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The Third Year of the Obama Administration: Facts, Opinions and Discussions

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by kingthlayer, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Jul 13, 2008
    I thought the mainstream media hated Obama?

    Or is the top cable news network not "mainstream"? Is this some kind of conservative hipster thing? It's only mainstream if they don't like it?
  2. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Thread Reaper and Rumor Naysayer star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 25, 2000
    I've been wonder if, as with the hoopla following the GOP convention of '08, that Obama has been pulling a "Rope a Dope."
  3. Vaderize03

    Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 25, 1999
    Huh, Darthramza?

    I'm confused....I'm an Obama supporter, in case you didn't guess.
  4. shanerjedi

    shanerjedi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 17, 2010
    Eh, the left eats its own it seems.
  5. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Apr 25, 2004
    My impression is that the mainstream media loves bad news and endless speculation, because otherwise nothing is newsworthy.
  6. KnightWriter

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 6, 2001
    [link=]Obama signs DADT repeal[/link].

    You're looking at the President of the United States on January 21, 2013. When campaign season rolls around again, he'll make it happen.
  7. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
    After a very successful raging-duck session of Congress, quite a few items can finally be scratched off the checklist.

    By my count, Obama has 8 domestic policy priorities from now to his re-election, besides simply funding the government and defending/implementing his new laws:

    1. Job Creation (no new bills or ideas have been proposed for this)

    2. Deficit Reduction (which includes Entitlement Reform and Spending Cuts, the main concerns of Republicans)

    3. The DREAM Act, overall Immigration reform, and border security

    4. Energy Independence, Infrastructure, R&D, Manufacturing, Exports

    5. The DISCLOSE Act (campaign financing transparency)

    6. Tax Reform (including his campaign promise to end tax breaks for U.S. companies that ship jobs overseas)

    7. No Child Left Behind reform (to focus more on preparing students for college and careers)

    8. To repeal & replace DOMA, to pass ENDA and other acts to end discrimination against gays and lesbians

    Does this seem right to everyone? Am I missing anything?

    In case anyone has noticed, I've put together checklists like this periodically before, but it has gradually shrunk from around 30 items to only 8. ;) :D And this is only the halfway point. :D
  8. Darth-Seldon

    Darth-Seldon Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 17, 2003
    At this point without a doubt. The accounts of Obama's political death were vastly exaggerated.
    No doubt I'm missing major accomplishments but thus far:
    -Health Care reform (not perfect but a critical first step after 100 years of gridlock)
    -Financial Regulatory reform (again not perfect but a beginning)
    -Justices Kagan and Sotomayor
    -Avoided a Great Depression
    -Saved the American auto industry, banking, financial industries
    -Restored American image abroad
    -An Iraq/Afghanistan policy that cannot be attacked from the right
    -A Tax Plan compromise that has concessions to the left but cannot be attacked by the right
    -Repeal of DADT
    -Ratification of START
    -Health Care for 911 First Responders

    Not bad.
  9. kingthlayer

    kingthlayer Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 7, 2003
    Unemployment needs to be trending down, or else he won't get re-elected. It is currently, what, 9.8%? I'd say anything north of 9% is going to be lethal.

    Economists have estimated that Stimulus II will shave 1.5% off the current rate, so a best case scenario is 8.3% headed into election day. That would be a ridiculous rate on its own, but looks pretty good compared to what we've had since February 2009. If unemployment settles back to where it was right around January 2009 (before the economy shed a million jobs in the first two months of the year), he can declare "morning in America" and campaign on optimism without looking ridiculous. Reagan did the same thing.
  10. Vaderize03

    Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 25, 1999
    Exactly. I see a lot of parallels with Reagan here; "stay the course" might just get Obama back in.

    Also, looking at the potential GOP slate, I don't see much that appeals to the "common sense" centrism that is slowly reasserting itself on the national stage.


  11. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 19, 1999
    I'm starting to think the biggest mistake Obama can make is Clinton Triangulation, or whatever they're calling it - declaring some kind of grand coalition with House Republicans to reduce the deficit in his upcoming state of the union address.

    I change my mind about this every day, but today I think the fed should spend like crazy over the next 2 years.

    The states are going to be trying to reduce their debt overhang, and consumers are going to be reducing their debt overhang. Corporations with export potential will be spending but the part of American business that feeds American consumption will remain on a diet.

    Maybe the federal government really needs to throw as much money as possible into that gap. From that point of view, continuing the Bush tax cuts for a few more years might not be such a bad thing. The Republican House can oppose a lot of that leading me to think that Obama really might throw in his lot with the House Republicans on spending cuts in order to appear effective.

    But that will end his presidency. The president should be focusing all his energy on using federal spending to pump employment. It's reduce unemployment, or be a one term president. That is all there is.

    Cutting government spending is Republican code for keeping the economy sluggish and its people underemployed until Obama is booted out of office.
  12. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon

    Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Knight star 6

    Dec 17, 2000
    Agreed except for that one word because of the implication that they have any intention of coming to their senses once in charge.
  13. Darth-Seldon

    Darth-Seldon Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 17, 2003
    The big staff shakeup is starting to look promising...
    Ax and Gibbs are going back to Chicago to plan the re-elect,
    Plouffe and Daley are in--along with a new press secretary. There was a need to bring some new people in and shakeup the inner circle. This new team is competent and should smoothly bring him into 2012.

  14. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
    This will never happen with the GOP in control of the House.

    I'm glad they're gone, especially Rahm and soon Gibbs. They were good for a while, but they really do need outside people with a fresh outlook. I think the Daley appointment was a good choice for Chief of Staff. I just hope they get someone from the outside to replace Gibbs.
  15. Vaderize03

    Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 25, 1999
    Jabba, I agree that unemployment must be on the way down in 2012 or Obama is done, but I disagree that triangulation will end his presidency.

    Obama needs to get back independents, far more than he needs to keep the liberal base. When it comes down to it, there are far more conservatives in the US than liberals; the hardcore conservatives are forever lost to him, but the center-right is not. Given the proportion of independents that make up the electorate nowadays, he would be well advised to "appear" to be moving to the center. The psychological effect of this might be enough to give moderates back a sense of confidence in his presidency.

    If he can do that, and unemployment is starting to drop within the next year, he will be well positioned to take credit and go with a "stay the course" platform, and it should work for him. Also, the fairly weak republican presidential slate, and the ongoing battle for the soul of the GOP, make it easier to win re-election than if we were in a solid period of prosperity. Obama has, in part, simply to look less crazy than the alternative, which will certainly be easy if it's Sarah Palin at the top.


  16. kingthlayer

    kingthlayer Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 7, 2003
    A new poll, the second one I've seen now, has [link=]Obama's approval rating back to 50%, with independents breaking to him, 50-45[/link]. The poll is considered evidence that as the economy continues to improve, voters will warm to the administration. The Economist believes a market-spurred [link=]correction of the unemployment rate to 8.5%[/link] is underway, which (in the context of the past few years) is a more favorable place to start your re-election campaign. 7.x% would obviously be better, but a downward trend is what will matter most.
  17. Raven

    Raven Administrator Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 5, 1998
    The contrast between Obama and Palin was highlighted pretty bluntly in the last 24-hours or so.

    I'm not a huge fan of Obama, but he really nailed that speech.
  18. Fire_Ice_Death

    Fire_Ice_Death Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Feb 15, 2001
    IIRC, dueling wasn't that common in the US. Sure, they happened, but that stupid cow is making it seem like they happened everywhere. Unless she actually thinks the 'Wild West' was really like they showed on tv in the 50's. Which makes her look even dumber than her white trashy kid does.
  19. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003

    Obama rises above the fray, acknowledges the bad but focuses on the good, and challenges us to be better.

    Palin stays within the fray of the political moment, acknowledges that things aren't that great, and says these things will always be the same.

    It was a truly inspiring speech by Obama, one of his best.

    I have felt a little bad about Palin, but her speech showed that she cannot transcend the political moment or break out of the news cycle. I just cannot see her giving the kind of speech that Obama just gave.
  20. Gonk

    Gonk Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 8, 1998
    I have felt a little bad about Palin, but her speech showed that she cannot transcend the political moment or break out of the news cycle. I just cannot see her giving the kind of speech that Obama just gave.

    Well I won't say this or that about Obama, but Palin's reaction is similar to what you commonly see on the right and left equally when things like this happened. That is:

    "Woe is us that we are all caught in this trap, and that it is truly nobody's fault and everybody's fault equally.


    *quiet pause*


    Although, I should say, it's kinda THIER fault just a little bit more equally than it is my fault."

    And the recriminations ensue.

    In a way it's like fighting in a marriage. You think you're right. Maybe you ARE right. But if the other side is willing to compromise, are you really winning anything for yourself in pushing for what you think is right all the time and not modifying your view to allow for a little of what might be wrong, just to keep everything going?
  21. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
    So, I would say that Obama's Third Year has officially begun by now.

    The 2011 State of the Union address is scheduled for next Tuesday, January 25th.

    What should we expect President Obama to cover in it?

    Will it be significantly different in tone and content, or will it be similar to his previous addresses to Congress?

    It will at least have different content this time. It was in last year's SOTU that President Obama was still trying to push for Healthcare reform, after the upset of Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts. (That seems like much longer than a year ago, doesn't it?) At least now President Obama can list some significant achievements: Healthcare Reform, Financial Reform, withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq, New START with Russia, repeal of DADT, the Food Safety bill, etc.

    If it is in the style of his previous addresses, then I expect President Obama will:

    *Defend Healthcare reform and Financial reform (talk about the good it's doing already, on children with pre-existing conditions and children staying on their parents' insurance until age 26), and go through that list of accomplishments.

    *Probably spend a little time on our upcoming withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, the sanctions against North Korea and Iran, and our relations with Russia, China, possibly India and Brazil.

    *Then he'll come to his wish-list, and be stressing/hoping for bipartisan cooperation throughout for: the trade deal with South Korea, the DREAM Act and a larger immigration reform, manufacturing and exports/trade-balance, infrastructure, investment in clean energy and the drive towards energy independence, and reform of NCLB to move away from standardization and towards preparing for college and the workplace. President Obama will probably tie all that to how it will create Jobs, and help the economy recover and continue to grow.

    *Then he'll probably talk about Deficit Reduction, mention some of the proposals from his Bipartisan Deficit Commission, and I think he'll go for Tax Reform (lower rates, but broaden the base, eliminate loopholes and several deductions, end tax breaks for U.S. companies that ship jobs overseas).

    *He may or may not talk about repealing DOMA, passing ENDA, and the campaign finance DISCLOSE Act.

    *At the end he'll probably return to the tragedy at Tucson for a bit to urge unity and bipartisanship and civility in our debates and disagreements ahead, and I'd be surprised if one those heroes isn't among the President's list of invited guests to sit with the First Lady.

    What do you expect President Obama to cover in the SOTU, next Tuesday?
  22. kingthlayer

    kingthlayer Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 7, 2003
    I hope he doesn't cover all of those things, because that is a lot of territory to cover in one speech. It will either make people's eyes glaze over or it will sound rushed and helter skelter.

    He should remind people of his key successes. After that, he should defend health care reform and challenge Republicans to come up with ways to improve it with him, rather than just waste time on repealing it. He should continue to push for bipartisanship and describe two key areas where he and the GOP can find common ground: education and tax reform. It'd be nice if he mentioned Giffords's recovery and how fulfilling our childrens' expectations is something that can only be done through bi-partisanship.

    Democrats and Republicans won't be sitting on separate sides of the isle for this speech, so it should make for unified, bi-partisan imagery. That will play well for just about everybody.
  23. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
    He did the same thing at the last SOTU, he mentioned all of those things. Except most of it was all wish-list, since healthcare reform and financial reform hadn't even passed yet.

    I think that puts him way too much on the defensive. And the repeal movement will have already failed by the time of the SOTU.

    He's definitely going to continue to push for bipartisanship. And I expect him to take up Education and Tax reform too.

    But President Obama did already say that passing the DREAM Act will be one of his biggest priorities this spring (during his press conference after the lame-duck session ended), and he did say that Deficit Reduction would be a major focus for the next two years. He said he would pass a series of smaller bills to address Energy too. And he made a big deal about the DISCLOSE Act and Infrastructure and "Made in America" during the campaign, so he probably has to address that. Exports were also a focus of his SOTU last year, so he'll probably mention them again. When he mentioned that DADT was finally repealed, he'll probably ackowledge that more must still be done, since he did campaign to repeal DOMA in 2008.

    He also really has to talk about foreign policy. We're set to be out of Iraq completely this December. And the withdrawal from Afghanistan is supposed to start in 6 months. The Chinese leader is visiting soon, and we just passed the treaty with Russia, so they need to be mentioned. We almost went to war with North Korea, and we keep sanctioning Iran, so those must be mentioned too. And asking for Congress to approve the trade agreement with South Korea is also definitely going to be on there, since it will win him support from conservatives and businessmen.
  24. Darth_Tarkus

    Darth_Tarkus Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jan 10, 2011
    "Raging-duck session," I love it! [face_laugh] I think you're spot-on with most of these but some are unfortunately wishful thinking. If they couldn't get the Disclose Act passed through the Senate with 59 Democrats, they're not going to be able to get it now (assuming the Republican House would even have an interest in it, which I doubt.) Basically the same deal with the DREAM Act and any energy/climate regulation, since those also passed the Democratic House last year and got snubbed out in the Senate, which again now has fewer Democratic votes. But other than those I think you're exactly right. NCLB is due to expire and will have to be re-done anyway, so that's definitely coming up. And both Obama and Republican leaders have mentioned tax code reform so that's also a definite possibility.
  25. kingthlayer

    kingthlayer Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 7, 2003
    Obama is on the defensive though. If I were the Democrats, I would stay away from any hot button issues un the run-up to 2012. The last thing they need is to galvanize moderate and tea party Republicans into sticking together like in 2009-2010. The objective for the next two years is to protect reforms from the 111th Congress and create jobs.

    And heres why:

    Kent Conrad, Democratic Senator from North Dakota, announced today that he will not be running in 2012. His seat is now going to be a prime pickup opportunity for the GOP. Including Conrad's, there are 22 Democratic Senate seats up for re-election. One of those is another surefire GOP pickup: Ben Nelson of Nebraska. The GOP is defending merely 10 seats, of which maybe three are vulnerable (Scott Brown of Massachusetts, John Ensign of Nevada and Olympia Snowe of Maine).

    Remember, the GOP needs only four seats to capture the Senate majority. With Conrad out and Nelson vulnerable, they really only need two. And I figure Brown and Snowe will get re-elected, while Ensign will get replaced by an electable Republican.

    Obama's 2012 re-election is a must win election for the Democratic party. Otherwise, they're looking at total Republican control of the government again. I would strongly advise against pushing any more controversial reform in the near future.