I can’t quite put my finger on why Obama’s responses to these worried voters today just doesn’t seem very reassuring — but it doesn’t. Your take?
At an intimate fundraising dinner for the DNC in the Pyramid Club on the top floor of the BNY Mellon Building in downtown Philadelphia, President Obama gave his standard speech about how the first task of his administration “was to stop the bleeding, to stabilize the economy, and we’ve done that.”
Citing “eight consecutive months of private sector job growth,” the president derided Republicans “saying no to everything we proposed. … Their model was, ‘No we can’t.’”
The president this evening said he wanted supporters to understand that “we are just in the first quarter here. We’ve gotten a lot of stuff done, but we’ve got a lot more work to do.”
He criticized Democrats who complain that “the health care plan didn’t have a public option,” or say to him, “’You ended the war in Iraq but haven’t completely finished the Afghan war yet.’”
His message to them: “Folks wake up! This is not some academic exercise. As Joe Biden put it, Don’t compare us to the Almighty, compare us to the alternative.”
“It was easy showing up for the inauguration even though it was cold,” the president said, recalling, ”I’m polling at 70 percent, Beyoncé and Bono are singing. But I believe that the reason you got involved at the outset was not because we had cool pollsters, not because it was the trendy thing to do, not just because my predecessor had become unpopular, but because at some level we understood that the American dream had served each of us very well.”
It was not clear whom the president was talking about, specifically, but earlier today, at a town hall meeting broadcast by CNBC, the president was confronted by the angst of some frustrated supporters.
One woman, Velma Hart, described herself as a mother, a wife, a veteran and “one of your middle-class Americans. And, quite frankly, I’m exhausted. I’m exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now. I have been told that I voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I’m one of those people. And I’m waiting, sir. I’m waiting.”
Ted Brassfield, 30, said, “Like a lot of people in my generation, I was really inspired by you and by your campaign and the message that you brought, and that inspiration is dying away. It feels like the American dream is not attainable to a lot of us. … Is the American dream dead for me?”
The president told them “my goal here is not to try to convince you that everything’s where it needs to be. It’s not. That’s why I ran for president. But what I am saying is, is that we’re moving in the right direction.”