Friday, February 25, 2011

Obama Stays Above the Fray on Gov't Shutdown

The Hill seems to think Obama staying out of current budget negotiations is a good idea. I'm not so sure. First, I think it makes him seem like an aloof leader that is avoiding our most complex problems. Second, this aloofness gives Republicans ammo to attack him with. Third, he is failing to follow Bill Clinton's successful gov't shutdown playbook. Bill Clinton won the 1995 budget showdown by rolling (or appearing to roll) up his sleeves and negotiating with Republicans. Obama has yet to do this. What do you guys think? Is "staying above the fray" a good idea for Obama on this issue?


TJE said...


Ryan Karerat said...

I'm honestly confused by the White House strategy on this, because it seems like they're outright trying to play into the Republican trap here, which makes me think either they're oblivious or simply have some dastardly plan of their own to torpedo the Republicans. The truth is probably somewhere in between those two.

But it just seems so bizarre that he is making an effort to distance himself from the issue altogether. When you're the president of the United States, I don't see how you can make the argument to the public that the onus is not on you to try to be the problem-solver. With entitlement reform and now the government shutdown what we have is a consistent line of attack from the right that Obama isn't acting like the leader a president should be... if/when the government shuts down, that argument is going to be screamed from the rooftops (and Fox and Friends).

As it stands now, I think Obama is going to get hammered over what will be perceived as outright indifference to the government shutdown.