As we see the “media narrative” about Obama begin to shift in the month just concluded, we become increasingly aware just how fawning their coverage of Barack Obama had been, with many suggesting his life story and rhetorical prowess alone would guarantee a successful presidency.
But, now as he tries to govern, people begin to see just how he has failed to fulfill his campaign promises of transparency, wise oversight of the federal government and fiscal discipline. With the president’s record in office does match his rhetoric on the campaign trail, his poll numbers begin to tumble. As long as he didn’t need to govern, he could sustain his popularity.
Obama’s campaign rhetoric and the Republican failure to stay true to the party’s principles of smaller government (in January 2008, Democrats held a 22-point advantage “on the question of which party would do a better job in handling the federal budget deficit“) enabled him to capture the votes of independents (and even some Republicans) concerned about the size of the federal government. Ed Driscoll believes the president’s poll numbers might not be “listing” as much as they are had
. . . he governed as the moderate centrist he originally held himself out to be (or was perceived as by say, David Brooks, Chris Buckley, etc.) instead of attempting to transform a wildly diverse economy into a command and control corporatist version. . . .
Jennifer Rubin concurs:
It is not hard to conclude that Obama has been caught trying to pull off a bait and switch — he ran as a moderate and is governing as a left-winger. With ample evidence that they have been conned, the voters are now registering their disapproval.
And who perpetrated this con? There was ample evidence from Obama’s public record that he was anything but the new kind of politician he claimed to be in his campaign.
Did people want to believe his rhetoric because they liked his life story? That’s what Ben Stein thinks: “They wanted so much to believe Barack Obama was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they simply took him on faith.” The media made it easier for the American people to take Obama on faith. They obscured the record of his dubious associations, his campaign tactics commonplace in the corrupt city where he first rose to power and his very liberal voting record.
Throughout his career, Barack Obama has been little more than a liberal politician, spouting the nostrums of social Democrats and other critics of capitalism who dominate American universities. And he has been a bare-knuckled politician of the Chicago mode. He has succeeded in obscuring his partisan reality underneath his cool veneer and personal charm.
Guess the media is only a “watchdog on power” when Republicans wield, or aspire to wield, such power.