Some time before the November 2008 election, when Barack Obama was really picking up steam and about ready to roll over HRC, it became pretty apparent to many that the 'hope and change' hype surrounding Obama was simply starting to take on a life of its own, and that no one, even the Obamastar, was going to be able to live up to the expectations that were being set, even half a year before the actual election. I therefore found it quite telling when, as early as May 2008, the Obama campaign was already working behind the scenes, subtly, it seemed, to try to manage expectations without dampening enthusiam and hope... because that's really all the campaign had.
Now we are hearing a new test theme being thrown out there by the Obama camp to see how it plays: essentially, if only we had JUST KNOWN how bad the economy was before the election, we could have let the American people know just how bad the first few years of the Obama presidency would be (not his fault, mind you), but you know, just so expectations were not put so darned high and unrealistic that we now look like we completely failed.
Well, I have to call bullpucky on Obama; first of all, he knew it was bad, and he told us, sorta, that the next president (him) was going to need time to fix it... and that was when the deficit was a few trillion LESS than he cranked it up to be currently:
"Well look," Obama said. "If I'm elected I won't be sworn in until January 2009. And then let's take the example of healthcare. My goal is to have the bill passed by the end of 2009, but we're still gonna have two or three years. Same with changing the tax code. So we're looking at two or three years away, and frankly we're going to have to figure out where the economy is at because the next president is going to inherit a mess. The president has put us in a deficit. We've got four trillion dollars of debt more than we have when he took office. All those veterans who are coming home are going to have to be cared for."
He added, "My goal is in my first term is to get us on the right track."
Yes, that's what he said, but few were listening, or wanted to listen. We did, though, and looking back, it seems clear that he was indeed laying the groundwork for exactly this situation. I first looked in this back in May 2008, and then later as the election grew nearer, as I set forth in a post on Halloween in 2008 (how apropos). Here are those two posts repeated below. [note that several of the original internal hyperlinks no longer work because of the age of the links]
Um, I hate to be an I-told-ya-so, but....
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I Never Promised You A Rose Garden: Obama Already Working to Lower His Own Bar for Effecting "Change," Should He Be Elected
No one ever said Barack Obama wasn't smart, or that he didn't plan far down the political road. From what I've read and heard recently, he's already figured out that his grandiose promises of "change" pose a problem for him: no one, no matter how skilled, how 'messianic', can change something like the way Washington, or indeed the country, works overnight. Even more simply, many people massively overestimate the effect a single individual, even the president, or his or her administration, can have on the course of the country (little things like the global economy, rogue nations, acts of God, etc., can throw a little wrench into even the best-laid plans of a president).
So, what's the problem that Obama faces? Well, when you campaign on a promise of "change," and you don't deliver, people will lose faith and you will come under massive criticism for failing to meet your own goal. So, Obama, ever the clever politician, is already seeking to diminish expectations for the effectiveness of his presidency, should he win. He has already realized that he cannot meet the promises he has made, even as vague and empty as they are, given that he has positioned himself as the guy who will turn Washington around on a dime the first week he's in office.
This attempt to manage expectations has not happened overnight. Only a few weeks ago, Obama promised grand change to an enthusiastic crowd, but then admitted it'll be a long slog:
"I'll be honest with you," he said. "We've dug ourselves into a hole, and it's going to take some time to get out." He also said that change for some issues could be "two or three years away."
Now, we're hearing it may even take him two terms.
Wow, ya gotta hand it to this guy. He hasn't even gotten the Dem nomination, but he's already campaigning for his second presidential term.Clearly, he's buying some insurance. Don't blame me, he says, if my first term is a failure by the very standards I've set--the problem in Washington is simply too big for anyone to handle in only four years, and the GOP has made such a mess of things, what could anyone have done?
The message is subtle, but it's clear. Obama doesn't believe the package he's trying to sell to the masses, because it's unrealistic. Obama is sowing the seeds now to be able to say in the future, I never promised you a rose garden.
Oh, but you did. And now, you're already backing away.
Friday October 31, 2008
Obama Promises Everything; Already Preparing to Deliver Nothing
Folks, I called this months ago (back in May, actually), even before the current economic crisis was so apparent. Now that Obama's folks seem comfortable in the prospects of winning the White House, they are already laying the groundwork to admit to the American people that they can't deliver on all the crap that Obama promised. BIG. SHOCK. PEOPLE.
What will the excuses be?
Will he be like Rod Blagojevich, who is still trying to blame some problems on former Governor Ryan, though Blago's been in office six years now? Or will Obama blame the Congress, again kind of like Blago, whose party has a virtual lock on the state legislature--considering that Obama, if elected, will likely have significant Dem majorities in both the House and Senate?
Or will he simply say that not even Superman could have fixed the mess he inherited?
Oh, wait, you told us you WERE Superman.
If you vote for Obama, DO NOT COME CRYING LATER.