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Obama Launches Media Blitz

The embarrassing disclosures about his nominees' tax problems are making big headlines and the naysayers are dominating the debate over his stimulus package.

So what's a (still) hugely popular president to do? Commandeer the spotlight, that's what.

President Obama sits down this afternoon with ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News to make his case directly to the American people.

Obama will appropriately be questioned about Thomas A. Daschle's decision today to withdraw his nomination to be secretary of health and human services, after it turned out he had failed to pay more than $100,000 in back taxes. Why did Obama stick by Daschle as long as he did? Why did Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner get a pass for his own tax problems? And what's the backstory behind this morning's withdrawal, also apparently because of tax problems, of the nominee to be government spending watchdog?

But Obama inevitably will get a chance to make a pitch for his high-stakes economic stimulus package. And that appeal could be particularly powerful, as I wrote yesterday, if he follows up on his extensive outreach to Republicans by openly discussing the views of his critics, explaining why he disagrees, tracing his thinking and discussing why he made the choices he did.

Andrew Malcolm blogs for the Los Angeles Times about the media blitz: "Obama and the Democrats are losing the Washington-based word war about the economic stimulus package.

"Watch the cable channels. Read the newspapers. The editorial pages if you can. If it's not about the latest would-be Cabinet member to discover inadvertent income tax errors in his favor, it's about how the Democrats, mainly in the House, larded up the economic stimulus legislation with every conceivable favorite Dem goodie from the arts to sexually-transmitted diseases to bee subsidies.....

"So tonight through the network interviews, which will be replayed Wednesday morning, Obama will seek to re-set the focus on economic stimulus. Get the talk back on home turf. Stop playing D."

Mark Silva blogs for Tribune: "Two weeks in office, President Barack Obama confronts an immediate challenge: Holding public support for an economic stimulus plan that he considers essential in the face of strengthening Republican resistance.

"It's a message game, and at the moment, the president may be running behind..

"At a time like this, when most Americans have confidence in the new president - his job approval running at 66 percent in the Gallup Poll's daily tracking surveys - Obama has a receptive audience for his message: Swift action, with a massive spending boost, will help rev up the economy....

"The question, for Obama, will become not only how well he sells his plan today, but how deeply the opposition's message already has sunk in."

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 3, 2009; 12:58 PM ET
 
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Comments

The stimulus package looks more like a payoff with all the pork and spending that will not do anything to put folks back to work or address the housing issue. The media blitz will no doubt be trying to shove this down our throats regardless of the consequenses. Just like BHO tried to force his nominee for HHS on us. Business as usual in DC again with a new cast of thieves!

Posted by: splitbill | February 3, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama should hold town hall meetings with average americans to solicit ideas about our economy. He already has sat down with the elite, powerful corporate execs. He should have those knucle heads in the same room with the average folks for a televised town hall discussion.

Posted by: drum_sing | February 3, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans greatest strength is their control of virtually all media outlets. When the Republicans issue a press release or hold a press conference it sets the story line for most of the major news channels.

The public overwhelmingly supports Barack Obama and wants to find out what his plan to see us out of the woods is, but rather than reporting on that effort we will instead hear time and again from the Republicans who are not even a significant part of the process.

It is indeed Obama's job to push his message through the media, but it would be helpful if the reporters would take some Republicans off their speed dial and start listening to the Democratic messages for a change.

Posted by: fletc3her | February 3, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans greatest strength is their control of virtually all media outlets. When the Republicans issue a press release or hold a press conference it sets the story line for most of the major news channels.

The public overwhelmingly supports Barack Obama and wants to find out what his plan to see us out of the woods is, but rather than reporting on that effort we will instead hear time and again from the Republicans who are not even a significant part of the process.

It is indeed Obama's job to push his message through the media, but it would be helpful if the reporters would take some Republicans off their speed dial and start listening to the Democratic messages for a change.

Posted by: fletc3her | February 3, 2009 5:16 PM
----------------------------
Fletc3, Are you high? The media is so in the tank for BHO it makes them worthless as a news source. How can Republicans not be involved in the process when in the Senate they can filibuster and hold up any bill they want? Does it not bother you that after running on a campaign of 'change' that it is business as usual in DC? Most ethical administration? Lie, and it only took less than 2 weeks. No lobbyist in government jobs? Lie. Lies to get elected like every other pol before.

This stimulus package is a payoff. It spends and spends and does not create the jobs that it claims. Don't be surprised when politicians lie to us as it is what they do.

Posted by: splitbill | February 3, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

From reading the comments -- with the exception of fletc3her -- apparently not one bothered to do their research.

fletc3her is correct 2 to 1 & 3 to 1 Republicans have dominated the air waves and the TV.

What the House Republicans object to is less than 1% of entire bill. Likewise the Senate Republicans object to 2%. They are cherry-picking and manipulating facts.

The CBO estimates 3.6 million jobs will be created by the end of next year. (Moody Economist says 3 million).

And for every $10 billion dollars spent on infrastructure investment more than 60,000 jobs will be created.

Conservatives are screaming for more tax-cuts, but for each dollar spent on a capital gains tax the return is 37 cents and only 30 cents on each dollar spent on corporate tax cuts to boost the GDP. In contrast each dollar spent on extending unemployment benefits returns $1.64 and increasing food stamps yield $1.73. The latter two are considerably larger returns and would do more, obviously, to stimulate the economy.

According to the poll by USA Today/Gallup two-thirds of Americans want congress to pass the economic stimulus bill.

We really need to do something now. Iam fed-up with the misinformation that the Republicans are pandering and the media happily repeats.

So it is up to us to make sure we get the facts out there.


Posted by: serena1313 | February 3, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party needs to be reminded of their blind obedience for the last eight years to the worst President in our history.Maybe they have forgotten who won the election in November.The people have spoken,now it is time for them to get on with the buisness of government.Bush and the Republicans are largely responsible for our current financial crisis.Bush is gone but they are still here,still thwarting the will of the people.This will gain them nothing,for they now are contributing to the loss of jobs and the closure of many buisnesses.The American people deserve more.We now have a leader who deserves and needs their support in this Bush/Republican generated crisis. Wake up Republicans or be voted out.

Posted by: wcoffey20 | February 4, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I am so glad that Barack Obama is the President of the United States of America. PRESIDENT BARACK H. OBAMA... sweet. Comes with a beautiful all-star cast. First Lady Michelle Obama and the couples two lovely and darling little girls, ages 7 and 10. Watch out America. And let us not forget "First Grandma". I think our President will be just fine. Best security in the world. Best people are in the United States.

Posted by: opp88 | February 4, 2009 2:43 AM | Report abuse

Thomas Jefferson was right in his warning about banks usurping control over the dollar: "If the American people ever allow PRIVATE banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks will deprive The People of all property until their children wake-up HOMELESS on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to The People, to whom it properly belongs". Now, as Americans struggle with losing their jobs, homes and any hope of recovery, Democrats and the administration push forth an economic stimulus package loaded with nonsense and pork. (Not that Republicans are any better after 8 years of failure.) It's disgusting to see birth-control and other liberal initiatives at a time when we need to see money for brick and mortar, job-training and alternative energy research and development. The “give-aways” to the banks with little or no accountability was bad enough, but now we get the same old "pork-barrel" spending hidden in an economic stimulus package. There is absolutely no sense of responsibility in congress. I hope President Obama keeps his promise that he would end pork and bring badly needed change to Washington – in four years, we’ll see. Jefferson was right – look at what’s happening! The President needs line-item veto authority and congress needs term-limits!

Posted by: GFAlexander | February 4, 2009 4:56 AM | Report abuse

It just goes to show a litte vetting by the press during the campaign would have shown us the ChosenOne doesn't walk on water. Sorry for the big let down. And don't put this at the feet of the Rep. They had NOTHING to do with writing the original version the the terrible bill. That you can blame on the dynamic moron duo of Pelosi and Reid. You want Obama to succeed? Get rid of them.

Posted by: mmourges | February 4, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

From reading the comments -- with the exception of fletc3her -- apparently not one bothered to do their research.


fletc3her is correct 2 to 1 & 3 to 1 Republicans have dominated the air waves and the TV.


What the House Republicans object to is less than 1% of entire bill. Likewise the Senate Republicans object to 2%. They are cherry-picking and manipulating facts.


The CBO estimates 3.6 million jobs will be created by the end of next year. (Moody Economist says 3 million).


And for every $10 billion dollars spent on infrastructure investment more than 60,000 jobs will be created.


Conservatives are screaming for more tax-cuts, but for each dollar spent on a capital gains tax the return is 37 cents and only 30 cents on each dollar spent on corporate tax cuts to boost the GDP. In contrast each dollar spent on extending unemployment benefits returns $1.64 and increasing food stamps yield $1.73. The latter two are considerably larger returns and would do more, obviously, to stimulate the economy.


According to the poll by USA Today/Gallup two-thirds of Americans want congress to pass the economic stimulus bill.


We really need to do something now. Iam fed-up with the misinformation that the Republicans are pandering and the media happily repeats.


So it is up to us to make sure we get the facts out there.

Posted by: serena1313 | February 3, 2009 10:20 PM
=============
We'll have to agree to disagree on the media Serena. There are plenty of media outlets that spew democratic rhetoric without regard to 'Facts'. Just more of the same partisan BS.

If only 1 to 2% of the stimulus package is in question, why would anyone who really wants to stimulate the economy cling to such a small percentage? I'm sure you would agree every penny counts and if passing the stimulus was a priority, those who put this 1 to 2% of pork in would remove it to help this country get on its feet quickly. Besides there are Democrats who are opposed to this as well, not just Republicans which is a FACT. It's clear that both parties are cherry picking and manipulating. They are politicians and that is what they do.

I am in the 2/3 that want a stimulus bill to pass but not with payoffs and pet project pork. I also want the infrastructure jobs and beleive it is important. Tax cuts are important but only if it is felt at all levels of the economy. If we were to reduce FICA by half, that puts money in to everyones pocket immediately. Not only workers but employers as well. Another FACT. How much would your paycheck increase if your FICA obligation was halved?

This is not a partisan issue but a culture of corruption issue in DC that we voted to change a few months ago. I see no change thus far, just a money grab by those in charge of congress who ironically have been in control for the past six years. Just business as usual inside the beltway.

Posted by: splitbill | February 4, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Serena is right and furthermore the media is owned by six companies, all of which get federal handouts and pork and none of which are run by Democrats.
Why should the Repubs get any media access? They've got nothing but the same old line that caused the disaster in the first place. If Americans choose to follow these crazies we deserve what we get.

Posted by: sparkplug1 | February 4, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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