Questioning the president’s latest strategy of “framing the choice between the parties in class-warfare terms“, Michael Barone doesn’t think the president’s speech last week in Osawatomie, Kansas will help him much with independent voters:
Undaunted, and perhaps feeling he has no better option, Obama made it plain he’s staking his chances on class warfare.
He did so even though the policies he trotted out amounted to little more than the Democrats’ 2009 stimulus package (road building, high-speed rail), education spending (a payoff to the teacher unions), and higher tax rates on high earners.
It’s hard to see how this thin gruel is going to strike independent voters as (to use Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election theme) a bridge to the 21st century. And it’s notable that Obama scarcely made reference to the Democrats’ signal legislative accomplishment, Obamacare.
He has thrown away his image, established in his 2004 convention speech and maintained through the 2008 campaign, of a compromise-minded conciliator.
Barone’s analysis was tame compared to that of Charles Krauthammer who didn’t mince words when he said that the incumbent
. . . gave a nice historical rundown except that he left out a critical three years – his presidency. It is as if it did not exist. It’s as if we jumped from ‘08 to today. This speech was intended to say that everything that happened the past three years has nothing to do with my administration or policies – economic stagnation, debt, high unemployment. It is the result of the malice of the rich.”
And like Barone who didn’t think the speech would play well with independent voters, Krauthammer contends the Democrat crafted the address to
. . . stir the erogenous zones of liberals. . . . He talked about that at length. . . . This is a classic example of how little it takes to stir the erogenous zones of liberals. You give them a speech with social justice, a little bit of class war. You wrap up in the patina of intellectualism. Essentially, it is a speech that exonerates anything he has done an obviously not done and says all of our problems today are the result of the plutocrats. That is why he is more like Hugo Chávez than he is Teddy Roosevelt in this speech.
No wonder the Democrat is languishing with independent voters. Seems right now all he’s doing is rallying his base. Maybe this is part of a plan. Once he has the base on board, he’ll pivot to the center come summer.
And our friends in the mainstream media will conveniently forget to contrast his campaign rhetoric in the months before the election with his partisan tone for the better part of this year.
Krauthammer via Instapundit.