the message that he was extreme left. I don't see him moving right, except to the degree he will have to in order to accomodate the realities of a republican house. I think he is bringing in Daley to help with the messaging problem. His old team never was able to get their hands around that. If you look at the new team, you will see that the major changes are in the messaging arena.

Posted by: truthwillout | January 6, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I would also observe that with the departure of National Security Advisor General James Jones several months ago, NO ONE in the West Wing has ever donned a uniform in defense of this nation so Daley will fit right in Obama's "Vet-less Administration." There is a total lack of diversity when it comes to Veterans around the White House Being born in 1948, Daley was of Prime Draft age during Vietnam but like good old VP Joe "5-Deferment" Biden (and Dick Cheney to be fair), it appears he did everything short of maiming himself (probably didn’t have the guts) to dodge the VN Draft. By comparison, the present White House crowd makes “George W" look like a war hero! (For the record, Bush flying antique Air Guard Convair F-102s was probably in more danger than I was during an extended CIB-earning tour in Vietnam!). Active military service was a certainty for any male born between 1940-49 unless morally, mentally or medically unfit, or they took some overt action to "dodge" the draft so when these guys evaded, someone else, probably less educated or advantaged and definitely less eligible, served in his place.

Mr. President, how about filling the next vacancy with a Vet?

Posted by: A-COL | January 6, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"I just don't see a credible primary or third party getting anywhere, they never have at the National level."

"Don't think it won't happen just because it hasn't happened yet." (J. Browne). Admittedly, I know nothing about this but I believe the Greens are already on all state ballots. And with the internet as an organizing tool, I think the large number of disgruntled Americans should be able to link together. I mean, how hard can it be? The Teabaggers did it.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Remember how we were wondering how Republicans would deal with parts of the Constitution that they might not agree with?

Easy solution - simply edit those parts out.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/06/AR2011010602807.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: DDAWD | January 6, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...I recall a poster yesterday criticizing Greg and throwing around the Journolist tag because nobody on the left criticized Obama. A whole day later we get this. Several explanations are available:
1) Stung by that criticism, Greg responds by criticizing Obama (for the 1st time according to the other poster)
2) The White House told the Journolists to criticize Obama on this
3) The poster was simply wrong about liberals not criticizing Obama.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 6, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

@wb: "Can't that be overcome? Are we trapped by our own political system?"

Yup. Trapped.

It's up to Americans in both major parties, any minor party, and of no affiliation to get more active in changing our political system.

There is a lot to read on that here:

http://www.independentvoting.org/

Here is an interesting article linked from that site:

California's Top Two Primary System Opens the Door to a Broader and Stronger Coalition for Political Reform

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harry-kresky/californias-top-two-prima_b_799662.html

I'm all for serious political/election/campaign finance reforms. In fact, America NEEDS it.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 6, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Part of the problem is so many people vote on silly stuff, such as: " I feel like I could have a beer with the guy". That is never going to be Obama.

I do not want someone leading the Nation who is just like my drinking mates. None of them, or me for that matter, are Presidential material. I want someone who is superior to any of the ordinary people I meet up with at The Pub.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"I agree with Greg - Obama was already governing from center left. Where he failed was in messaging."

Exactly. The US is a center left country. Republicans know they had no chance to win the debate based on actual terms of the law. That's why they started screaming about death panels and so forth. It's hard to argue that the US is a right wing country and then refuse to appeal to right wing sentiments.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 6, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"throwing around the Journolist tag"

Yeah, well that wasn't me. And perhaps you noticed Greg's "update" where he apologizes for his criticism. mild though it was. You got nuthin.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"The US is a center left country."

Absolutely correct (though the labeling usually leads to more problems than its worth). 70% of Americans want public health insurance. 81% want to reduce the deficit by taxing the Rich and cutting the military. Even looking at things from Obama's political self-interest, it is far from clear that moving Right will benefit him. He is becoming increasingly estranged from American public opinion, almost willfully so.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

wbg: "How in the world is it the Left's fault that Obama squandered his victory and the Democrats got clobbered?"

Because the left sat on the sidelines shooting spitballs at Obama rather than working positively to effect the outcome by outreach to voters.

Where was the left during the all the nasty townhalls over healthcare? Where were their counter-demonstrations? Where were they organizing?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 6, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Birther Interrupts House Reading Of Constitution, Yells 'Help Us Jesus' (VIDEO)

The woman yelled out "Except Obama, except Obama, help us Jesus!" as Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) read the "natural born citizen" clause of the Constitution

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/birther_interrupts_house_reading_of_constitution_yells_help_us_jesus.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 6, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The Daley pick will inevitably reinforce a faulty interpretation of Obama's first two years: That Obama governed from the far left.

===========================================

I agree. Pelosi and Reid were going at it from the far left and Obama hardly governed at all.

Unlike the Professional Left Obama got the message of the midterms and will seek more centrist governance just like with the tax deal with the Republicans.

Posted by: bbface21 | January 6, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"70% of Americans want public health insurance. 81% want to reduce the deficit by taxing the Rich and cutting the military."

And they don't want us in Afghanistan either.

And just maybe that's why some people stayed home for the mid-terms.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 6, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"Despite all this, Republicans and conservatives have uniformly condemned the Obama administration as in the grip of unrepentant leftism run amok."

Uniformly? Excuse me, but I have never condemned the Obama administration as in the grip of unrepentant leftism run amok. I actually think he's a pretty decent president, on the whole.

BTW, we say it's a "center left" or "center right" country without any sense of what that means. The entire country, to a person, does not share a homogenized view of center-rightism or center-leftism.

And we aren't usually talking about the entire country, just registered voters or likely voters. I've got a bad headache so I'm not sure this makes sense, but . . . whether or not we are a center-left country or a center-left country, what does that mean, practically? If there are more extreme right-wingers than there are left-wingers (this is a hypothetical; reverse the equation, if you like) and similar amounts of center-righters and center-lefters, then this would be a center-right country, if you're averaging, because of all the far-right folks outweighing the far-left folks. Or vice versa.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 6, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

All, looks like the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL CIO may team up against the House GOP:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/strange_bedfellows_us_chamber.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 6, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

So the left got Obama elected, The Clintons did not quit, but now it is the left's fault Obama tacked right. Wrong. He tossed the people who got him elected just like he tossed Rev. Wright and anyone else he used to get ahead.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 6, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "I do not want someone leading the Nation who is just like my drinking mates. None of them, or me for that matter, are Presidential material. I want someone who is superior to any of the ordinary people I meet up with at The Pub."

I guess. Most politicians certainly feel that they are superior to any of the ordinary people you meet. Yet, I'm pretty sure they have to put their pants on, one leg at a time, just the same.

But, yes, democracy is not a process of rational selection of optimum representatives, but a somewhat random and haphazard appointing of somewhat vetted individuals to various political offices. While the former would be preferable, it seems we get the latter, and the latter is preferable to cronyism and nepotism in monarchies or totalitarian dictatorships.

That being said, I'll take the "ordinary" man as president. Can't do much worse that most of the professionals.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 6, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@lms: "70% of Americans want public health insurance. 81% want to reduce the deficit by taxing the Rich and cutting the military. And they don't want us in Afghanistan either. And just maybe that's why some people stayed home for the mid-terms."

Given all of that - why should/would they come back out to re-elect Obama in 2012?

Posted by: sbj3 | January 6, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"Where was the left during the all the nasty townhalls over healthcare? Where were their counter-demonstrations? Where were they organizing?"

As you can see from the discussion today, there is NO organized Left in this country. And, yes, that is a big problem. But that wasn't the cause of any failures by Obama or the Dems.

Obama had the organization that elected him stand down as soon as he was elected. He could have re-mobilized it at any time. But Obama never called upon his volunteers and supporters to do anything. Never once did I get an e-mail from the White House asking me to do anything to combat the Teabaggers or anything of the sort. I would have gladly done so and so would have many others, I'm sure.

We had just elected a president. We controlled both houses of Congress. We thought our leaders were in control. What else was I supposed to do? When you control the entire government you shouldn't need outside organizations to accomplish things and, if you do, you better ask for the help. Obama didn't.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

so dems are trying to chide talk of repealing their health care hatchet job and obama hires a new chief of staff who agrees that the whole thing was a mistake?

i think obama is the most unintentionally funny president we've ever had.

Posted by: dummypants | January 6, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

@DDAWD: "Remember how we were wondering how Republicans would deal with parts of the Constitution that they might not agree with?"

So the Republicans disagree with slavery, and prohibition, and not allowing women to vote, and you think that's a bad thing? ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 6, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Daley's appointment as COC is only the prelude to Triangulation on Steroids.

O&O.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

And they don't want us in Afghanistan either.

And just maybe that's why some people stayed home for the mid-terms.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 6, 2011 2:32 PM |
........................

There is no polling evidence to support your "maybe", and if they did, well that sure showed those Conservatives, didn't it?

People who actually vote are far superior to any mopes who pout and do not go vote.

Think about what message they would have send Democrats, if they did not bother to go vote. The message I would take from it is, I can not count on Liberals to stick with me, so I better try harder to woo moderates and independents that can be relied on to go vote.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the liberal left is well-represented here. Sargent -- and a lot of you writing here -- is a smart guy, to be sure. But the denial of the left is truly astounding. Today's selection of Daley is a clear acceptance that Obama let Pelosi and Reid take him too far left. The poll numbers on Party ID reflect what we in the reasonable middle already know: we are the majority. If Dems comprise 31% of the electorate and the GOP 29%, the middle represents 40%!! And I bet if you dug deeper you'd find that 40% more right than left because, contrary to the "facts" stated here, this is a center-RIGHT country. Daley's job will be to help Obama reclaim 20-23% of that 40% middle. Whether Obama governed from the left or the center-left the first 2 years is immaterial. It was too FAR left! Sargent's own commentary claims the GOP has moved right. He says it's thus redefining the middle but that, too, is incorrect. If it's true that for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction, the move to the right by the GOP is equal to the move left by the Dems. Thus the true middle is being re-established. And I can say -- as an independent conservative -- that if I'm right, Obama might just get my vote in 2012. We're a center-right country. If the GOP IS, in fact, too far right, I like the idea of a "center-left" President. That should keep us just to the right of center.

Posted by: outsider6 | January 6, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Hello people on the left Obama only cares about getting a second term not your "agenda" All of you will vote for him again no matter how many times he lies to you. Face facts you Dems are losers that will vote for the warmonger formerly know as Barry. Hey if Obama says we need to stay in Afghanistan for four more years it must be true! Obama is famous for telling the truth...not in a good way..Bush secured America's oil interest in the region so what is Obama doing? Protecting a steady flow of drugs from Afghanistan? Not there is any thing wrong with that! "Buy some heroin support a terrorist!" Another of Obama's campaign slogans for 2012. Obama/Cheney in 2012 warmongers you can believe in! Dems a joke in every vote!

Posted by: Loxinabox | January 6, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

That's a problem for ME, but it's not a problem for President Obama. After all, his last WH Press Secretary called we progressives "crazy" and his former Chief of Staff called liberals "retards."

President Obama has hired yet another conservative democrat to go right along with his corporatist, compromiser-in-chief, clothing.

Obama clearly a middle-of-the road to conservative democrat by philosophy, a corporatist, right-middle-of-the-roader. It's just that the crazy Tea Crackpots, birthers, deathers, and racists (so much overlap in those groups) and barely-literate but extremely opinionated people of the country are so busy freaking out and illogically yelling "socialist" that they can't see President Obama for what he is: A center-right corporatist who -- about 25 years ago -- probably would have been classified as a liberal Republican.

Don't listen to his rhetoric. Watch his actions. Ah, but that would require dialing down the hysteria, and this is too much to ask of agitated, panicked, frothing, masses.

Posted by: lilifreak | January 6, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"Given all of that - why should/would they come back out to re-elect Obama in 2012?"

To prevent Republicans from controlling all three levers of power.

And progressives WERE fighting during the health care debate. I went to several town halls, candlelight vigils, delivered signatures in support of the public option to Boxer's San Bernardino office and we made millions of phone calls to Capitol Hill and local Senate and House offices. And it wasn't unique to my area, it was across the nation. Unfortunately, we were fighting for something that was never going to pass. The public option didn't become popular because Obama was so enamored with it, he wasn't.

We also raised a lot of money for the mid-terms by way of act blue, go look at the pages of contributions, and I don't mean our measly little PL community page, I mean all across the nation.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 6, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"People who actually vote are far superior to any mopes who pout and do not go vote."

Even if that's true, so what? Any politician who disrespects his own supporters is an idiot. When a president does it, it is unconscionably stupid.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I want some of what wbgonne is smoking.

Posted by: charlesbakerharris | January 6, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm still amazed at those who say that the first two years of Obama represented anything close to a center-left approach. He governed from the far left and made no attempt to compromise to get closer to the center. Now Obama is trying to move to the center to save his skin in 2012. One man's unprincipled coward is another man's pragmatist.

Posted by: VanW | January 6, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

hat being said, I'll take the "ordinary" man as president. Can't do much worse that most of the professionals.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 6, 2011 2:40 PM

..............................

I will forgive you for stating such a silly preference, since you say you are suffering from a bad headache.

That sort of thinking is what gave the country George W. Bush, and led McCain to offer the VP slot to Palin, the very first time he actually met with her. She must have given him one of those "ordinary" person winks.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2 "So the left got Obama elected, The Clintons did not quit, but now it is the left's fault Obama tacked right. Wrong. He tossed the people who got him elected just like he tossed Rev. Wright and anyone else he used to get ahead."

"He's a politician, I'm a pastor. We speak to two different audiences. And he says what he has to say as a politician. I say what I have to say as a pastor. Those are two different worlds. I do what I do. He does what politicians do."

Reverend Wright - April 25, 2008

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04252008/transcript1.html

You guys can't say you weren't warned.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 6, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

You ultra-liberals must love losing because you embrace the losing strategy evey time.

The hard right turn Clinton made after 1994 saved his presidency. It may do the same for B.H.O.

Face it people, America is a right leaning nation, on the whole. You San Fransisco/Chicago/New York liberals are a distinct minority.

I will admit that liberal politicians are clever enough to fool most of the people some of the time.

But then they get elected and ruin it for themselves.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 6, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Criticizing a communist for being too left is absurd, not wrong. What's wrong with Daley is he's a Daley, kings of the worst political sewer in America.

Posted by: carlbatey | January 6, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Look, all you need to know about Daley's appointment happened a few days ago, and it nothing to do with Daley. After sneaking in the end of life counseling ("death panels") prior to the recess, Obama quietly took them back out of mandatory Medicare services.

I don't care what the wacky left says, or what Obama might say or do --- the man clearly wants to be reelected in 2012, and he cannot do it without the middle. He's banking on the fact that even if 20% of his wacky base stays home and yaks endlessly on Kos and HuffPo, he can still win if he gets the middle.

That's what the death panel recission was all about, and that's what the Daley appointment is all about.

What Obama hasn't figured on --- my hunch --- is that Daley won't hang around if he feels that he has no influence. So let's see if Obama's actions match his words and his appointments.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | January 6, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"but . . . whether or not we are a center-left country or a center-left country, what does that mean, practically?"

Basically that most Americans don't agree with Limbaugh.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 6, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"There is no polling evidence to support your "maybe", and if they did, well that sure showed those Conservatives, didn't it?

People who actually vote are far superior to any mopes who pout and do not go vote."

Liam, you're preaching to the choir, I voted and campaigned and will do it again. I just don't think it's particularly beneficial to claim that progressives either sat out the election or that we're to blame for whatever failures exist in the Democratic Party. The kids stayed home for the most part and so did minorities except for in CA and NV. And a lot of women jumped ship, why don't you and Sue try analyzing that.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 6, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@KW,

Check out Gallup's poll of self-identified voters.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/145463/Democratic-Party-Drops-2010-Tying-Year-Low.aspx

The basic trend is that, with only a few exceptions, party ID has been that the group that people MOST identify with is Independent voters, next is Dems, next is GOP. You can tell without crunching any numbers that since 1988 this country has been self-identified center-left, with the only real exception being 2002-2003 when self-identified Republicans measured higher than self-identified Democrats. Other than that period America has been solidly center-left for the last 20+ years.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 6, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"So the Republicans disagree with slavery, and prohibition, and not allowing women to vote, and you think that's a bad thing? ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis"

Well, yeah. Our elected officials should be aware that these things occurred.

What's the problem? Scared that people might realize that the document isn't perfect and changes over time?

Posted by: DDAWD | January 6, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama too left wing? ROFLMAO Obama is right wing. The guy is weak and I certainly will not support him again.

His main problem is letting the opposition control the narrative. Its why he lost House. The guy runs away from battle not realizing the troops are ready for battle.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 6, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Here's a perfect example of wandering into a battle of wits, unarmed

"I would also observe that with the departure of National Security Advisor General James Jones several months ago, NO ONE in the West Wing has ever donned a uniform in defense of this nation so Daley will fit right in Obama's "Vet-less Administration." There is a total lack of diversity when it comes to Veterans around the White House Being born in 1948, Daley was of Prime Draft age during Vietnam but like good old VP Joe "5-Deferment" Biden (and Dick Cheney to be fair), it appears he did everything short of maiming himself (probably didn’t have the guts) to dodge the VN Draft. By comparison, the present White House crowd makes “George W" look like a war hero! (For the record, Bush flying antique Air Guard Convair F-102s was probably in more danger than I was during an extended CIB-earning tour in Vietnam!). Active military service was a certainty for any male born between 1940-49 unless morally, mentally or medically unfit, or they took some overt action to "dodge" the draft so when these guys evaded, someone else, probably less educated or advantaged and definitely less eligible, served in his place.
Mr. President, how about filling the next vacancy with a Vet?
Posted by: A-COL | January 6, 2011 2:20 PM"

Here you go.

http://www1.va.gov/opa/bios/bio_shinseki.asp

Gen. Shinseki heads the VA, he's also the one slammed by Donald Rumsfeld for being right about how many troops would be needed in Iraq. For stating the truth, he was sneered at by Rumsfeld and dismissed by the Bush Jr/Cheney Administration, one so infested with chickenhawks-starting at the very top-as to stagger the imagination.

But hey, don't let unpleasant trifles like facts interrupt your whining.

Posted by: kingcranky | January 6, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"lot of women jumped ship, why don't you and Sue try analyzing that."

Okay...they are NUTS. They voted against themselves. Stupid.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 6, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow, The Sarge is even giving tortured logic a good name in comparison to this self-immolation of combustible nonsense!

Don't hire this guy because it will prove to conservatives that Obama's a far lefty?

Sounds like a typical liberal plan to me.

Surely Young Greg can come up with a more braindead analysis than this with all the weapons of deficient liberal thinking he has at his hands.

I do think it's nice that WaPo hires underaged writers, like Young Greg and Little Ezra. Keeps them out of their parents' basements where glued to their beloved PCs and taking down names of conservatives for MediaMatters, they're in danger of staying for life. Lib guys, there's always time for that Stasi "lives-of-others-who-actually-have-a-life" stuff when you grow up, should that ever happen.

Lib guys, if you like socialism, just come out and admit it. Conservatives like honesty.

If you think America should be a one-party country with that party being Democrats, just say it. We'll respect that. We won't like it, but we will respect your honesty.

If you want to get rid of the constitution, just say so.

If you think Obama is a middle of the road guy and you don't like that, say it. If you think it's great that he's middle of the road, say it.

But don't say Obama shouldn't do something because people will think he's something other than what you want them to think. In other words, don't torture yourself with illogic.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Just because you're a liberal doesn't mean you can't be honest about your hatred for us. Get in touch with your inner butthead and speak out honestly. You'll feel better, I guarantee it.

Posted by: tom75 | January 6, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@tom: "Conservatives like honesty."

You're an idiot.

Just being honest.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 6, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama has governed pretty much like he campaigned.

We Progressives have to stop pretending that he ran as a hard line liberal. He did not.

Hard core Red States, such as Indiana and Ohio did not turn to him, because they suddenly flipped, and became bastions of liberalism.

Get a grip liberals. Obama always spoke of there being just a United States Of America. Go back to his speech at the 2004 convention, when the nation first was introduced to him.

A lot of you were listening to the wish list on the tape playing in your own heads, rather than to the one that the voters in Indiana and Ohio were listening to.

Obama did not mislead you. You mislead yourselves. He never promised you a revolution. I guess that is why, as a life long progressive, I am very please with how much progressive legislation he has gotten enacted, in his first two years.

Do you people even know how this game is played. He expended much of his political capital to deliver a lot of progressive legislation, and he was actually going against the wishes of most centrists.

He now has to win them back, or he will not be reelected.

Liberals; stop being a bunch of myopic whiners. No liberal can ever win the White House. Our base is far too small to accomplish that, so be grateful that President Obama expended most of his political capital with his centrist supporters, who out number we liberals, in order to pass so much landmark progressive legislation.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg Sargent! The American people criticized the Obama administration as too "left wing" to the tune of...


SIXTY THREE HOUSE SEATS LOST
SIX SENATE SEATS LOST
OVER TWENTY STATE LEGISLATURES LOST


It's you Greg Sargent who is out of touch with this. It is you Washington Post who is too far left wing to see the American people do not want your left wing crap.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | January 6, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Since Obama will be dealing with newly empowered Republicans, Daley seems like a good choice. They'll like a banker.

Posted by: mypitts2 | January 6, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm not whining, Liam. But I'm not supporting Obama anymore either. I'm voting Green until I see a better option.

Your political analysis, however, is wrong in every particular. You have fully internalized the false meme that has sabotaged the Obama Presidency: the country is Center-Right, as defined by Washington, D.C., and Obama has been too far Left. Here is what you and Obama fail to recognize: on nearly every major issue, the so-called Left positions are overwhelmingly popular with the American people. Spin that.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm voting Green until I see a better option.

_____________________________________

You might as well not vote. Just watch "American Idol" with the rest of the uninformed and enjoy your life.

Posted by: mypitts2 | January 6, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Quoth wbgonne:

"If I keep repeating it enough, people will agree that water isn't wet."

Posted by: charlesbakerharris | January 6, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

There is little or difference in a Dem or Repub. So they critize each other. In which means the
repub are not going to solve the problems of this country. It didn't happen when Reagan was in office, in fact he created the problems we are dealing with and Bush inflated the horror into hell, called WAR. So, why shouldn't the 2 parties work together? The Pres may have a good scheme by placing his foes on his team, this may just shut him up.

Posted by: alwaysAlabama | January 6, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm not whining, Liam. But I'm not supporting Obama anymore either. I'm voting Green until I see a better option.

Your political analysis, however, is wrong in every particular. You have fully internalized the false meme that has sabotaged the Obama Presidency: the country is Center-Right, as defined by Washington, D.C., and Obama has been too far Left. Here is what you and Obama fail to recognize: on nearly every major issue, the so-called Left positions are overwhelmingly popular with the American people. Spin that.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 3:32 PM
..................

Well I guess you will have no problem winning the White House for your Green candidate, since you are convinced that the majority of voters are with you. Good luck with that, and keep on smoking the same stuff, or reality may intrude into your fantasy world.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"Daley repeatedly criticized Obama's agenda as too left-wing."

The voters did as well.

Posted by: pepperjade | January 6, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"on nearly every major issue, the so-called Left positions are overwhelmingly popular with the American people. Spin that."

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 3:32 PM

Nothing to spin. It just ain't true...

The Left was strongly anti-war: Bush was re-elected.
The Left is pro gay marriage: it's been voted down on every ballot. Only courts have supported it.
The Left pushed Obamacare: despite liberal claims the collective law is unpopular, though certain features are not
Public Option: well, we know how that turned out.

On every major issue pushed by the left, voters have pushed back.

What's to spin? Facts are facts.

Posted by: outsider6 | January 6, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Get a grip liberals. Obama always spoke of there being just a United States Of America. Go back to his speech at the 2004 convention, when the nation first was introduced to him.

A lot of you were listening to the wish list on the tape playing in your own heads, rather than to the one that the voters in Indiana and Ohio were listening to.
Posted by: Liam-still | January 6, 2011 3:22 PM
====

Your position sorta confuses me. Since a President is president of ALL america, his base (which catipulted him into power) shouldn't criticize him like the "rest of america does" because he has to get the votes of those in Indiana and Ohio.

In short, libs should remain silent and be happy that Obama has given them what they currently have. Hmmm, well that seems to only be the advice given to liberals since I don't recall any such logic ever used by republicans. In fact, they played to their base and won.

Posted by: dcis1 | January 6, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

on nearly every major issue, the so-called Left positions are overwhelmingly popular with the American people. Spin that."

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 3:32 PM

Nothing to spin. It just ain't true...

The Left was strongly anti-war: Bush was re-elected.
The Left is pro gay marriage: it's been voted down on every ballot. Only courts have supported it.
The Left pushed Obamacare: despite liberal claims the collective law is unpopular, though certain features are not
Public Option: well, we know how that turned out.

On every major issue pushed by the left, voters have pushed back.

What's to spin? Facts are facts.

Posted by: outsider6 | January 6, 2011 3:47 PM
....
hunh?

When has the war become a major issue for thsi administration?

When has this administration (or even libs) pushed for gay marriage.

Based on FACT, most americans support the healthcare law.

But if we used ur similarly distorted logic, most americans are against the GOP since they weren't able to win the Senate.

Posted by: dcis1 | January 6, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

There is little or difference in a Dem or Repub.

Posted by: alwaysAlabama

_____________________________________

Utter nonsense.

Al Gore president = No Iraq War. He was opposed from the beginning.

That's $2 trillion saved as well as thousands of U.S. lives, and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives.

Also: No budget-busting and unneeded (and unsuccessful) tax cuts. Multiple trillions saved.

Tell me again there's no difference between the parties?

Posted by: mypitts2 | January 6, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@dcis:

The comment I was responding to was a defense of the Left in general. Thus my response was a general comment on the disconnect between liberals and the other 70-80% of the country.

Posted by: outsider6 | January 6, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse


Many of the comments appear like Lamentation.Any one realise,people are angry about the policies and Obama is still a good guy.The elections revealed the holes in the policies and neglecting the needs of the voters are obvious.Most americans are hurting and the administration not hearing the voices.This is not the LEFT and RIGHT march.

Posted by: jayrkay | January 6, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"Well I guess you will have no problem winning the White House for your Green candidate,:

Hardly the case. But you seem to think it's better to not even try. I disagree. Our political duopoly is completely controlled by Big Money, permanently it would appear. Something different must be introduced to resolve the problem. I'm not sure the Green Party is the answer but doing more of the same thing isn't either. We are regressing.

"since you are convinced that the majority of voters are with you."

On the major issues, yes. 70% of Americans wanted a public health insurance plan. 81% think that the deficit should be reduced either by raising taxes on the rich or cutting defense spending. The vast majority want out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Both parties stand in opposition to the will of the American people. That is remarkable. I'd say.

"Good luck with that, and keep on smoking the same stuff, or reality may intrude into your fantasy world."

Is this where I make an Irish joke?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Mypitts: Silly argument. You have NO WAY to know how a Pres. Gore might have responded to 9/11 had he been in the Oval Office. I'm not saying he would've gone to Iraq. I'm just saying you don't know. No one can. I agree there's a difference between the parties. I don't think you need bogus hypotheticals to try to prove it.

Posted by: outsider6 | January 6, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, I applaud your cry for help. It can't have been easy.

For your first step, being honest about your hatred for conservatives is a very good one. It will "empower" you and I know that's very important to you guys even though I don't have a clue what it means.

Still, nice job. Your gold apple will arrive by mail soon. Think of the delight you will get basking in that cozy feeling of being back in kindergarten again. Almost as much as being "empowered," liberals love school because they you do just what the teacher tells you to until you get old enough to get a government job with grand fluffy bennies in perpetuity and get a new set of bosses to order you around.

Notice how Palin says Americans should be allowed to smoke weed in their own homes and Pat Robertson of all people says the herb should be legal, while Joe BiteMe, Obama's used-car salesman VP with the super-cheesy smile says its a dangerous drug?

Notice how the Tea Party people rail about the "establishment" while liberals bawl big croc tears when anyone attacks the establishment, i.e., Washington and everyone in it? Remember how Mayor Daley was the bogey man in the 60s and now he's "the one's" chief of staff?

Notice how the roles have reversed? You're the establishment, we're the radicals. Weird, huh?

Posted by: tom75 | January 6, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Daley is that he is a [BLEEPING] CRIMINAL!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: bmayhewbz@hotmail.com | January 6, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Um... Tom... you DO know it's not THAT Daley. Right?

Posted by: outsider6 | January 6, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

So Adam Green is angry.....when is he not??? What's he going to do run more ads & blacken Obama's face again in them like last time to make him really, really scary looking? The racist pig can diaf.

Posted by: carolerae48 | January 6, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"liberals love school because they you do just what the teacher tells you to until you get old enough to get a government job with grand fluffy bennies in perpetuity and get a new set of bosses to order you around"

Oh man is that good.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 6, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Mypitts: Silly argument. You have NO WAY to know how a Pres. Gore might have responded to 9/11 had he been in the Oval Office. I'm not saying he would've gone to Iraq. I'm just saying you don't know. No one can.

Posted by: outsider6

_______________________________________

Yeah, you're not going to spin that time period for me. Sorry. I was there. Gore was opposed to the Iraq War when few people were. He withstood being called a traitor.

So, it's absurd to think if he had been the one in the White House making the decision, he'd have felt differently. I suspect he would have invaded Afghanistan, which is where the attack originated from. That was a no-brainer. But the Iraq menace was a Bush creation -- there was no way Gore would have created it.

But back to the original point, which is your utter nonsense that there is no difference in the parties. It's simply taking a very naive and child-like view of politics.

You convince conservatives that McCain would have been "just like" Obama. For one: No health care law at all. That's kind of a big difference.

Posted by: mypitts2 | January 6, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The bank takeover of government is proceeding apace, brought to us by the obliging "doorman" at the White House -- boy, that's some change!

A sycophantic courtship of the big banks that are too big to fail is further change we can't believe (let alone believe in) and continues to be pursued by a chief executive who has apparently thrown in the towel in a rank admission of defeat and ineptitude.

Let's recall that it wasn't so long ago that the present occupant of the White House accused his opponents of not having any new ideas. He was right about that, but he was wrong to then portray himself as the harbinger and Prometheus who would bring a bright new age to the country's flagging domestic fortunes.

With these appointments, the banks are in the Oval office to fill a vacuum of leadership foresworn.

Posted by: jdecp | January 6, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Daley was once director of the US-China Business Council, and played a major role as Clinton administration Commerce Secretary in winning Congressional approval for permanent normalized trade relations with China, and for Beijing’s admission into the World Trade Organization.

I guess when Obama said he'd focus on job creation, he meant jobs for Chinese workers.

Posted by: pmendez | January 6, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@mypitts2:

"I'm voting Green until I see a better option.

_____________________________________

You might as well not vote. Just watch "American Idol" with the rest of the uninformed and enjoy your life.

************************************

Voting for the lesser of two evils (i.e. the Republicrat or the Demopublican) is as good as not voting.

If enough people vote 3rd Party, one or both major parties will get the hint and move in that direction.

Posted by: pmendez | January 6, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"If enough people vote 3rd Party, one or both major parties will get the hint and move in that direction."

The opportunity is huge, especially since both parties are so Right of the American people on major issues. I wonder why the Greens aren't doing some kind of membership drive. Is the Green Party viable at all nationally?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 6, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent is correct. Mr. Obama did govern from the center left. The problem is we are a center right country. The Left just can't accept such reality so they naturally sqeal which they are quite good at. Meanwhile prez is trying to make a right turn but unfortunately ( for him )he's already branded himself with the Big L ... good luck with that.

Posted by: cunn9305 | January 6, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama's 2012 fundraising efforts are probably predicated at least in part on bring on board a guy like Daley inside the White House.

Kind of hard to say it's a great move at a policy level, but this is how DC politics tend to get played.

Change it isn't.

Posted by: JPRS | January 6, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent is correct. Mr. Obama did govern from the center left. The problem is we are a center right country. The Left just can't accept such reality so they naturally sqeal which they are quite good at. Meanwhile prez is trying to make a right turn but unfortunately ( for him )he's already branded himself with the Big L ... good luck with that.

Posted by: cunn9305

/////////////////////////

On tax policy and on health care, this tends to be a center LEFT nation (e.g. solid majorities in both cases supporting a repeal of high end Bush tax cuts and a public option). Neither of those plans were put into action.

In the case of gays in the military there was overwhelming public support for the repeal of DADT.

Most people in the past election also said that they were opposed to government waste and Wall Street hand-outs.

Yet in Florida, they voted in a Republican Governor who ran a series of private hospitals that were responsible for the single largest case of Medicare fraud in U.S. history (billions of dollars in fraudulent bills); in other places they voted in Wall Street lobbyists and Wall Street investment bankers (e.g. Toomey, Kascich).

People who were the most upset with Wall Street voted for candidates who fought the hardest to protect Wall Street from needed reforms in 2008-2010 -- they voted for the people who received Wall Street money at a 6 to 1 clip in 2010.

There's certain segment of the electorate that says they care about one thing, but vote for politicians who do the exact opposite. Who knows what they really want.

Posted by: JPRS | January 6, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton criticized Barack Obama prior to becoming the Secretary of State. Clinton is doing a fantastic job as Secretary of State but that doesn't mean she was right about Obama or that he was wrong when he selected her because of her criticisms. I see the same thing happening with the selection of Bill Daley. No worries here.

Posted by: k_jinx | January 6, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@mypitts: I never said there was no difference in the parties. That was someone else. I simply said your hypothetical to illustrate the difference was weak.

Still is.

Posted by: outsider6 | January 6, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Sargent is he slept through the mid term election Nov 2. Obama didn't. And the majority of this country isn't "center-left", according to the polls.

Just because your editor sleeps, Sargent, doesn't mean a reader believes because you say so.

Posted by: bbwk80a | January 6, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Daley is a backroom macher extraordinaire.

If you wanted someone who has a decent chance of getting what Obama wants done, there he is. If you were hoping for someone who would do Obama's thinking for him, sorry.

Posted by: brettt502 | January 6, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Moving to the "center-right" - again - is yet another admission of the need for calculated capitulation. The problem with perpetual campaigning and calculation is that when you're constantly calculating, you're missing the entire point of getting anything of significance done at all.

Posted by: crikey | January 6, 2011 6:46 PM | Report abuse

*Meanwhile prez is trying to make a right turn but unfortunately ( for him )he's already branded himself with the Big L ... good luck with that.*

Let me just point out in 12-15 years when you're worked into a froth about how whatever Democrat is running for office and how awful he is, you'll be extolling the virtues of Obama, whom you will say was a good guy because he was a moderate. Just sayin'.

Posted by: constans | January 6, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

He’s been President for 2 years now: if you’re liberal and continue to believe Barack Obama stands behind all your principles and is the savior of the progressive movement, or conservative and are still clinging to the caricature of him as a “Socialist Marxist anti-American terrorist sympathizer”…it’s about time both sides of the aisle grow up:

http://www.doubledutchpolitics.com/2011/01/after-2-years-as-president-the-real-barack-obama-can-now-stand-up

Posted by: RyanC1384 | January 6, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh, the appointment of Daley, a top executive of the much-reviled Chase bank seems to mean that Obama is once again favoring Smith Barney over Barney Smith.

Does anyone remember Barney?

And, BTW, here's a little update on the current practices of Chase:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/06/BUUJ1H4422.DTL

Posted by: HughBriss | January 6, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree.

I have been giving Obama slack but its getting old this center-center(slightly left)guy who seems dedicated to being a center-slightly-right candidate for his next election or buttering up rich people or corporations or something.

Now we find out most corporations have made billions for their rich patrons (who have been given a extended tax break) and the corps have been adding jobs - most of them outside the USA, where much of their profit is, so the right-wingers effectively add billions more debt to the USA while giving away jobs and billions to billionaire off-shore tax free bank accounts.

Posted by: Mnnngj | January 6, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

"So, if the 2008 election was a call to move to the center-left, and if Obama has governed from the center-left, why did the American people deliver a shellacking to the Democrats in 2010?"

Because national elections are based on results, not promises? Because it's not a beauty contest? Because the media doesn't actually report much of substance about what the government is actually doing? Because the Tea Party got more media coverage than any attempts to solve problems?

"We're all just stupid, I guess.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 6, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse"

Your words, not mine, but I don't disagree.
Shall we roll out the poll results where a majority of Republicans positively affirm that Obama raised taxes? Or the ones that show a majority of Republicans think Obama was born in Africa?

Reality doesn't matter so much.

Posted by: rick_desper | January 7, 2011 1:10 AM | Report abuse


The "Wise Health Insurance" is quite popular in California and New York. For example it offers the low income health plan. Also offers health insurance for individual with pre-exisiting conditions.

Posted by: keithrybicki | January 7, 2011 2:05 AM | Report abuse

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