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White House Cheat Sheet: It's Still the Economy, Stupid



President Obama today will focus on national security in a speech at the National Archives. Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The twin speeches on national security today by President Obama and former vice president Dick Cheney may capture the headlines but there is little evidence that the issue is resonating strongly with voters still heavily focused on their economic well being.

It's easy to forget amid the flap over the expected release (and then non-release) by the Obama administration of photos depicting the abuse of terrorist detainees and the controversy stirred by Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (Calif.) allegations that the CIA misled her about interrogation tactics that average Americans are far less engaged in the debate over national security than the Washington chattering class.

Over a four-day period last week, which occurred during the heat of the Washington debate over terrorist detainees, 44 percent of Americans said they were following economic news very closely while just 25 percent said they were following the back and forth over the abuse photos closely, according to new data from the Pew Center for People & the Press.

In that same poll two-thirds of the sample said they that had heard "a lot" about General Motors and Chrysler closing dealerships while just 38 percent said the same about "Pelosi's knowledge of waterboarding."

A Gallup survey conducted earlier this month echoed the primacy of the economy in most Americans' minds. Asked to name the most important problem facing the country, 47 percent chose the economy while three percent opted for national security and two percent named terrorism.

And, it's not just in poll numbers that the economy-over-all message can be seen. In the special election in Upstate New York's 20th district in late March, the entire race was fought over whether or not Obama's economic stimulus package was a good thing for a region hard hit by the recession. Democrat Scott Murphy edged out state Assemblyman Joe Tedisco (R) in that contest despite a 70,000 Republican voter registration edge.

The story is the same in the two gubernatorial races on the ballot this year in Virginia and New Jersey.

Former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, who currently leads the Virginia Democratic primary (more on that below), has talked of nothing else on the campaign trail but job creation and economic development.

And, in New Jersey, Republicans are optimistic about their chances because of the state's economic troubles. Gov. Jon Corzine's budget, which calls for tax increases and spending cuts, as well as his background as a former Goldman Sachs executive, make him a prime political target in the current economic environment.

"President Obama has staked his presidency on the economy," said Paul Begala, a longtime Democratic strategist. "And from health care to energy to education he talks about every domestic issue as a piece of the larger economic issue. It's all the economy, stupid."

Ed Rogers, a Republican lobbyist in Washington, agreed that "Obama doesn't have any political problems that a couple of years of four percent [gross domestic product] growth wouldn't solve" but added that the president's focus on turning around the economy remains a real issue.

"[Do] he and the Democrats in Congress have a plan to make it happen?," asked Rogers. "Does he even want it happen? This week you would have to say 'no' to all three questions."

Rogers echoes a Republican criticism of Obama that he is, in fact, tackling too many big issues at once -- trying to remake the automobile industry, close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, ramp up troop numbers in Afghanistan while drawing down in Iraq etc. -- rather than devoting all his time to turning the nation's economy around.

Obama has worked to paint all of the various challenges to the administration as inter-connected -- arguing that in solving just one he would be neglecting the broader problems facing the country.

"Obviously the economy is the most important issue, but a President's got to be able to walk, chew gum, and deal with the occasional pirate or flu epidemic at the same time," said John Del Cecato, a Democratic consultant and adviser to Obama's presidential campaign.

All true, but the biggest variable in the political math of election 2010 (and 2012, for that matter) is the economy. Its rise -- or fall -- will have a heavy hand in determining where the two parties stand next November.

What to Watch For:

Thursday's Fix Picks: Thursday is the new Friday. It's not quite the weekend, it's not quite the week but it's still quite nice.

1. President Obama speechifies on national security.
2. A terrific look inside the mind of Jon Huntsman.
3. Carl Leubsdorf profiles the man Senate Republicans are depending on to bring them back in 2010.
4. Mike McIntyre: North Carolina Senate candidate?
5. Kris Allen!

Biden For Specter: Vice President Biden, who played a central role in the recruitment of Sen. Arlen Specter into the Democratic Party, has penned an email to more than 500,000 people in Pennsylvania -- harvested from the lists of the Democratic National Committee and Organizing for America -- urging support for the newest Senate Democrat. "Three weeks ago, my friend Senator Arlen Specter added one more feat to his long and impressive career -- he became a Democrat," writes Biden. "Over the years, we've certainly had our disagreements. During that time, however, Arlen has been my friend, my confidant, and my partner in enacting many pieces of significant legislation." The email calls on recipients to learn more about Specter (and donate to the DNC). "I know that once you come to know him like I do, you'll be just as happy as I am to have him," Biden writes. Specter's first three weeks as a Democrat have been a struggle as his newfound party has been somewhat less than welcoming, with Rep. Joe Sestak still considering a primary challenge. The strong support of the White House -- demonstrated by Biden's email -- significantly strengthens Specter's hand particularly in a Democratic primary, however.

Macker the Frontrunner: Former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe holds a double-digit lead over his two Democratic rivals with less than three weeks remaining in the Virginia governor's primary, according to a new independent poll. McAuliffe leads with 37 percent while state Sen. Creigh Deeds took 26 and former state Del. Brian Moran 22 percent Survey USA poll conducted for two local television stations. McAuliffe, utilizing a heavy financial edge over his rivals, has been on television for months and that barrage of commercials has clearly paid off. State Attorney General Bob McDonnell, who is unopposed for the Republican nomination, leads all three Democrats in hypothetical general election match-ups; McDonnell is ahead of Deeds and McAuliffe by six points and Moran by ten.

T-Paw Pushes Back: Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty quickly responded to a letter from Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine (Va.) that called on him to end the state's contested Senate election with a missive of his own condemning such a move as "premature." Pawlenty insisted that despite reports to the contrary he is not withholding an election certificate from Democrat Al Franken, and that Minnesota law states clearly he cannot issue such a certificate until the "a court of proper jurisdiction has finally determined the contest." Pawlenty's response letter is a recognition of the political peril he could face if he is successfully cast by national Democrats as holding up Franken's rightful seating to the Senate. Pawlenty continues to mull whether to run for a third term in 2010 or retire and likely focus his time on running for president in 2012.

Wolff Soiree to Feature Pelosi: As Brian Wolff leaves his perch as the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he will be feted by a who's who of House Democratic leaders including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (S.C.) among other members. The event will be held on June 4 at the Newseum. Wolff, a Pelosi confidant, served as finance director for the DCCC during the 2006 cycle and as executive director in 2008. He is headed to the Edison Electric Institute.

Say What?: "He's making trillions of dollars -- he has to be the happiest guy." -- Former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson (R) on talk show host Rush Limbaugh during an interview on the Fox Business Network.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 21, 2009; 5:05 AM ET
Categories:  Cheat Sheet Share This:  E-Mail | Technorati | Del.icio.us | Digg | Stumble Previous: RNC's Passes "Socialist" Resolution
Next: Obama vs Cheney: A (Polling) Mismatch from the Start


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Comments

Another comment section literally flooded with JakeD posts. He's done well over a hundred just today, averaging a post about every six minutes for twelve hours straight.

Must be such an enjoyable retirement, "pulling chains" like a crack addict hitting the pipe until he keels over.

Enviable "life," Jake.

When I retire to Viet Nam I'll be enjoying the beautiful fragrant men there, not posting like a madman on some blog where everyone thinks I'm a jerk ....

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 22, 2009 2:04 AM | Report abuse

I guess we could view the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan as huge detention centers.. we own them.. and we may adopt Pakistan.. there is ample fault to go around.. and go back further than 8 years.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 21, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Maybe General Petraeus will be able to help us understand why a small port town in Bari, Italy can hold their captured suspected terrorists but BIG BAD AMERICA can't?

NO WATER BOARDING necessary for this 'intelligence': Al-Qaeda suspects 'plotted attack on Britain' from behind bars

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Italian police have arrested two alleged al-Qaeda terrorists suspected of planning attacks on Britain and France from inside prison.

During wiretapped conversations, the men discussed an attack on Charles De Gaulle airport outside Paris and spoke of the need to "strike at the British", Italian police said.

Bassam Ayachi, 62, a Syrian imam with French citizenship, and Raphael Frederic Gendron, 33, a Frenchman who converted to Islam, were allegedly part of an al-Qaeda cell operating in Europe.

They have been in prison in Bari, a port town in southern Italy, since November, when they were arrested on suspicion of smuggling five illegal immigrants into Italy aboard a camping trailer.

Suspecting that they were more than just small-scale people traffickers, officers bugged their cell and secretly recorded their conversations.

In one, the pair discussed "striking the British" and launching a 9-11 style attack using an aircraft, although the target was not specified.

"They are key figures in al-Qaeda's European organisation," said the chief of police in Bari, Giorgio Manari. The wiretap evidence had enabled investigators to "nip the plot in the bud".

The men were served warrants charging them of criminal association linked to international terrorism and will remain in custody.

They were also suspected of recruiting militants for suicide attacks in Iraq or Afghanistan.

"We are extremely satisfied to have stopped the masterminds, the heads of the organisation, the people who educated would-be suicide attackers in the name of Jihad," said Stanislao Chimera, head of the antiterrorist squad in Bari.

Police said the pair had for years lived in Belgium, where Bassam was an imam at an extremist Islamic centre and one of al-Qaeda's "spiritual guides", while Gendron, a computer expert, was the "media propaganda point man, via the internet, for the French-speaking community."


Posted by: sasha2008 | May 21, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The world warned us not, yes NOT, to INVADE IRAQ

What did America do - we RENAMED FRENCH FRIES

9-11 happened on Mr. Cheney's watch.

Tom Kean, the Republican co-chair of the 9-11 Commission, has said the attacks could have been prevented.

Before they took office, senior Bush administration officials were briefed repeatedly about the al Qaeda threat.

Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger told incoming National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice,

"I believe that the Bush administration will spend more time on terrorism in general, and on al Qaeda specifically, than any other subject.''

All the Republicans were screaming about Sandy Berger stealing papers and Clinton’s BJ.

Yet DICK- KNEW RELATIVELY NOTHING!!!

When Dick went on the FOX - HANNITY CLOWN SHOW stating Al Qaida was "relatively" unknown on September 11, 2001 "one must wonder- where the hell he was?

I guess he really was too busy with the country’s ENERGY policy- BEHIND a closed door!

Dick was aware of Spain's actions and began his defense on CNN.

For eight years, we were the ultimate decider-and the "C" country will now re-define what torture is.

When to torture- when not to torture- who cannot torture- who can torture-?

All for the USA to decide- after all, WE ARE THE DECIDER!

Isn't that what the world heard for the last 8 years?

Posted by: sasha2008 | May 21, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

You missed my "follow up" question: was the media NOT supposed to cover the White House picking a fight with private citizen, Rush Limbaugh?

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

Trust me, if there are any detainees transferred to the U.S., the ACLU et al. will get SOME of them released onto U.S. soil (they will argue that it would be a death sentence to deport them). That's the whole crux of this argument.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@Jake - Can't say as I was aware of the timing of the announcements, but I think Obama's speech was a reaction to the Senate rejection of funding to close Guantanamo. Obama hasn't scheduled in response to Cheney and vice versa, so I think it's a case of both reacting to events. TWIW, it's not a bad idea that the Senate demanded a plan before funding it. Back to work!

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 21, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"Jack of All Trades, Master of None"

It is simply impossible for someone to focus on so many massive, game-changing initiatives and to do them well. The war, universal health care, Gitmo, bailouts, economic recovery, tax reform, environmental legislation, ect, ect..

No one any one of these will turn out well. They each require intense focus and collaboration and each subject is so important, that they deserve it.

Sadly, it appeas as if Obama is using the fear and uncertaintity of the economy to ramrod legislation that would never be passed otherwise, much like Bush did after 9/11. And we all saw how that turned out.

Posted by: dwaterson52 | May 21, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

In what reads as a thoughtful presentation [I did not hear it] the Prez said:

Finally, there remains the question of detainees at Guantanamo who cannot be prosecuted yet who pose a clear danger to the American people.

I want to be honest: this is the toughest issue we will face. We are going to exhaust every avenue that we have to prosecute those at Guantanamo who pose a danger to our country. But even when this process is complete, there may be a number of people who cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, but who nonetheless pose a threat to the security of the United States. Examples of that threat include people who have received extensive explosives training at al Qaeda training camps, commanded Taliban troops in battle, expressed their allegiance to Osama bin Laden, or otherwise made it clear that they want to kill Americans. These are people who, in effect, remain at war with the United States.
------------------------------------------------------------
If they are from countries that had no government of their own at some point but now do, like Afghanistan and Iraq, they could now be repatriated to the tender mercies of the governments in place. If their repatriation poses a serious risk we may be faced with the legal conundrum that Justice O'Connor spoke to when she said that detention cannot be indefinite. I will think some more about this. I am sure fed lawyers are thinking some more about this too!

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 21, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

REACTIONARY BLOG-MOBBING:

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK?


And what is the "nexus" to THIS:


http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor


Team Obama: Enforce the anti-propaganda statutes. And reform the fusion centers, which appear to have become a far-right Ministry of Propaganda and Censorship (and malicious, real-time computer hacking).

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 21, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

President Obama, and the country at large, is finding out that George W. Bush's most controversial policies were not born of ideological delusion, American arrogance, or missionary zeal. They were imperfect but sound (with the exception of our ties to Riyadh) responses to complicated threats. But the validation of the last president runs a very distant second to the most compelling aspect of all this: the drama over CIA interrogations and Guantanamo will hopefully serve to set the administration on a more serious national security course. And it would be helpful if the American public finally dropped moral outrage as the preferred mode of political argumentation.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted by: king_of_zouk | May 21, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

And speaking of Dick Cheney: Not only has he proved to be an important and articulate defender of the Bush administration's national-security policy; his repeated interviews and statements have done Bush the service of drawing fire away from the former president. Bush not only looks wise these days; he looks modest and thoughtful as well. And Cheney's (denied) request to declassify more CIA interrogation memos explodes the myth of the "most secretive administration in American history."

Let us not forget the Guantanamo Bay detainee facility. For years adduced as a monument to the Bush administration's disdain for due process and human rights, Gitmo was slated to be shut down by Barack Obama as a first order of business. Today, the posture without a plan has come up against a bi-partisan roadblock. Thursday, the House denied the Obama administration a requested $80 million to close the facility. The Senate's version of the bill in question contains $50 million for the Pentagon to shutter the place, but the money can only be tapped 30 days after Robert Gates devises a plan to relocate detainees outside the U.S. -- so far France will take one. To top it all off, on Friday Obama announced the revival of Guantanamo military tribunals.

Silly Libs, truth does not become you. botox is more your style. All looks and no substance.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | May 21, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Obviously, for Obama, the "truth hurts" or there would be NO REASON to withhold said document. Back to the topic, however, I wonder what the liberals will say about Obama's "5th category" of detainees who cannot be tried but cannot be released. This should get interesting. LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

JakeD wrote: "no reason to continue withholding his own LONG FORM birth certificate?"

-----

"Truth hurts," eh?

Posted by: nodebris | May 21, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Then there's Iraq. That July interview with Pelosi is quite a goldmine. When faced with a 14% approval rating for Congress, she counters: "Everything I see says this is about ending the war. . . " Well, that's not happening anytime soon. Everything I see says "ending the war" was as phony as Nancy Pelosi's outrage. Hillary Clinton went to Baghdad three weeks ago to reassure the Maliki government that the Obama administration will not abandon Iraq. On top of that, Gen. Ray Odierno said the U.S. might "maintain a presence" in some Iraqi cities beyond the scheduled draw-down date if the Iraqis request it. Did Pelosi mean the other war, in Afghanistan? Obama has done an outstanding job of taking that challenge seriously, and for those keeping score, his pick of Gen. Stanley McChrystal (the man who hunted down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq) has met with the gushing approval of Dick Cheney.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | May 21, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

So, after this speech, there's no reason to continue withholding his own LONG FORM birth certificate?

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

LOL!!! Obama justifies "prolonged detention" (he just wants to include judicial and legislative oversight).

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The audio on Obama's speech sounds like a cave.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"Poll: Favorable opinions of Cheney rise"

typical zouk. finds one poll he likes & claims it indicates a new trend. Of course, every poll he doesn't like is an 'outlier'.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 21, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Clueless, fact free Libs at it again:

Poll: Favorable opinions
of Cheney rise
CNN, by Paul Steinhauser Original Article
WASHINGTON- As Dick Cheney prepares to give a major speech on the battle against terrorism, a new national poll suggests that favorable opinions of the former vice president are on the rise.(Snip)"Is Cheney's uptick due to his visibility as one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration? Almost certainly not," says Keating Holland, CNN polling director

Posted by: king_of_zouk | May 21, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

A Mexican billionaire owns the NYT.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

jaked wrote: "Truth hurts, doesn't it?"

How would you know?

Posted by: nodebris | May 21, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

drindl, good point, who does own the media? Why haven't we seen more of Republican Pete Hoekstra who backs Pelosi's assertion that the CIA lies to Congress in briefings? Another American who puts country before party. And it would appear that too many beltway media types haven't read Scott McClellan's "What Happened" which shows the beltway media definitely being a big part of the "constant campaign" mode prevelant in DC. Even Kurtz protested, why shouldn't producers and editors want to have the former VP, the former speaker of the house, etc. Because they are former, Cheney had the lowest ratings of any VP, and Newt's credibility leaving the House under an ethics cloud, and having an affair while trying to impeach Clinton do not rate the coverage they are getting. But because they shout the loudest...

Posted by: katem1 | May 21, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Libs are their own worst enemy. All it take is for their views to emerge and the voters run for the hills. biden, dodd, Reid are all in trouble. VA is going back to R. California has rejected Lib spending and taxing. The most amusing are the endless campaign promises made by Obambi which have already expired, to no acclaim.

Let's face it, this is shaping up as George W. Bush's best month in years. The last time the 43rd president enjoyed this kind of vindication was when a bedraggled Saddam Hussein was pulled from a hole in the ground by American soldiers in 2003. All of Barack Obama's efforts to cast the Bush administration as an immoral stain on American history have not merely collapsed, but collapsed on the heads of Bush's most public and vocal critics.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | May 21, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

ANOTHER 'ASPIRATIONAL' DOMESTIC TERRORISM PLOT 'FOILED'...

WHILE AN OFFICIALLY-ENABLED VIGILANTE ARMY OF DOMESTIC TERRORISTS MASQUERADING AS PATRIOTS MAKES A MOCKERY OF THE RULE OF LAW.

***

EVERY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IN THE NATION KNOWS OF COVERT GPS TRACKING OF UNJUSTLY 'TARGETED' U.S. CITIZENS... HUNTED LIKE PREY, DENIED THEIR LEGAL RIGHTS, IN THE NAME OF 'KEEPING AMERICA SAFE.'

AND MANY REPORT BEING ASSAULTED BY SILENT, INJURY- AND ILLNESS-INCUDING MICROWAVE RADIATION 'DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS' -- PROMOTED AND FUNDED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

***

WHEN WILL TEAM OBAMA REALIZE THAT AUTHORITARIANS WITHIN ARE EXPLOITING TERROR FEARS AS A POLITICAL WEAPON?

AND THAT THEY AND THEIR POLICIES ARE IN THE CROSSHAIRS?


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 21, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

Do you think that voters in California staging a tax revolt yesterday is also a "non-story"?

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

The "majority" also wanted slavery, abortion and segregation. Luckily, we normally make policy based on what's right, not what the most people selfishly want.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

On Obama v Cheney, Obama wins every time - among the majority. Cheney's dismal approval ratings don't help the GOP when Cheney continues to be a primary face and spokesman for the GOP.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 21, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I love the Carvillesque headline! When people are unemployed or otherwise not overly occupied.. they tend to worry about basic things.. their neighbors, even if employed, begin to doubt their own security.

When it comes to fear, most of us only fear loss. Loss of security, job, credit card, car...

Rarely to I compliment the content, but this one nailed the public sentiment.. rather than talking about the beltway b.s.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 21, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The screen name says it all.

Posted by: thinman1 | May 21, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Just wait until more and more GTMO detainees like Ghailani are moved to BLUE States. What do you libs think the reaction will be when the ACLU gets one released?

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I guess my question to you vbhoomes is--Are you serious? Do you really believe that this immensely popular President who is in all probability going to be with us for nearly 8 more years, is really worried about a discredited, embittered, sometimes silly, old man who has approval ratings lower than even Osama Bin Laden. I don't think so.

Ditto with Rush Limbaugh whose brain upon his death ought to be removed and studied by scientist to determine how such an undeveloped structure would allow a human being to function at normal levels--not to suggest that Limbaugh is functioning within normal parameters.

Both Limbaugh and Cheney have done more to deconstruct the efficient and elegant political mechanism that defined conservatism over the past five decades than an political opponent could possibly do. The GOP is presently struggling for its survival because conservatism as a workable governing phislosphy was hijacked by neoconservative radicals led by emptyheaded radicals who think like these two muddleheaded, amateurish Bozos.

Posted by: jaxas | May 21, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Meh, Cheney was a VP. That warrants air time just like if Clinton or Gore were to give a speech. This would actually be less appalling than a lot of the media's kowtowing to Republicans. (think extensive coverage of Limbaugh's CPAC speech or the non-story of the tea parties.)

Posted by: DDAWD | May 21, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The reason the media obsesses on some mythical Obama-Cheney dustup is that it keeps barely alive their hopes that the old red state-blue state, culture war mentality of the past two decades. The media is struggling to retain ratings and circulation. The polling suggesting just how interested the public is on this non-existent contest should be a writ larg message for the media. But, like the dying GOP, it is a message that will cause them to clasp both hands over their ears and mumble repetitive gibberish to keep from hearing.

Posted by: jaxas | May 21, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Truth hurts, doesn't it?

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Same Jake, Different Day.

Posted by: thinman1 | May 21, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Exactly. The White House could have continued "no comment". THEY made Cheney's speech bigger than it would have been otherwise.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I think you guys miss the bigger issue. Cheney has had this speech scheduled for over two weeks, and within the last 48 hours, the administration decided to also do a speech on National Security. What this means, that there is a shift on stratergy. They use to ignore Cheney and hoped he would just go away. Now they realize he's got them on the defensive about national security issues,so they can no longer afford to ignore him and must take him head on. Of coures, POTUS will draw most of the media attention, that's why Obama scheduled it against Cheney. Give the WH credit, they are not stupid, just misguided.

Posted by: vbhoomes | May 21, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

You are aware that Cheney announced his speech on "Keeping America Safe" first, right? It was not the other way around. Follow up: was the media NOT supposed to cover the White House picking a fight with private citizen, Rush Limbaugh, either?

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

@drindl - This issue has been addressed ad nauseum. The media will often try to present a false balance. As an example, consider evolution. The question is settled in the biological community. It would be as if a contrasting opinion on the Theory of Relativity were necessary when discussing particle physics.

So, Obama gives speech of the day. The most prominent opponent of his view gets nearly equal billing. Plus, hey, the media loves a fight and Cheney clearly has been spoiling for one.

BB

@Chris - Thank goodness Adam isn't forced to record the Treacle Tune! Gotta love having KISS on the Idol stage.

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 21, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

"The twin speeches on national security today by President Obama and former vice president Dick Cheney may capture the headlines but there is little evidence that the issue is resonating strongly with voters still heavily focused on their economic well being."

A good question to ask yourself -- why is the media carrying cheney's speech at all -- even giving it an unheard of equal importance with the president's? This is truly shocking.

A former politician, out of power, discredited, with huge stock holdings in the defense establishment and a vested business interest in maintaining the status quo, not to mention the fact that several countries consider him a war criminal? Who owns the media of today? Ask yourself why this is happening, whose agenda is being served.

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

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