November 3, 2010 - by Victor Davis Hanson
1. Communication—As If You Would Have Liked My Agenda Had You Just Been More Informed
President Obama’s postmortem press conference was a near disaster. He seemed subdued, but also sometimes petulant—still convinced that we, in fear and distrust, “lashed out” in anger at the doctor rather than the disease. In fact, the same voter furor that turned on him is, he thinks, what earlier elected him: only his failure to channel it properly explains the setback. Finally he did admit that he was “shellacked,” but he believes that partisanship confused us voters into shellacking him.
This common complaint that he failed to communicate just how wonderfully he had done is quite an unhinged Carteresque/Kerryesque exegesis. The problem was not that the American voter did not know about the second stimulus, ObamaCare, the efforts to push cap and trade, card check, and $3 trillion more in debt, but that he knew them all too well. When framed by 10% unemployment, slow growth, record food stamp usage, and home foreclosures, the problem was, again, too much, rather than too little, information. Obama was overexposed, not underexposed. The more he communicated on the campaign trail—“back seat,” “enemies,”“they” don’t want you to vote—the more the jaded voter turned from his cause. I fear very few will now listen to the new Obama in extremis calling for a new civility of the sort he helped destroy with his offensive and polarizing slurs and smears the last month.
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