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The anticipated move to the center by Obama

Apparently that’s what everyone expects to hear in the SOTU address.  And most see it as a reflection of political reality.  Independents deserted the Democrats fairly quickly after the Obama administration took office, apparently not liking what they saw developing at all.  So here comes the inevitable shift – at least the perception of one – to the center in order to win them  back.

The left?  Where are they going to go?  Who else would they vote for?  They’re not going anywhere despite all their grumbling and mumbling about Obama’s attempt to move right (and yes, a move by Obama to the center means a distinct move to the right).  Here’s the reality:

A labor official, who asked not to be identified in order to speak more candidly about the president’s political situation, noted that “the midterm elections freed” Obama to work independently and without regard to his party’s left.

“The left understands that the choice in 2012 will be Obama or somebody far worse,” the official said. “They will have no choice, no matter what Obama says in the State of the Union address. No matter how much we complain, he knows that at the end of the day, we will be supporting him in 2012 — and that affects what he can do now. The choice for us will be an administration that disappointed us or a Republican administration that will be out to destroy us.”

Colorful language, but you get the drift.  The far left is stuck with him and Obama knows it.  It is the center where elections are won, and right now they don’t belong to him. 

So how does he win them back?

Well the Democrats hope that it will be through leadership.  Rep Anthony Weiner lays it out:

“He’s the president of the United States, and he’s got to go in there and lean into the idea that he still has an agenda he wants to accomplish,” Weiner said. “He has to make sure he’s leading the debate and Paul Ryan is responding, not the other way around.

“He has to make it clear that he’s not going to be held hostage over issues like the debt-limit increase,” Weiner said.

But, as usual and instead, the President plans to vote “present”:

But the president’s decision not to lay out his own vision for reducing the national debt has infuriated balanced-budget advocates, who fear that a bipartisan consensus for action fostered last month by Obama’s commission could wither without presidential leadership.

"There is no way you get momentum without the president. If you don’t lead now, when is it going to come?" said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "He has to go first and he has to be specific. He has to pivot to something hard."

And pander, of course:

The direction of Obama’s speech became apparent over the weekend, when the White House informed Democratic lawmakers and advocates for the elderly that he would not endorse the commission’s recommendation to raise the retirement age and make other cuts to Social Security – the single largest federal program.

The sound you hear, my friends, is that of the can being swiftly kicked down the road again – something candidate Obama said wasn’t going to happen on his watch.

The administration claims that it’s goals will be more specifically addressed in the budget request the White House submits in mid February.  Per Robert Gibbs, the SOTU is just not the proper venue for specifics.   Well, except when you want to take a shot at the Supreme Court, who, by the way, will only have partial attendance this year, with a group of conservative justices clearly deciding to show their disapproval of the partisan sniping they were victim too in last year’s SOTU.

Yup, all in all politics rules the day with the political advice being as predictable as sunrise.  Obama, being the ultimate political animal, will indeed heed it, but the left shouldn’t look for any leadership to suddenly emerge where none has been evident in the past and the center should be wary of the now well-known smoke and mirrors show the administration puts on regularly – saying one thing and doing something else altogether.

Life in the Obama White House I’m afraid.

~McQ

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27 Responses to The anticipated move to the center by Obama

  • Good for the Supremes, first!
    Second, I’m not sure I can stomach this speech.  Last year’s is still stuck in my craw.  (Forgive the mixed metaphor.)
    I am coming to agree with George Will; this is a stupid tradition.  Plus, it gives Obama another chance to lie to me…which is just HATE.

  • … and the tsars are falling …

    WASHINGTON — Carol Browner is leaving her position as White House “energy czar,” and a staff shake-up is likely to eliminate her post altogether, according to Democrats familiar with events.
    The czar position, and Ms. Browner herself, have been lightning rods for critics of the president’s environmental-policy agenda and a reassurance to its supporters, who liked having a top official in the White House devoted to their priorities.
    The White House health czar position may also be eliminated, said people familiar with the process.

    Browner, the last Tsar of Energy & Climate, is abdicating.

    • I think she’s just changing the stuff on her card.  She will STILL be there, doing everything she can to drag us back into the dark ages, while making buckets of money sucked out of the pockets of the productive.
      (No, I am not a fan…)

  • “There is no way you get momentum without the president. If you don’t lead now, when is it going to come?”

    Oh, I think we all know the answer to that one.

  • This isn’t about Obama moving to the center.  It’s about moving to the right.  That’s what America voted for.  That’s the only possible outcome when the Dems lose 60+ seats in the House.  The country is heading rightward and sharply.
    The only way forward is a conservative path to a smaller federal government.  Since Obama will not do that, we’ll remain in economic limbo until he’s forced to do so.

  • The Comrade In Chief isn’t going to “move” anywhere. This is just more BS for the gullible.
     who despite all the direct evidence they lap it up like dogs at a dirty puddle of water.

    Look back to everything this apprentice has done and said – Understand all of it is straight-up manipulation performed right in our faces. Question is, have we had enough??

  • I think you took the bait on this one.

    A move to the center is the pragmatic and logical thing to do.  Especially if you think Obama cared about the message sent to him by the public.  Obama’s played the center pragmatist before.  Just before taking office he sent signals to calm his opponents that he really was pragmatists after all.  That was artful deception.

    He’s doing again here.

    They are trying to shutdown popular opposition by vilifying the Tea Party by vilifying Dissent.  Basically threatening you with a smear if you stand up for yourself on one end. 

    From the other end, they’re trying to tell you there’s no reason to be upset.  “Don’t you worry.  We’re moving the center.  You can calm down now.”. 

    They are basically triangulating the Conservative Movement.  

    The reason isn’t for his followers appeasement or his re-election.  Its for his agenda.  He and Reid have one last push for something in them.  Whether its Cap and Trade or Path to legalization for Illegal Immigrants, idk.  But in order for it to be successful he needs the Conservative Movement caught by surprise and dissarray.  He needs an atmosphere where its safe for RINOs to be RINOs again and centrist democrats to ignore their constituents.    

  • But, as usual and instead, the President plans to vote “present”:

    God I wish I could say that I was surprised…

  • Moving to the Center?  Not on your life.  Just as the pundits on the left told whoever was listening, their problems wasn’t with policy but with packaging.  It is the messaging that is wrong, people. 

    Obama is going to come out swinging but his message will be the same only the titles will change.  He is going to try and re-brand himself.  But it will be the same old Obama and same old Alinsky tactics and the same old leftish values and same old bi-partisan BS he will be proposing.

    Obama can’t move to the Center much less the right because he doesn’t know where or what the center is!  He only undertands the left and that is the color of the sky in his world.

  • Pursuing a path of deficit reduction and government reform, President Obama will tonight in his State of the Union address call for a ban on earmarks and he will propose a five year budget freeze on non-security related discretionary spending, ABC News has learned.

    Reform .. my ass .. Obama is trying to click the ratchet up before the Republicans crank it down.

  • As I note in my blog, Obama’s set for an easy re-election, baring economic disaster.  With the Republicans running the House, there will be no chance for movement on a progressive agenda.  He won’t upset the Right, and to the left it will be the GOP House getting the blame.  The President can choose when he wants to engage, otherwise the Democratic Senate will ride interference.   He will be able to be Presidential and “above the fray.”  He accomplished more in his first two years than most Presidents, the next six years will be tweaking and digesting it.   In the next year he will make some very high profile moves to compromise with Republicans.  If they turn him down, Obama will get credit from independents.     If the GOP compromises, their tea partiers will be angry.
    The one chance the GOP has is if they decide to try to shut down government.   But with the Democratic Senate able to ride interference, it’ll be hard for the Republicans to come out looking good if they do that.   Even before the SOTU speech and a year of being Presidential, Obama is already up five in the Rasmussen poll on approval (higher in others), and the gap between strong approve/disapprove is in the low single digits.    And, of course, while the far left and the far right each want a “socialist left wing” Obama, the reality is that he’s always been a pragmatist and the center will be a comfortable fit for him.

    • I would agree with you except for the fact that Obama has never ever shown any leadership ability nor has he ever had a political opportunity that he didn’t squander. He simply is not a very competent man.

    • baring economic disaster.

      Barring…???  WTF???
      The end of Obama could come from…and is likely from…about a dozen scenarios.
      An “approve” is everything above a “meh”.  That is NOT the same as support for…as in voting for this man/child.

    • I think that Obama needs one of two things, or perhaps both: for the economy to come back strong, and/or for congressional Democrats to sacrifice themselves to build up his political standing.  I think he needs more than an economic recovery, because his administration has been touting that for some time, and the economic news still doesn’t seem very good.  But if the economy suddenly surged and things got better for Americans, then he could ride that wave.
      I am not convinced that congressional Democrats will want to follow Obama towards the center, not with their own political futures potentially at stake in 2012.  It’s possible that some of them, by pushing harder towards the left, will help Obama appear to be defying his party for the general good of the nation, which could also boost him a bit.  Without an economic upsurge, this may not be enough to help, though.
      The GOP has one basic road to follow that will give them an opportunity to unseat Obama in 2012 and also increase their gains in the House and Senate.  They must push for fiscal responsibility.  The House controls spending, and so they are in a position to put their (or really, our) money where their mouths are.  If they stay that course and manage to avoid any major missteps, they could strengthen the perception amongst independents that they “get it” and are determined to restore fiscal sanity to DC.  I think it’s a tough row to hoe; they are politicians, after all.
      The GOP may simply decide that its best course of action is to place as many roadblocks as it can in Obama’s path and wait for him to stumble.  That could work, and it is probably very tempting to do so.  But it also strikes me as a risky strategy.  If they move away from the economic message and start to play at politics, they could alienate not only independents, but the large number of conservatives who identify with the Tea Party movement.  And that could lead to losses in congress in 2012, as well as a second term for Obama.

      • I think it totally depends on the economy.  Obama, as an incumbent with all the resources of his party will be hard to beat, but if the economy is still as bad as it is now, or as I suspect, actually worse, then he is out.

        But if it improves even a little then he can pull it out. However, he has something working against him.

        He was touted as this brilliant new style leader who was going to be the ultra competent answer to Bush’s stupidity.  But it turns out to pretty much be the opposite of that. That being the case he has some negatives to overcome among the independents whom he disappointed.

        • Look at how bad Reagan looked in early 1993, not to mention Clinton in late 1994.  Obama has accomplished a lot, his approval numbers are good, and he’s certainly had a successful foreign policy.   I think a lot of you want to wish Obama were a poor leader, or that he is far left.   But he’s a pragmatic left of center politician, much like Reagan was pragmatic right of center.  If he can find his Presidential voice (something Peggy Noonan said he had in the post-Tucson speech), his early stumbles will be as vividly remembered as how bad President Reagan’s re-election chances looked in early to mid 1983.

      • ANOTHER successful terrorist attack…one where the ordinance works…would be all it would take.

    • As I note in my blog, Obama’s set for an easy re-election, baring economic disaster. What’s that you say? He’s been baring the economic disaster for all to see since he was inargurated? Sorry, I meant barring.

      And of course our wise comrades colleagues in the media get to decide, by the holy writ of post-modernism, what defines an economic disaster, so there won’t be one. Nope, we could have unemployment and interest rates at the same level as Jimmy Carter, but it only counts as economic disaster if a Republican is in the White House. Like that awful Reagan, who started our problems, and don’t start up about how awful things were under Carter, just don’t start! We should have just donned those cardigans like he wanted, and sacrificed, and stopped all this consumerism stuff, and everything would have been fine. Yes, we could have sat around under our blankets, reading books like The English Patient to each other, and stayed away from those awful video games and the like. They’re not green, you know – they use up tons of electricity.

      Anyway, with the Republicans running the House, there will be no chance for movement on a progressive agenda. Except a few stealth efforts by wise leftist bureaucrats, of course. So Obama won’t upset the Right, and to the left it will be the GOP House getting the blame. So he’ll win. Of course, I claim no special expertise in American politics, and I was so wrong in 2010 it’s not even funny, so this is all just talking out of my a**.

      But I’m just trying to start a conversation. Won’t you please help me do that? We can go back a thousand times, just like we did last week, and never get anywhere. Doesn’t that sound like fun! It does to me! What could be better! And it’s not because I’m a narcissist who is addicted to attention and comes here because I can talk down to you guys, so stop saying that!

      The President can choose when he wants to engage, otherwise the Democratic Senate will ride interference. He will be able to be Presidential and “above the fray.” His Christlike visage will be seen as the god emporer he is, while the Republicans are seen as grungy commoners, not fit to lick his boots.

      You’ll see. He accomplished more in his first two years than most Presidents, the next six years will be tweaking and digesting it. I decree it. All hail his glorious success in furthering our glorious march to leftist utopia.

      In the next year he will make some very high profile moves to compromise with Republicans. With “compromise” defined as doing minor things that the press will inflate as major concessions but don’t really hold us up in a meaningful way from our march to leftist utopia. If they turn him down, Obama will get credit from independents because we’ve got those guys so indoctrinated they’re like puppets on a string. If the GOP compromises, their tea partiers will be angry and they’ll stomp off like the immature brats they truly are.

      The one chance the GOP has is if they decide to try to shut down government. But with the Democratic Senate able to ride interference, it’ll be hard for the Republicans to come out looking good if they do that. Our comrades colleagues in the media will make sure of that. Even before the SOTU speech and a year of being Presidential, Obama is already up five in the Rasmussen poll on approval (higher in others), and the gap between strong approve/disapprove is in the low single digits. And it’s certainly not just random fluctuation or politics fatigue or loaded samples, or any of that. Nope, any poll that says Obama is doing great has to be right and any poll that says otherwise is questionable. That’s what I based by 2010 predictions on.

      And, of course, while the far left and the far right each want a “socialist left wing” Obama, the reality is that he’s always been a pragmatist and the center will be a comfortable fit for him. And he’s definitely not a progressive, like I implied just a few paragraphs above. Stop saying that. He thinks like me, a pragmatic moderate centrist. Just like everyone else here in the faculty lounge.

  • Winghunter, jpm100 and SShiell are right: this isn’t a “move to the center”, it’s lip service, part of a propaganda pitch that MiniTru will gratefully carry on.  We’ll be TOLD (repeatedly) that The Dear Golfer is “moving to the center”, “triangulating”, “pivotting”, or “following the plan used by Slick Willie after ’94″, but nothing will really change. 

    To borrow a piece of ugly political vitriol that probably incites violence that I recall hearing somewhere, you can’t put lipstick on this pig.  I remember the last time The Dear Golfer promised a “hard pivot”: he spent the next several months ramming ObamaCare down our throats (when he wasn’t on vacation, that is).  Frankly, the man is a f*cking liar and the only thing I’m interested in hearing from him is a resignation.

  • Well, same as last year.
    Self-contradiction in virtually every paragraph.  And lies throughout.